Sometimes people ask me “how are things going at the mission?” I’d like to answer with something really exciting like, “Jesus dropped by yesterday. He fed lunch and we didn’t have to cook a thing. Then He cast demons out of a couple of schizophrenics. It was awesome!!” However, to answer more honestly, here’s a few high notes of what’s going on as of the writing of this blog.
We have a brand-new laundry room at Gateway Rescue Mission. Kevin, a.k.a. “Hambone” is our Petty Laundry Officer First Class. When I popped into the laundry room one recent morning, Hambone was a tad irked because someone had mixed their darks and whites, resulting in some stains. I don’t remember who gave Kevin the nickname “Hambone”, but it stuck.
Hambone takes his job seriously and does it well. He was raised in an orphanage and came to Gateway a while back. Hambone is representative of a lot of people who come to Gateway Rescue Mission. He has issues, but put him in the right spot and Hambone makes a solid contribution to society.
A new laundry room won’t make the evening news, but we’re proud of it nonetheless. We’ve needed one for several years, but things lined up right this summer to construct a new laundry facility that will meet our needs for the present and future.
We’ve also purchased a new truck for picking up furniture and assorted donations for our Pearl Thrift Store. Don’t know if they’ve named the truck yet, but I suspect a moniker will be forthcoming. We put lots of miles on our vehicles picking up donations of various kinds. Aristotle, our laid back donation-picker-upper and route driver, went through our New Life Program recently and is now gainfully employed with Gateway.
I recently grabbed breakfast with Ford Mosby, President of our Gateway Board of Directors. We’re in a season of strategic planning and regularly break bread to discuss our future direction. We’ve got a dedicated board of directors and they work hard to make sure Gateway stays on the right path. Board stuff doesn’t make for front-page news, but without our faithful Board of Directors, we would be like a ship without a captain.
I broke up a yelling match in front of the mission the other day between two gentlemen with a disagreement. They didn’t teach us how to do that in seminary.
We’ve kept the road hot this summer between Gateway and Trustmark Park, home of the Mississippi Braves. The Braves graciously donate leftover concessions to our mission, for which we are deeply grateful.
Now that I think about it, while Jesus hasn’t dropped by in person this summer, He’s here every day in Spirit. Jesus told us that He would send a Helper to point us back to Him. We see evidence of the Holy Spirit when someone raised in an orphanage has a place where he belongs; when lay ministers come to Gateway and preach the good news to the poor; when someone who came here in trouble now gives back and pays taxes.
Yes, Jesus is here at Gateway Rescue Mission. The idea that the Messiah, holy and blameless, cares deeply about the dirty and broken is at the very heart of the Gospel. Our laundry room is nice. We’re kind of proud of it. But a day is coming when all those who have come to Jesus at Gateway Rescue Mission won’t need a laundry room because “though your sins be as scarlet, they will be as white as snow.”