Last November we held a banquet of celebration with the theme Restoration 365. Our goal for that banquet was to show people all the great work God has done, and continues doing 365 days a year. We’re here for the homeless and hurting 365 days a year, doors open to anyone who needs shelter and can abide by our simple code of conduct. There isn’t a single day all year that we close our doors and say “we’re done helping people for now–come back in a few weeks!” Our work is never done!
“For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’” – Deuteronomy 15:11
This verse is our constant reminder that our work is to open our hands to the needy. God has entrusted us with the resources of our community, and we are given the task of using them wisely and with discernment.
One of the men we worked with in 2014 is named Stephen. He came to us from the coastal region on North Carolina, after battling mental health issues his whole life. These issues resulted in strained relationships with his family. Stephen dropped out of school, has used drugs many times throughout his life, and has been in and out of prison. But when he found the mission, he was ready to make a change.
“While I was here I had the most peace I’ve had since I can remember,” Stephen said. “I could tell they care about me here. They helped me get to my doctor appointments and stay in touch with my other care providers and stay healthy.”
Stephen stayed with us for five weeks, then was rapidly placed in housing near the mission. He would still come by the mission a few days a week, attending chapel services, taking a few of the life skills classes, and eating meals with us.
“I started to think about God while I was here, and I remembered my granny taking me to church when I was nine and I got saved,” he said. “Nobody can handle me as it is—Jesus can handle me, though. The people here take the time to pray with me and read the Bible to me in a way I can understand. They gave me a Bible when I first got here, and I try to read it as much as I can.
“They don’t treat me like a number here. That’s why I like coming back when I can, and just talking to staff and the fellows here.”
Stephen’s story is a great reminder of why the mission was founded, and the power of God’s word to change lives.
“…so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth it shall not return to me empty but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:11
With the promise that God’s word will not return void, we look forward to many more stories like Stephen’s. Join us in praying for Stephen, as well as all our residents, past, present, future.