Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17
I would like to tell you about James, one of our volunteers who is dedicated to this ministry and is a true example of a new life in Christ. James volunteers in many capacities, mostly as a Resident Assistant(RA), deskman, and van driver.
While at the front desk, James covers many tasks – answering the phone, taking messages and registering new guests. As an RA, one of James’ favorite tasks is getting to share the Gospel with our guests so he is the first to volunteer to lead our lunchtime devotions.
James comes almost every day to volunteer at the mission, but when asked why he does all of this, he says, “I want to give back what the Lord Jesus gave to me, a new life in Christ.”
James is always willing to give his testimony, he’ll tell you, “People look at me like I have it all together. I have a beautiful apartment, I have a very important position here at the Mission, I wear the uniform of Resident Assistant, but it wasn’t always like this. You see, when I tell the homeless guests that I was homeless too, that I came through these same doors, and how I trusted the Lord, I get their attention. Most guests say, ‘No, not you.’ Oh yes, I was broken, hopeless and homeless, they all want to know my story…
I first came to the Mission after my wife passed away in 2008, I couldn’t take the grief of her loss, and found myself at the bottom of a bottle – I lost everything. I stayed here at the Rescue Mission, but left after a short time and bounced from program to program. I felt I had no hope, no purpose in life – that’s when the Lord brought me back to the Mission in 2012. During my registration, the intake coordinator said to me, ‘James, the best way to help yourself is to help others. Why don’t you join our Volunteer Extension Program, (VE) and start training as an RA/Deskman?’
This was the start of that new life Christ promises. I found myself ministering to others who were going through the same issues I went through. I was able to show the men that anything is possible. If I can do it, there is no reason they couldn’t.
The Mission’s intake coordinator assisted me with housing, and in late 2012 I got an apartment at South Mall Towers. I continued to volunteer at the Mission, but not on a regular basis. I noticed the more I stayed away from the Mission, the more I would isolate, and this got me into trouble. After a year on my own I relapsed, but again the Mission was there for me. I started to attend the New Life Program’s group and Bible study, worked with the pastors, and started volunteering on the desk and as an RA.
I really feel that God has me right where I need to be, volunteering each day at the Mission; I know that’s where all my support is, all my friends and fellowship are right here. The Lord has given me everything I need, everything that keeps me strong, ministering to others is definitely the best way to help myself. I love volunteering at the Mission, I love the people, the guests, and I love what the Lord has me doing.”
We love James. He is one of our beloved servants here at the Mission.
David Poach, Sr.
Director of Admissions