“But how can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust?
And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it?... The point is: Before you trust, you have to listen. But unless Christ’s Word is preached, there’s nothing to listen to.”
Romans 10:14-17 (The Message)
If a true change occurred in a broken life simply because one could set their mind to it, then it would stand to reason that education and sheer determination would be the ample elements to make it so. Our experience shows otherwise. God’s Word states: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)
“When I came to the Mission, I was a train wreck. I’m grateful for the Mission staff and volunteers for loving me through some very difficult times, including the death of my son, but it’s important to me that I give God ALL the glory. My relationship with Jesus is what matters to me the most. He has given me a strength I never knew was possible.” ~ Peter [Peter is currently in the Aftercare portion of the Academy program, employed by the FRM Thrift Store and Cars.]
It takes a period of time to come to understand this. As we, the Mission staff, continue to grow and build on our own relationships with Jesus, we likewise continue to share what we learn with the people we serve. We are honest with the men, women, and children who are in our care, reminding them that we are all in this together; growing and learning together. We each bring something wonderful and personal to this family of faith as we hope in Christ. His Truth doesn’t end or begin with us. Instead, He is alive in us and His Truth is lived out through us as we learn to lean on and trust in His glory.
“While I was enrolled in the program through RTC, I felt the love and peace that the Lord gives. I saw the Lord’s work first-hand in my life. But it was relationships – being mentored and then working alongside other staff members in the ministry – that helped me understand the love of Jesus. My relationship with Him has since blossomed.” ~ Celia [Celia Espinosa, a 2016 RTC Graduate. Today, Celia is employed as a House Manager for the RTC Community.]
To help facilitate spiritual growth, we present the Word of God through every educational stream within program curriculum and provide opportunities for each person to exercise what they are learning. Disciples are learning new ways to interact with each other, with family members, in work teams, or while paired with community partners assigned to special duties engaging in outreach (i.e. Habitat for Humanity), and with members of their home church, and FRM volunteers.
Betty has volunteered for Rescue the Children for more than four years. Each Saturday, she invites the children of RTC to participate in a late morning Tea Party, complete with special guests of the “stuffed” variety. For Betty, sharing the love of Jesus with children is an exploration into their young hearts and minds. She inspires ‘whimsy and wonders’ through playful interaction.
“The Tea Party...This was God’s idea, not mine. This is how He called me to help the fatherless and wounded. I have a sweet time with these little ones. They come running into the room, excited to hug their furry friends, pour the ‘tea’ (typically punch or milk), and enjoy a sweet snack. I love that they interact as friends, but I especially love that they are so quick to share their stuffed toys with new guests who come in. It’s a joy to see these kids welcome others in a way that would make Jesus smile.” ~ Betty
“Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14 (NKJV)
“There was a four-year period when I was in a stable relationship and living a sober life. My daughter was not quite three-years-old. I was performing my responsibilities as a mom as if it were scripted. I bathed her, fed and dressed her, and then sent her out to play. We kept a schedule and I kept pace. I thought I was doing a good job. When I started using again and my life was out of control, I remember thinking that I needed help. I just wanted to be normal. When I came to Rescue the Children I met Jesus. Life was not the ‘normal’ I envisioned. Instead, I began to notice the contrast from sober-mom to faith-filled-mom. Faith is new to me but alive in me! Because of that, I discovered I really do love my children. My daughter is nine and my son is two. I’m no longer living from a script. I find that I love playing and talking with my kids. We pray and read together. I don’t leave them to just be busy and entertained. Now I find that I enjoy playtime with them. The more I discover how much Jesus loves me, the more I want to share His love with them.
This journey is new to me, but I’m excited. I love the counseling and classes. I love being able to face my problems and work through them. Mostly, I love knowing that God has a plan for our lives.” ~ Elizabeth [Elizabeth is 26 years old. She has never driven a car. She has never been employed. What she has experienced is unimaginable pain. She came to Rescue the Children while still high on drugs, but she was determined to fight for sobriety and health as she arrived. Four months later, she is excited about the changes in her physical health and is celebrating her vital steps toward victory. Though it is too soon to share personal details about her life, we did want to share the hope she is finding as she learns to trust Jesus and take faith steps with Him.]
This story appeared in the August 2017 issue of Lighthouse News.