Thursday, May 31, 2012

They Match

The 3-6-5 Photo for this week is a photo of Shelley, who works in the women and children's shelter, and a young guest who was excited because her pink shirt matched Shelley's Mission employee uniform. I love this photo for the tenderness and affection it shows. Shelley, as a mother, can treat these children as a caregiver while still showing the structure that children desperately need. In the case of this young girl, and too many children in our shelter, there is only her mother to give her the guidance and care she needs. This can be very difficult for anyone, when they are solely responsible for such an important task as raising a child. We are grateful for the opportunity we have, while our guests stay with us, to give them added support and encouragement from women who have raised children of their own. This support and encouragement is just one more aspect of the shelter we are able to provide because you help us help others!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pretty as a Princess

The story behind this picture, recently chosen as the Mission's 3-6-5 photo for the week, is of a birthday. Three hundred and thirty nine kids called the Mission "home" in 2011. Meaning that when that last school bell rang those same kids packed up their backpacks with books and homework and headed for the Mission.

While that image can be colored by despair, we try instead to capture that spark of real life that exists and continues regardless of the location. There is an undoubted and unarguable sadness at the thought of a homeless child. But at the Mission, there is also joy. Some of the greatest sources of that joy are the children who stay here.

In this case, the young girl looks like every other young girl celebrating her special day. She's wearing princess jewelry and coming up with her own accessories (whiskers out of pipe cleaners). Her world is not what we might consider "the normal one," but she can still have excitement and joy, because your gifts enable us to provide safety and security for all who find shelter at the Mission. Thank you for being a rescuer and for helping us help others!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Emily's Prayer

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about prayer and, to me, Emily Dolton (whose photo was chosen to represent the Mission for our 3-6-5 project this week) is a great representative for prayer. Emily Dolton founded the Mission with her husband over 100 years ago. She and her husband Thomas, like most Mission founders, were reaching a hand of help to familiar faces. Emily was raised in the knowledge of Christian things but, as an adult, made self serving choices. One of those choices was to marry a man who hated the restrictions of Christianity and loved "laughter" and "fun," the same as she did. He also loved alcohol. When their children were born, Emily began to take a look at her life and realized that her priorities had changed. She returned to her Christian heritage and discovered a personal relationship with her Savior. Thomas' feelings on her decision were negative. Her response was to pray. For ten years, she prayed for her husband. Being a firm believer that God always answers prayer (either yes, no, or not yet), I can see why Emily continued steadfast in prayer, never giving up on her faith or her husband. Now knowing the rest of the story, we know that Thomas did come to accept that "Jesus Saves," and his newfound passion for that truth led to the founding of City Rescue Mission of Lansing. For the rest of his life, Thomas would faithfully serve the Lord in this ministry to "rescue" the lost and hopeless. And Emily served at his side until he passed away in 1942. She continued to minister at the Mission until her own health declined, but she was able, daily, to witness the power of prayer, not only in her life but in the lives of those impacted by the Mission. Her prayers made a difference to her husband and family, and they continue to make a difference today, to every man, woman, and child who comes to the Mission and receives rescue. Thank you for helping us continue the work begun by the Doltons over a century ago. Thank you for being a rescuer and helping us help others!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Twila at Work

This week, the 3-6-5 photo chosen to represent the Mission as our profile picture was "Twila at Work." Twila is the daughter of our director of maintenance. She is a living example of the transformation that happens when God uses the work of the Mission to change the hearts of those who come through its doors.  Twila's father was saved at the Mission, graduated the program, and met his wife at the Mission. We have the opportunity to see her grow and enjoy seeing her shadow her dad.