Friday, February 24, 2012

All Creatures Great and Small

This week, our 3-6-5 photo highlights the fearlessness of a little boy named Elijah as he confronted Azan, a rather large dog. Don't get me wrong, Azan really is a walking teddy bear. Our executive director brings his (can I say gigantic?) chocolate labradoodle to the shelter, and most people eventually give his head a pat. And Azan loves the attention. He loves to be loved. However, in many cases he can look our young guests in the eyes, and his teeth, yeah, they're intimidating. But Elijah was fascinated by this "creature" that walked into his world on four paws and settled onto the floor like a rug. He actually thought Azan might be a rug and tried laying on him a few times. Then he wondered what was hiding inside the giant toy to make it move, but gazing inside Azan's mouth didn't reveal anything more than a long red tongue.

The truth was that Elijah's fearlessness came from a state of ignorance. He didn't know that big things, like Azan, are not always as nice and forbearing as Azan happens to be. Elijah trusted that he was safe and would be protected. It's fitting that his name means "My God is the Lord" and comes from the fearless (most times) prophet Elijah in the Old Testament. Elijah doesn't yet realize that there is such a thing as homelessness and shelters or poverty and want. He trusts. A simple, fearless faith that we should all emulate.

Praise the Lord, Elijah and his mom have a home of their own now. And we pray that it will be a house blessed by faith in "the Lord is my God" and fearlessness that God will always protect them.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Life Transformation

The recent expansion at our women and children's shelter (coming up on a year!) allowed us the opportunity to provide a Life Transformation Program for Women. We are excited at this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of women, and we have been blessed with our first "applicant." Gina, our women's program manager, is very dedicated to this new responsibility, and her excitement and enthusiasm for the ministry is contagious. Please keep both staff and our guests in your thoughts and prayer. And please continue to pray that those in need of the Mission and the truth we represent will have the courage and determination to take that first step on a journey toward life transformation!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Feeding the Multitudes

Over the past few months, the Mission has been working on our Centennial 3-6-5 project. The idea for a 3-6-5 project did not originate with us, but we are grateful to be able to use this idea as a tool to show our supporters (fellow Rescuers) the work the Mission does on a regular basis. Each week, seven photos are chosen to represent that week in the "life" of the Mission during its 100th year of service. Staff and those who visit the Mission's page on facebook are able to "like" and comment about the photos of the week. The photo with the most comments is chosen to represent the Mission as the profile pic of our page on facebook.

This past week, the photos have all been of drawings done by some of the children who stay at our women and children's shelter. Too many people are unaware that the Mission actually provides shelter to men, women, and children. And the reality is that we are currently providing shelter to more women and children than men. (Last month, for example, we had 153 different women and children stay at our shelter.

The theme of these photos included Jesus walking on the water, self portraits by the children, and the feeding of the 5,000. Our executive director works with the children every Wednesday evening and had the opportunity to help teach them this story about God's provision.

One of the great things about this story, and the photo that was chosen, is how it represents what the Mission does every day. For 100 years, we have existed solely on the faith that God will provide. Last year, we served 118,000 meals, and we could only do that because people were moved with compassion and donated funds and food. These "Rescuers" were an answer to prayer, our prayers and those of our guests.

Thank you for helping us help others. Thank you for being a Rescuer!