In the midst of despair, people sometimes feel that hope is a long way off. But we’re finding out as we visit each rescue mission that it’s just down the road. Whether the mission is two city blocks long or a small storefront, many are finding hope and the first step towards a changed life. Many times it starts in the dining area – feeding the body and then moves to the chapel – feeding of the soul with God’s love! Here’s a glimpse of what we’ve seen and done on our way; sometimes spent with the kitchen staff, the volunteer staff, or the clients themselves. Each mission has been different and special in their ministry!
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, we served dinner with a group of Mennonite college student volunteers. The meal began with a devotional by Tim and a song by the college students.
In Oklahoma City we served close to 500 people ( men, women and children) in 1 ½ hours with a fun group of guys who we celebrated the Oklahoma Thunder victories with. In fact, the Thunder had just donated a new gym to the mission, complete with team logo.
In Wichita, Kansas, we were able to spend time with the men, listen to their stories, and look at their garden plots. For many, it’s the first time they have ever gardened and seen the fruit of their labor! It was a very full and responsive chapel time to the message of hope that evening!
In Omaha, Nebraska we experienced one of the largest mission facilities which are newly built on property two city blocks long. They just moved in two months ago and have one of the largest kitchens we’ve ever seen. We got to work along volunteers and staff there, as we cut celery and washed pots and pans.
Although there are many quality missions in Iowa, due to Tim’s scheduling mistake in Des Moines, we ended up in Clinton, Iowa, at one of the most exciting stories of mission growth . We took part in a service across the river to celebrate the ministry’s explosion as it has multiplied itself, not only in the U.S. but in 8 international sites. It was an inspirational time (in several languages) as we saw how the ministry to hurting people has expanded locally and around the world.
Then….in Dixie’s home town along the Mississippi River in Quincy, Illinois, we received a treat. The men at the New Start Rescue Mission wanted to serve us a meal instead of us serving them. This mission is fairly new and was the dream of a couple who bought a downtown bar and turned it into a place of recovery. When the owner died in a boating accident on the river, his widow and some of the men he has mentored, have kept the dream alive.
Just down from the Arch, in St. Louis, Missouri, we served and spoke at one of the oldest missions along the route. Founded in 1905, Sunshine Ministries is still going strong. When they found out we were from Arizona, they told us that when Kurt Warner was the quarterback of the Rams, many times he would pull up with a truckload of donations that would help during the holidays.
STORIES THAT INSPIRE
The surprise of the trip was in Marion, Illinois, where we stopped to visit Tim’s brother, Charlie (Chip). We found that he is helping out at a new upstart mission named “The Promise” at Motel Marion in a rough area. The founders, Pastor Dave and Peg, started by noticing the needy people in the area, bringing their horse for the children to ride, and then continued their ministry with hot dog cookouts, feeding the residents Thanksgiving dinner and a Bible study at Charlie’s fire pit. They now have their own mission building with a welcoming front porch to minister to those who need help the most. And to think..it all started with noticing a need and then doing something about it!
EVEN CHEAPER GAS: $3.05 along Route 55 in Hayti, Missouri
TIMES WE’VE CROSSED THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER: Seven
FAMILIAR P.A. ANNOUNCEMENT: “Number 29, your shower is waiting” – (spoken over the loud speaker at the Pilot Truck Stop)
BEST STEAK OF THE TRIP: (actually, only steak of the trip, but truly the best we’ve ever had) outside Dallas, Texas at David & Janet Neal’s, cooked by David himself with his “secret” marinade.
Thanks for taking this journey with us…
So….Catch the vision
Feel our heart
Join the movement
As we SERVE ACROSS AMERICA!