Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chalk Truth: Jesus Saves

Paul admonishes Christians to conduct themselves with simplicity and godly sincerity (2 Corinthians 1:12). For 100 years, the Mission has sought to do just that, present a simple message, pure and unadulterated by enigmatic words and skillfully turned phrases. The photo chosen to represent the Mission this week as our 3-6-5 project proclaims that simple message, the words that fill the sign that has lit the night above the Mission for seven of the ten decades of the Mission's existence.
We specialize in hope, beyond mere food and shelter, and in a world that can be, at times, hostile to the message that "Jesus Saves," we pray for the strength and the ability to continue preaching that simple message, without artifice or pretense. After all, that is the message of Rescue. As a reporter once said, more than forty years ago:
..."[Homelessness] is a life that degrades. That robs a man of his dignity, his energy, and his self confidence, and very often leads to a tragic end. This does not have to be the case, however, and the proof of that is the building behind me and what goes on inside it."
Thank you for enabling us to continue meeting physical and spiritual needs, as we seek to reach out to our guests with "Words of Life."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mission Manna

Once again, the City Rescue Mission of Lansing had the opportunity to participate in the BWL Annual Chili Cook-off. Since 2008, the Mission has been giving people a chance to sample "Mission Manna" at the cook-off.  The photo chosen to represent the Mission as 3-6-5 photo of the week was of one of cooks, Candy, preparing a batch of Mission Manna for the cook-off. Candy's chili was featured in the corporate category, and Abby, our kitchen manager, prepared meatless chili. Both chilis received awards, and, best of all, we were able to spread awareness of the Mission and the quality of work we are doing among homeless and low income men, women, and children in Michigan's capital area.
One of the difficult challenges of Mission work is that of public awareness: informing the public of the role we play and breaking the stereotype of what Missions and their guests are like. Not only does the cook-off give us the opportunity to meet this challenge, it also allows us to participate in a community event. We are a very active part of the community and feel blessed to be able to serve, here, in the heart of our great state.
Thank you, fellow rescuers, for helping us help others! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Power of Joy

CRM Centennial 3-6-5 Photo 6-7-12
Today, there is a lot of emphasis on happiness. "Do what makes you happy." I remember being taught as a child that there was a great difference between happiness and joy. We were taught that happiness was fleeting and rooted in temporary circumstances, while joy is deeper and lasts because it is based on something else deeper and more lasting than temporary circumstances.
The children at our shelter, logically, have very little to give them happiness. But it is a blessing to see how often they have joy. That joy comes because their lives, in spite of often being empty of material things, are full of love. Not just the love of family but also of the staff and volunteers. We are here to provide more than physical needs but to show the love that God has for each of them.
The 3-6-5 photo for this week is of a little boy who is undoubtedly happy but who is also experiencing a moment of joy, because of the compassion of others. He's not been given a "priceless" possession for him to keep but rather a moment of far greater value, a memory that he can hold onto. A memory of a time when people came together to show him that he, too, was of great value. Cared for and protected. Sheltered.
That's what we do. That's what we can provide every day because of our fellow rescuers, who give so faithfully to help us help others.
Thank you, for the opportunities you provide for us to give the gift of joy. Thank you for being a rescuer.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"Mission: Play" 5K

CRM Centennial 3-6-5 Photo 6.1.2012
Late summer of 2011, the South Lansing Kiwanis met with CRM staff about the possibility of building a new play area at our women and children's shelter. As our playground equipment is outdated and difficult to find replacement parts, the Kiwanis (whose main focus is children) wanted to provide a new, safe place for our young guests. This play area would be divided into two, age-specific playgrounds. The project also included new safety fencing separating the play area from the parking area and providing decorative fencing facing Maplewood Avenue. The South Lansing Kiwanis goal to purchase/build the play area was $24,000. In less than a year, these diligent Kiwanians raised over $28,000, especially thanks to Lake Trust, who provided a matching fund of up to $12,000. Some of that money was raised through a "Mission: Play" 5k, undertaken by one of the South Lansing Kiwanis members. A photo of one of our staff participating in this event was chosen to be our 3-6-5 photo for the week.
Lansing Kiwanis came together to cover costs and to build the needed fencing. We hope to have the new playground in use by the end of July. Please keep this project in your prayers. Having provided shelter for over 330 children last year, we are excited to have a safe place for them to play and to enjoy the sunshine.