Friday, June 23, 2017

All this and a box of Kleenex...

The other day, a guest came to meet with our discipleship dorm coordinator and handed her a box of
Kleenex. Her explanation for the Kleenex was that she'd used so much, she felt she should give back some of what was taken. As part of the discipleship dorm, this guest was experiencing mentorship and personal growth as a result of classes and counseling offered by the Mission. At a recent presentation, Gina, our discipleship dorm coordinator, then used a box of Kleenex, along with a Bible, as examples of the hope the Mission provides to guests. So many guests come to us with needs far greater than just food and shelter. Psalm 147: 3 says that God "heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." These greater needs are why the Mission offers counseling, classes, and extended stay opportunities for guests who want to know more about the transformation and the peace found through the love of Christ. Gina then went on to describe the Mission as planting seeds in the lives of guests, and the reality is that those seeds are watered with tears--although they are no longer tears of sorrow but rather tears of joy at the possibilities ahead. Thank you, fellow rescuers, for helping us offer food, shelter, and--most importantly--hope to those in need!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Refuge for the Broken

I've been thinking a lot lately about broken people. Working at the Mission doesn't necessarily mean that I see more broken people, but it does mean that their wounds and scars are more open, more obvious. These are people who have come to a place where they can't hide any more. Often, we assume that the only "broken" people are the ones standing on the street corners, holding signs with slogans designed to evoke a generous response. But there are broken people everywhere: waiting in the line at the bus stop, serving your dinner at a restaurant, bagging your groceries, standing next to you while you wait to pick up your child from school. These broken people may be homeless...or they may not. The reality is that homeless people are just people. The thought that the only homeless people are the ones living on the fringes of society is an antiquated one.
There is a well known group discussing the "invisible people" who are too often purposely avoided in busy cities, the homeless and the "derelict," the addict or the mentally ill. But there is a large number of homeless in our community who are "invisible" because they walk among us. Many times, their "homelessness" is a symptom of their brokenness: broken relationships, broken health, or broken bodies. Still, they live their lives every day, experiencing many of the things we experience, facing the same challenges, yet with the increased obstacle of the search for a second chance, an opportunity for time and help to mend the breaks. Your gifts offer them that second chance. For all those who seek refuge at the Mission, whatever their story, whatever their background, thank you for enabling us to offer food, shelter, and hope to women, children, and men in need. Thank you for being a rescuer!

"The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit." Psalm 34:18