Monday, April 7, 2014
The story takes only four verses in the gospel of Mark and again in Luke. Four verses to describe an event that has been the topic of sermons and study for hundreds of years. In those days, the temple would have a place for people to deliver their offerings and gifts to the Lord. This special donation "bin" was out in the open for all to see. Jesus Himself was standing there with His disciples, watching the wealthy put their tithes into the box. They were obvious with their clothes and the large amount of their offering, but it wasn't the wealthy to whom Christ drew the attention of His disciples. "Look at this," you can almost hear Him whisper, and the disciples turn to see what amazing gift will come next. But it's only an elderly widow, and all she contributes is a few tiny coins. Perhaps she felt a bit shy about coming to give her gifts in the midst of all the wealth around her. Still, she gave. And she gave not out of her wealth but "out of her poverty," scripture says. What she didn't know was that God was watching. And He wasn't keeping tally of the amount of her gift; He was seeing the generosity in her heart. (Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4)
At the City Rescue Mission, we are constantly blessed by the generosity and support of our fellow rescuers. Without your gifts and prayers, we would be unable to provide food, shelter, and hope to the hundreds of women, children, and men who come to us in need. We are grateful for all gifts, but we are truly humbled by the sweet notes we receive from some of our faithful supporters who give, as the widow gave; their notes include words of gratitude, that they can contribute, and words of regret, that they cannot give more.
I truly believe that the heart behind the donation makes a difference to our guests. The food that they eat, the bed where they sleep, the clothes that they wear, and all the other help we can provide, is a gift of love. An act of compassion. It comes from people, our fellow rescuers, who desire to help us help others.
Thank you so much for your prayers and your generosity, but most of all, thank you for seeing the "people" beyond the need. People who need encouragement, shelter, hope, and compassion. Thank you for being a rescuer by helping us help others.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
As we drag ourselves out of one of the worst winters we've experienced in some time, I can't help but take a moment to reflect on what have been four of busiest months in our 103 year history. We expect to be "busy" during the winter, but our staff and volunteers have definitely gone above-and-beyond. So far this year, our staff have provided a safe haven for 157 women, children, and men every night and served more than 310 meals every day. Volunteers continued faithfully to arrive, bundled up but ready to serve alongside staff. In spite of the raging winter and frigid temps, we were able to serve our guests as we do every day, as we have done for over a century.
While we have "weathered" Michigan winters before, every day is a learning experience, and we are blessed to have such great "team" members to share the joy and the responsibility of providing food, shelter, and hope in Michigan's capital area.
If you are interested in joining "Team Rescue" there are lots of opportunities, both as volunteers and as staff.
Volunteer Information: www.BEaRESCUER.com/volunteer.htm and email volunteers@BEaRESCUER.com
Employment Information: www.BEaRESCUER.com/employment.htm and email Cheryl@BEaRESCUER.com