I’ll never forget eating at the Mission 32 years ago, when I first began as the Executive Director of the Rescue Mission and the only employee.
In 1982, it was a real soup kitchen in every way with a typical dinner consisting of day old bread and a simple, unexciting bowl of soup. I was told by the former director that making the soup was part of my job description. Although I never did make the soup (I had taken the job to help people, not hurt them), I always made sure someone did. We never had any meat for the soup, but I have a distinct memory of a local butcher who sent us a box of pig’s feet. I remember the men gnawing at them, excited to at least have something that resembled meat. We were thankful.
God has blessed us abundantly since then. Today, we serve over 650 meals every day including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We are able to provide full, hearty meals of chicken, potatoes, green beans, bread, desserts, etc. Such substantial meals were unheard of all those years ago.
Although the meals, among countless other things, have changed by leaps and bounds here at the Mission, one thing has remained the same – the bread of life. The unchanged gospel was offered alongside a bowl of soup back then and it is still offered today.
John 6:35 says, “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.'”
We continue to be thankful for both the physical and spiritual nourishment we are able to provide for our guests. And if we ever need to serve only a bowl of soup and a slice of bread again, the Bread of Life will continue to satisfy men’s souls.