Author - Laura King, Director of Development & Public Relations
A gentleman found his way to our office not to long ago that was so broken. His voice cracked and trembled as he began to explain his situation to the case manager. This man was not just down on his luck...he had been beat down by life. A succession of life crisis' had left the once successful business man completely broken, homeless and lost for more than a decade.
At one point he simply said, " I'm so lost, I need a place to call home...I need a purpose again". While I don't even begin to think that I know what it's like to be in his shoes, I can identify with him. I know what it it is like to feel completely lost in life. I was my mother's caregiver for many years and eventually walked through her battle with cancer until she passed away. I was also broken, lost and needed a purpose. I didn't know what to do with myself and by the end of that journey I bore so many scars and wounds that I didn't think God would ever be able to use me again.
Like this man, I was drawn to this place called the Ministry Center. I felt drawn to this place where there were other broken lives and shattered dreams....this place where I could belong the way I was because I didn't fit anywhere else. He came in looking for hope and purpose...so did I.
Today, as I sit here in the office, I hear the door bell ring, the chatter of volunteers, Mike's mound of keys jingling down the hall and I am in awe of all that God has done and I am thankful. I am thankful to my Creator who is still working on me. I am thankful that He dropped the vision of a Ministry Center into someones heart. I am thankful for the broken lives that continue to come through the doors looking for hope and purpose. I am thankful for the Jesus that meets all of us broken individuals here every day and binds our wounds in a way that only He can.
By Laura King - Director of Development & Public Relations
A week or even a day at the CMC never looks the same. We meet so many families and individuals all seeking relief from the present crisis that has them bound. The needs are as different as the stars in the sky.
There is one particular young man that I can't get off of my mind this morning. He stopped by looking for a food pack and a couple of articles of clothing last week. I remember my first encounter with him almost 2 years ago... He had come to the Storehouse for food. We had a conversation that involved the Hubble Telescope and Quantum Physics. I quickly realized I was in way over my head.
This young man is special but the world doesn't always see that. Many times people are afraid of him because...well he isn't like them. He dresses different, he struggles in public situations and battles some mental illness. The guy we have had the pleasure of getting to know is one of the most gentle and loving human beings I have ever encountered. I have seen him refuse services because there are other people in need. He is so soft spoken that sometimes I have a hard time hearing him.
He came in last week to get some basic needs met and in turn he met some of our basic needs. Kathy (who runs the front desk) had been taking care of him and asked if she could pray with him before he left. He said yes and then prayed a beautiful prayer over her and the CMC. This young man loves Jesus and it is evident in so many ways.
The mission work that takes place here is amazing but some days are hard. Some days you wonder if God made a mistake because you feel so unqualified to be here . Some days the needs that come through the door are devastating and it drains you until you are empty.
Then God gives you a day like last Wednesday. A day where the very ones you are serving lift you up and pray strength and blessings over you. God knows our every need from food and clothing to us needing encouragement and having life spoken into and over us. We often say that we are broken people serving broken people. Jesus showed me again last week how much he loves us...all of us.
I am thankful for this place, I am thankful for the lives that serve here and I am thankful for the beautiful souls that come through the door. I am thankful that I encounter Jesus walking among us, meeting us where we are and showing us what love really looks like.
Author, Sara Wilson - CMC Case Manager
Last week something amazing happened that I just wanted to share. I received a call one evening from another staff member, informing me that there had been a client at the Storehouse that was asking about a pair of steel toed work boots that she needed in order to start a new job on Monday.
The Storehouse helped get the client connected to the CMC office and on Friday when the doorbell rang, I recognized who the lady was. She told me that she was checking on some steel toed boots. A friend of the CMC had purchased a new pair of boots and dropped them off. As soon as she laid her eyes on the newly bought shoes, she started to cry, not believing that someone could care enough about her to do such a nice thing. I sat down on the floor in front of her and slowly helped get her ragged tennis shoes off so we could try on the boots. By the time she was laced up and trying them out, the tears flowed heavily and her praises revealed that she recognized God's faithfulness in providing these boots so that she could go to work on Monday.
She was putting some food and water in her backpack when she reached inside and pulled out a piece of cardboard that read, "Please help me. I need a pair of "steal" toed boots for work," written on it. She said that where she had been standing, several people had stopped and rolled down their window long enough to shout at her that she had incorrectly spelled the word "steal." They then rolled up their windows and drove away. Her pain was acknowledged, but instead of trying to help, they drove away. She didn't want money. She didn't ask for food or even a place to stay. She simply needed a pair of boots for work on Monday.
That day was different for my homeless friend who was reminded of the faithfulness of God. One look from God in her direction was all she needed to realize that she is precious to Him. Not only is He good to give strength to the weary that come inside, He is good to allow those of us whom are called to serve a glimpse of Him each day.
One part of the Lord's prayer reads, "Give us this day, our daily bread," and I don't think that Jesus was talking about food in particular. I think that moments like these are the bread that we need to sustain us. Reminders of His faithfulness, goodness, love and compassion. That's the real life sustainer because when it comes from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we have all we really need.