We Always Have Room!

always-room

Here are a few simple ideas that you can use to help bring our homeless and hurting neighbors in from the cold.

SPREAD THE WORD

Each of Boise Rescue Mission Ministries’ facilities serve meals to our hungry and homeless neighbors every day, even to those who are not staying with us but still need our assistance. Help us spread the word by carrying some of our meal tickets in your glove compartment. These tickets have all of the information a person needs to connect with the Mission’s shelters. They are available for download from BoiseRM.org/media, or you can call 208-343-2389. We would be happy to send them to you.

REACH OUT

Help us reach out to those in need by sharing our invitation to everyone to come in from the cold; to warm up and have a good meal at our table and to rest easy for the night.

Once we have provided for these basic needs, we work hard to connect these men, women, and children with the resources they need to address the root causes of their homelessness. Whatever it is that caused them to be homeless, we offer numerous programs to help them recover.

Whatever you decide to do, please remember to take precautions for your safety. The unfortunate truth is that some people living on the street are criminals and fugitives from the law. So be prudent. Stay where other people can see you and don’t take unnecessary risks.

PROVIDE AN ALTERNATIVE

Consider what alternatives you could provide to money. It is a sad truth that, too often, well-intentioned gifts are converted to drugs or alcohol. So think about a small act of kindness that meets an immediate need: a hot cup of coffee on a cold day, a bottle of water, or even bringing carry-out from a restaurant and sharing it with them. You could also provide gloves, socks, tissues, or a granola bar, things that are easy to carry with you and give away.

VOLUNTEER

One of the best ways to get started helping homeless people face to face is to volunteer at one of our shelters. As a volunteer you can learn from those who are already making a significant difference in the lives of our guests on a daily basis, as well having the perfect opportunity to share your talents and encourage the people we serve.

PRAY

Do you find it true sometimes that the most powerful tool we have at our disposal is the one we are tempted to dismiss as not quite enough? When you encounter someone out in the cold this winter, pray for God’s physical, mental, and spiritual protection over them. And know that your prayers are what God will use to bring many of the broken to Himself.

DONATE HERE TO HELP OUR HOMELESS NEIGHBORS COME IN FROM THE COLD

I’M NOT WHO I WAS

jefferey-and-girl-front-page-webThere is this incredible moment at the end of each of our New Life Program (NLP) graduations when Rev. Bill Roscoe, BRMM President, invites the family and friends of the graduates to come forward to stand with them.

In the minutes that follow, a beautiful picture begins to develop of how far reaching the impact of your generosity truly is. The graduates that you have helped through the New Life Program are parents and grandparents, sons and daughters, friends and co-workers. What starts as just a few people in front of the stage quickly multiplies to what I can only describe as a joyful mass of people filled with excitement for the future.

In May 2014, Jeffry was one of those NLP graduates. He had come to our Lighthouse Rescue Mission a year and a half earlier, sick, addicted to drugs, and, as he says, he was angry!

He tells me, “I used to be mean all the time to everyone. Mean and angry! I was in gangs and using drugs and angry at everyone, including God, for all the bad things that happened to me in my life.  The drugs were making me physically sick and crazy in my head, and I was a terrible person.”

But Jeffry is not the person he used to be!  “It’s true! I’m Not Who I Was is my favorite song. It reminds me of how far I have come and to keep moving forward. I’m not the same as I was.”

We talked to Jeffry in March of 2014,  and you can read the details of his story on our website at BoiseRM.org/march-2014-newsletter, but today we want to tell you that, when you touched Jeffry’s life, it was the beginning of something so much more than just freedom from addiction.

Jeffry has become an invaluable friend and employee at The Rescue Mission Thrift Store since it opened last year. Last week, he celebrated his fourth year free from drug addiction. And he realized another dream of his last month when he went on a mission trip to Ecuador.

“The staff at the Mission and my pastor were asking me the question, ‘How can you help somebody now?’ So a year ago, I decided this is the way I can help someone else, to sponsor a child with Compassion International. I have been sponsoring Mileidy ever since then, and I got to meet her on my trip to Ecuador.”

Jeffry says, “It is important because I want to make sure she has food in her house, medical care, and is able to go to school. And I want to help her to know God. I have so much love for her, I can’t describe what meeting her was like.

“God gave me a chance to redeem myself; another chance to show people how God’s love can work in their lives too. Many people don’t realize that He gave His life for us. He did that so we can have a better life; a future and a hope. When I came to the Mission, I found out that is what He did for me.”

Just two gallons of milk; exactly what we were praying for!

One of the many different names of God found in the Old Testament is “Jehovah-Jireh”. The name means “The Lord Will Provide” and, if I’m not mistaken, is first found in Genesis 22:14. This is the passage where Abraham goes up on Mount Moriah to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Abraham gives the above name to the place when God provided for him the ram to be sacrificed in place of Isaac.

Over and over again in the Scriptures we can see where the Lord provides…for the Israelites, for the saints, and for the poor and the needy. On a daily basis across our ministry, we get to see how the Lord provides. From monetary donations to in-kind donations (i.e. clothing, food, household items, hygiene products) to people giving of their time to volunteer in some capacity. God uses readers like you to provide the needs we have and enable us to continue to touch the lives of those who reach out to us.

15289138_10153981715891316_5937026348213381833_oAs mentioned above, one of the ways many are touched by the work we do is through our food ministry. What a blessing it is to see the thousands who are touched by this outreach. One meal
goes a long way.

Well, on the subject of God providing, I recently experienced the Lord provide a simple need of ours – milk. Yes, a product that many of us don’t think twice about. Well, when it comes to serving cereal at our facility, we could easily go through several gallons. It was a Friday, and the plans were to serve oatmeal and cereal at our breakfast the next morning.

When we went to our cooler to see what we had on hand by way of milk, it was noticed that we were down to 1 gallon. OK. Down to one gallon. Milk is roughly $2 a gallon, so spending $4 – $6 wasn’t a bank breaker, if you know what I mean. We already had “milk” listed on our marquee as a need, so I told our food services staff that we should pray that some comes in. At the same time, I was planning on going to the store right after lunch to get some milk should none have come in.

As I was getting things together to go run some errands, including a stop to get some milk, the food services staff informed me that 2 gallons of milk had just been donated. WOW!!!! Talk about a quick answer to prayer. Our need for the planned breakfast was met. And how awesome it is to think that the individual that dropped off the milk was used by God to meet our need.

This happens over and over. And maybe, just maybe, the next time could involve you.

Chris Ellison
Director, Lighthouse Rescue Mission

Something Big to be Thankful For

It is a week of Thanksgiving for all of us and here at the Mission we have so much to be thankful for.  But, the nature of what we do sometimes causes us some heartache as well.  It comes in many different forms – watching people make the same bad choices over and over, watching them turn their backs on the people who are trying to help them and so forth.  One of the worst is when we fall in love with a mom and her child (or children) and suddenly she leaves with them.  Sometimes we know what happened to them, sometimes we still even have a relationship with them.  But sometimes they just vanish and we are left wondering and praying that they are ok.  And we miss them.  And wait.  And hope.

There was a little girl several years ago who was one of our favorites.  Abruptly her mother left and took her.  Quite a long time passed and we were left wondering.  We kept praying and God answered because we got a call a few weeks ago from her because she was missing us too!  She is now in the care of a guardian who agreed we could be in contact with our young friend.

And even better, I happened to be in the town where she now lives and her guardian let me see her.  It was a balm to my heart to see her big smile and how much she’s grown.  Even more amazing, one of my relatives is one of her elementary school teachers!

When I got home after seeing her that day, she called me.  We chatted a bit.  She reminded me her birthday is coming up.  She reminded me who her favorite sport teams were.  I got a good list for birthday/Christmas.  She said she misses us.  We miss her.  It was a wonderful reunion.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for many things, and a big one this year is the gift of being reconnected with this sweet girl and knowing she is safe.

Early on a Tuesday morning

This morning, I gave one of our former guest services ladies a ride to the hospital.  She’s having much needed back surgery and needed to be there very early.  It was nice that she felt she could reach out to us for help after many years.

After I got her safely to the hospital, I drove through a fast food restaurant to get breakfast.  One of our current guests was at the window and handed me my breakfast.  She gave me a dazzling smile and a big greeting.  It was really sweet to see her working hard and obviously proud of what she is doing.

Before 8am this morning, I got to see two of our Mission programs in action:  our “safety net” where we try to become a Christian family to our former guests so they can call on us if they need us, and our Work Search/Accountability program.  The people who come to us are capable and full of life to give to others.  The Mission enables them to contribute to the best of their ability!

Jean Lockhart Chief Operating Officer

Through their lives, I am encouraged

“All to Jesus I surrender.
All to Him I freely give.
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence daily live.”

These are the lyrics to the first stanza of Judson Van DeVenter’s hymn “I Surrender All”. Judson said, “The song was writ­ten while I was con­duct­ing a meet­ing at East Pal­es­tine, Ohio, in the home of George Seb­ring (found­er of the Seb­ring Camp­meet­ing Bi­ble Con­fer­ence in Seb­ring, Ohio, and lat­er de­vel­op­er of the town of Seb­ring, Flor­i­da). For some time, I had strug­gled be­tween de­vel­op­ing my tal­ents in the field of art and go­ing into full-time evan­gel­is­tic work. At last the pi­vot­al hour of my life came, and I sur­ren­dered all. A new day was ushered in­to my life. I became an evang­el­ist and dis­cov­ered down deep in my soul a tal­ent hi­ther­to un­known to me. God had hid­den a song in my heart, and touch­ing a ten­der chord, He caused me to sing.”

As it was with Judson Van DeVenter, so it was with me and my relationship with God. The moment came in my life when I realized that I needed to surrender my all to Him and to trust in His saving grace through the placing of my faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. When I did, a new day was ushered into my life.

This surrendering of one’s self to God in order to usher in a new day occurs at the mission as well. Men and women across the ministry are faced with the decision of either continuing doing things their way or surrendering their lives to God, trusting in Him to direct them down a bright and hope-filled path. I am encouraged when I see men here at the Lighthouse surrender themselves to God. I hear it in their voices. I see it in their faces. I witness it in their lives by the decisions they make. Through their lives, I am encouraged to continue down the bright and hope-filled path that God has laid out for me. In fact, I am challenged to live my life, day by day, for the Lord.

My this be a challenge to you to get to know some of the men and women whose lives have been surrendered to God. And may this be a challenge to you as well – if you haven’t done so already – to surrender your all to God.

Chris Ellison Director, Lighthouse Rescue Mission

When Desperation Became Hope, You Were There

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German Chocolate Cheesecake! If you attended this year’s Top Rescue Chef competition, you got to experience the baking talents of our friend, Harry. If not, take my word for it, his desserts are a treat worth showing up for.

I’m always amazed at the way God works to bring people to us who, not only are desperate for the help we offer, but are destined to become members of the family of God and of our Rescue Mission family.

Harry is someone we have cried with, prayed with, and celebrated with. He came to us desperate for someone to help him escape his addiction. The way he found us was a miracle orchestrated by God, and the fact that we were here when he was ready to seek help, was due to your faithfulness in supporting the Mission.

Harry tells me his alcohol and drug use started with the sudden death of his younger brother. “I don’t take death very well. My little brother, who was in the army, died suddenly during a PT exercise. It hit me hard and I just got angrier and angrier. I started drinking, then using marijuana, but when I started using crack cocaine, I knew that I was in trouble! I gave in to it and, from there, everything just spiraled out of control in my life.

“Every time I had a choice to make in my life, I made the wrong one and I would hit a brick wall. It would knock me down and I kept getting knocked down over and over again for almost 30 years until, one day, I physically broke down.

“I fell to the ground crying and begging God for help. Then, for some reason, it came to my mind to search online using the word ‘intervention’. That search took me to the website for the show Intervention.

“I called them out of desperation. I was in tears and I called and called and called until finally a lady named Susan responded. I sat on a bench outside the VA crying while I talked to her, and at first, I think she really thought that I was playing around, that I was just trying to get on the show. But I told her, ‘No, please, I just need someone to tell me where I can find help.'”

The staff of Intervention gave Harry the contact information for our River of Life (ROL) Rescue Mission, and he says, “I called the staff at ROL and everything just fell into place. I knew with all my heart that this was where I had to be.

“I remember they told me I needed to download an application. As I was filling it out, there was a question about whether or not I was willing to consider accepting God in my life.  There was no hesitation; I was ready to get my life on the right path. I got on a bus to Boise from Florida three days later, and there has been no turning back since.

“Once I was here, everything started to fall into place and I finally realized Who had been picking me up all along.  All those times I hit that wall and got knocked down, it was God who was helping me up. I had never read the Bible in my entire life, so it took me coming here to learn who He is and about the love that He has for me.

“After I graduated from the New Life Program at ROL this spring, I remember being asked what I wanted to do. I really love to cook for people, so that’s what I said. A few days later, I got a call, ‘Guess what? You are our new cook at River of Life!'”

Harry says it is a blessing to him to be able to cook for the people who come to the Mission for food. “I just want to give them a decent meal. They are all struggling, and when they come in here, it’s the only quiet time they have, instead of being out in the hustle and bustle of the streets.  I want to make them feel loved and to help them know that there are some people in this world that do care for them.

“I am so grateful that God led me here. When you are trapped in addictions, it is such a dark place, just filled with despair. I was desperate, and I found hope that I could escape from that despair thanks to you. I am so blessed now, and I want so much to be a blessing. Thank you!”

Hope Will Always Live Here!

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It’s contagious! Smiles like this on the faces of the babies, the kids, and the moms we serve every day at the Mission,
confirm that we are on the right track. You can see by the look on her face that this precious child of God
is in the presence of love and hope.

Dear Friends,

How I thank God that He has allowed me to serve here at Boise Rescue Mission Ministries in the most generous community on the earth. At the beginning of this month, I made an appeal to the community asking for financial help. We were facing a serious financial shortfall and, as I thought and prayed about that, I felt led to tell the community of our need and to ask for help. God heard our prayer, our community responded with overwhelming generosity, and the crisis is past.

At the Mission, we are serving about 1,000 meals each day and providing over-night shelter to 375 – 400 men, women and children each night. But we also know that emergency food, shelter, and clothing, are just the beginning; the introduction to the life- changing opportunities we can provide for those who really want help, but need hope that it is possible to change their lives.

Because our donors and volunteers, we can truly say that hope will always be found here. It is found in our conviction that people’s lives can be transformed in a way that can turn their longing for a better future into a reality. It’s found in our belief that, with God on your side, all things are possible.

And it’s found in the faithfulness of our donors, who make sure we have what we need to invest deeply in people whose lives are broken and seemingly hopeless. That investment comes through the programs you make possible:

  • New Life Addiction Recovery Program
  • Veterans Ministry Program
  • Mental Health Services
  • Trafficking Victims Emergency Shelter
  • Transitional Housing Program
  • Kid’s & Teen’s Programs
  • Work Search, Accountability, and Life Transition Programs
  • GED and Learning Center Programs

The programs and services found at the Mission, for the most part, are not duplicated in the Treasure Valley. So, if we could not provide those services, there would be a lot of people with no place to go for help.  But, thanks to the generosity we have seen from our community, the people we serve don’t have to worry about where they will find the help they need.

Our donors make a lot of good things happen every day, but one of the biggest blessings comes when we see how their care and compassion supports our staff as they work on the front lines of our ministry, demonstrating the power of God’s love to everyone they encounter.

Our staff’s commitment is seen in how hard they work to build trusting relationships with our guests, and to find out what barriers to success and independence each person faces.

Another kind of blessing comes when everything connects and we get to see that our labor has not been in vain. A guest, a program member, a veteran, someone who came to us in desperate need, begins to share the love and hope they have found with another who is desperately seeking the same thing.

This very thing is happening right now in one of our shelters. A guest, who has multiple seizures every day, came to the Mission for help and we were able to connect him with the medical attention he needs. But, it is what is happening at the shelter that really moves me. The men, staff and program members, have a plan to do everything possible to keep this man safe and comfortable, and to help him maintain his dignity.  When a seizure  happens, everyone springs into action; one with a pillow to protect his head, another ready to dial 911, someone clearing the space around him so he doesn’t get hurt, and another praying and talking him through the worst of it.

I am so grateful that this man is here, in the safety of our shelter, and not on the street, under a bridge, or on the Greenbelt struggling to survive. I am also grateful for these men – staff, program members, and program graduates – who are so willing to respond to the needs of the people around them. In many cases, they are confronted daily with heartbreaking struggles of their own, but, having experienced the power of Christ’s love and compassion in their own lives, they are quick to share it with others.

Most of all, I’m grateful for you. This all happens because of what people like you have given to the Mission. We do not accept any government funding; the Mission is entirely dependent on the compassion and generosity of people like you who make all of our services possible. So, once again, I would like to say thank you, my friends, from the bottom of my heart.

In His Service,

Rev. Bill Roscoe
President/CEO