As I’m writing this, we’re experiencing some beautiful Spring-like weather that almost makes me forget about the long winter that came before it. Every season has its perks, but Spring makes me more optimistic than any of the others. It’s a time of new life and renewal, which makes sense when we remember the biggest holiday of the season, Easter. Each year we are reminded in the Spring that Christ died and rose again to bring us new life, and each year the Smithfield Rescue Mission has the privilege of sharing this good news with homeless men, women, and children.
The story of Christ takes on a different sort of meaning when you look at it through the eyes of someone who is homeless, or suffering with an addiction. Many of these people have heard time and again that they’re a lost cause, and nobody or no thing could help them. But followers of Christ know this isn’t true! Our Savior has changed us, and He can change anybody who puts their faith in Him! It is this truth–that through God, all things are made new–that we share with our residents.
We’re entering one of our busiest, yet dryest, seasons at the mission. It’s busy because we find that many more people are looking for shelter in the summer than in the winter. This might sound surprising, because you’d think people are looking to get out of the cold more than the heat. But what many people don’t realize is that landlords are less willing to evict someone during the cold winter months. So in the spring and summer we see a lot more people who couldn’t pay their bills come to the mission needing shelter, food, clothing, or all of these.
But the spring and summer are also our dryest months because we receive fewer donations during warm months. There are a variety of reasons for this, but the need remains the same. We tighten our belts a little bit more during these months, but pray that our story and our purpose will spur others to give. Every donation of food, clothing, or money goes a long way in helping.
Over the years thousands of people have given of their time, talents, and resources to help make our job possible. We are eternally grateful to each one of these people, and to every prayer that has been said for us. God has used this community to change lives and share the transformative Gospel to people in their darkest hour, and we are excited to continue doing the work that He has set before us.