Wednesday, August 3, 2011

From Where I Sit...

This morning was our monthly staff meeting, and I felt somewhat "out of joint." Maybe it's working on the "centennial book" that has me feeling rather sentimental. Or the rather gray overcast that's been hovering over Michigan's capital city these past few days. Whatever the reason, I sat back in the corner, sunk into my folding chair, and smiled, somewhat benevolently, on the chatter going on around me. Sherri, shelter manager, was sharing information with Tiffany, our women and children's shelter director. Gina, administrative assistant, was chatting with Amanda, one of our intake coordinators. Dave, a coordinator at the men's shelter, was smiling and sharing a joke with Mike, our Biblical counselor. Tabby was talking animatedly to Abby (yes, Tabby to Abby). To the side, Mark, our executive director was speaking with Russ, our former director of volunteers, who's about to embark on a new ministry in Nicaragua. All around was talk and smiles, and the chairs in the classroom had filled well before the 8 a.m. meeting was scheduled to start.

It was our monthly staff meeting. A chance to share not only our concerns and prayer requests but also to reconnect as a group of people united for the single purpose of "rescuing" men, women, and children in need.

For just a few moments, I was out of time and place, as I looked at the gathering around me and compared it to 100 years ago, when the Mission was just born. Today, there were roughly forty pairs of hands clasped in prayer. That day so long ago, there were two. For some reason, I can picture them very clearly. Thomas was about forty seven, just recently saved, Emily only a year or so younger, had been praying for her his salvation for a decade. Everything was all so new. And they were not, by any means, wealthy people, with the goal of sharing their wealth with those in need. They were people who had very little, but what they did have, they gave. From such humble roots, the Mission has grown to serve hundreds of men, women, and children every day.

Sometimes, we'll get letters from donors, who lament that they have not more to give. Who apologize for not being able to give more. The very fact that they give anything at all, whether it be money, food, or prayers, is a blessing; it is all needed. Every gift, no matter how "humble" in the eyes of the giver, makes a difference, just as it did that first day nearly 100 years ago.

Thank you for your compassion and faithfulness. Thank you for being a rescuer.

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