From the Director ~ May 2024

Dear Friends,

We’ve been doing some spring cleaning around the Mission. Part of it is because we need to make way for the next round of new windows that are coming to our thrift shop on Chelten Avenue this spring. But there’s also something about the sunshine, the warmer weather, and the budding trees that makes it seem as if God were dusting off the earth, opening up all the windows and hanging bright, fresh curtains. It makes me want to spruce up my space, too. I think that’s a pretty universal feeling. It’s why we even have a phrase like “spring cleaning.”

As I write this, we have a little deep-cleaning competition going on among our residents in their individual living spaces up in the dorms (complete with prizes for the categories of cleanest, most organized, and best decorated). It’s been fun. In many ways, the spring cleaning that’s going on upstairs with brooms and sponges and rags is a picture of what God is doing inside the hearts and lives of men who have come to the Mission in need of some “sprucing up.” Entering the Mission’s community and sensing the warmth of relationships, remembering forgotten feelings of joy, or even experiencing small successes can stir up hope for the possibility of a bright new tomorrow.

Spring cleaning also has its challenges. If you’re anything like me, you may have found yourself at some point sitting in the midst of a mess, in the middle of project that you enthusiastically started but now have no energy to finish. You wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into, and you feel overwhelmed at the prospect of working your way out of it. It would have been easier to have just left everything shoved in the closet where it was! So it can be with our men and the things they are working so hard for. The path forward can get messier before it gets better. After enthusiastically diving into the hard work of life-change, it can get tough and feel a bit overwhelming. That’s where the Mission community of staff, fellow residents, volunteers, and friends comes in. We have the holy privilege of coming alongside one another to help and encourage each other, to cheer each other on towards the goal. You are part of that community, and we are grateful!

I was reminded yesterday of just how important our relationships are. A guest asked one of our residents what he appreciated most about the Mission and our New Life Program. Without skipping a beat, he answered, “The relationships. We really are like a family here. Everyone genuinely cares about each other. That’s what means the most to me.” I agree wholeheartedly. We couldn’t be that family apart from you. I am truly grateful for you and your continued investment in the lives and futures of our men and their families. Blessings to you and yours!

Grace and peace,

Heather L. Rice, D.Min.
Executive Director

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