Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Flexibility and Focus

Looking over the 100 year history of the Mission, there is one thing we've "always done": preaching the gospel. The many other services we've incorporated over the years--feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the needy--are results of our mission rather than the whole of it. There are other services, too, that have come and gone, depending on ability and need. And we are grateful that we can stay true to our core purpose of preaching the gospel while being flexible enough to adjust through the years.

Recently, an article in the paper featured a local agency's backpack giveaway and mentioned that this is a service no longer provided by the Mission. What they failed to explain was that the number of men, women, and children we are sheltering has more than doubled in the past few months. The need for food has also increased. As a result, we've utilized that flexibility to adjust the "results" of our mission, while holding fast to our original purpose. Instead of providing a child a backpack, we are providing a roof over his head, food for him and his family, a safe place to go during the day, a shower and the things necessary for cleanliness and health, and a measure of stability in a world that can seem increasingly hostile to a child unsettled due to poverty and homelessness.

Last night, there were 6 more men staying at the men's shelter than we had beds. They slept on mattresses on the floor of the chapel. There were 106 single women, mothers, and children at the women and children's shelter. One hundred and seventy two people, not counting men in our Life Transformation Program, were under our care and received help not only for their physical needs but also for their spiritual ones. This is an amazing opportunity, as each person represents a life, a living soul, that is being impacted by those who choose to support the City Rescue Mission. People who choose to "be a rescuer."

Rather than focusing on all the "could haves" and "what ifs," let us take some time to be grateful for what we do have. Times are difficult, for those we shelter and for the Mission, as funds are stretched more than at any time in our past. Friends, fellow rescuers, do not grow weary in well doing! You are making a difference. Thank you for your compassion and for helping us help others!

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