Monday, July 11, 2011

The "Mission" of our Mission

At a recent staff meeting, our executive director stressed something important: that we, as Mission employees, are not doing a "job" or even meeting the "physical" needs of people. Our purpose is to serve souls. Souls in need of rescue. And this has been the purpose of the Mission for its entire 100 year history.

As we've often said, the easy answer to the "problem" of homelessness would be to put people in an apartment, turn the key, and let them continue in the problems that caused their homelessness in the first place. Social ills, addiction, loneliness, anger, lack of job skills, mental issues, all still existent. However, the person is no longer "homeless" and, therefore, homelessness is over.

But we were created for something more than just to exist or to struggle along as best we know how. God has in mind for us something better. Something greater. But far too often we settle for "good enough." It's easier.

So we ask for your prayer for Mission staff and the volunteers who work alongside of us. It's never easy and it isn't even always "rewarding." After all, we're not "rescuing" used furniture that simply needs some sanding and a new coat of paint to make it serviceable. We're rescuing souls.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Time Goes By...

So much has happened since I last entered anything (it's almost shaming if the reason weren't because we were so busy :) The Maplewood Center is fully renovated and almost fully operational. I say almost because we're still in the development stages of our women's Life Transformation Program, which will be similar to our current men's program at Michigan Avenue.

At Michigan Avenue, the kitchen has undergone a complete rebuilding of the floor, a necessary renovation which couldn't wait for (hopefully) the full renovations coming in the next few years. As our meals have increased, the need has outgrown our current kitchen. Also, the need for shelter for men has outgrown our men's dorm. We hope to expand both.

This is only to say that, while much has been accomplished in the past few months, there is so much more coming, so much more that needs to be done, so many more opportunities to reach a hand of rescue to those in need in our community.

But as we remain busy and looking forward to these changes, we also recognize that the foundation for our plans rest firmly in the Lord and in the faithful compassion of our supporters. As we celebrate 100 years of service, we look back with humility and gratitude at the legacy of generosity that has allowed the Mission to grow from a rented portion of a building to a ministry able to provide support and shelter to hundreds of men, women, and children every day. Because of you. Thank you for being a rescuer. Thank you for helping us help others.