July 2014 Newsletter

Each season has its highlights, but I think it’s safe to say that summer has more highlights than any other. As a child, the chance to spend three months without school is, of course, the best part of summer. Not to mention getting a sno-cone from Hills of Snow, or swimming in the neighborhood pool, catching fireflies after the sun goes down, or heading east to go to the beach. I could go on, but suffice to say–we love summer around here!

The mission is no different from anywhere else, and we love to take advantage of the warm weather. One of our faithful volunteers recently had a fish fry at the men’s shelter, and then hosted a “movie night” for the residents. Like anyone with a lawn, we have to mow our grass regularly in the summer months, so the men take turns making sure the grass is cut and the weeds are trimmed.

One would think, based on homelessness statistics, that warm weather means fewer men and women in our shelter. However, the opposite has proven true for shelters and rescue missions across the country, and especially right in Johnston County! Last year in June we had our highest count on a single night in our men’s division with a total of 26 men. This June has varied, but not been much different than average.

Just like each of us, the people staying with us have a story that has brought them to where they are. A wrong turn here, a bad decision there, or the lack of guidance and direction from someone who cares. There are many reasons these priceless image-bearers of God are here, but none are here by accident. We believe God brought each one of them through our doors for a reason. But that’s why we do what we do, 365 days a year, whether it’s hot, cold, or somewhere in between. We love sharing the story of Jesus and his plan for their lives. We love to share what it means to be a child of God, and how He can make them whole!

Along with the fact that June, July and August are three of the highest traffic months in our shelters, these months are also the three lowest revenue months of the year. The summer is a hard time for us financially, and we rely heavily on your gifts that come to the rescue of those in need. Your gifts help us keep the lights on, the water running, the food abundant, and the shelter facilities cool and comfortable in the summer. Every summer is a stretch for us and utility bills are much higher. However, God graciously provides so we can continue meeting the needs of those who are most desperate in Johnston County 365 days a year, but we couldn’t do it without you!

We thank you so much for your gifts of love and kindness. You are giving to Jesus and to ‘the least of these’ when you give to the Smithfield Rescue Mission and the results of your gifts truly are priceless. Each dollar helps people in need, and helps us make each season full of the simple highlights in life.

May the Lord richly bless you!

In Christ,

Ben Olsen
Associate Director

Hey Did You Know…?
Short-term homelessness rates are higher on average, at gospel rescue missions across the nation during the months of June, July, and August.
June, July, August, and September are the months when giving is at its lowest for us.
Nearly 10% of our clients are veterans of the armed forces.
80% of children below poverty will face hunger- especially during the summer months as there are no school provided meals
Last summer we gave away over 300 pounds of food to hungry men, women and children.
We take a holistic approach to recovery and care for the homeless- also helping them from the inside out.