Posts by Aneta Storvik

Aneta's Bio

Aneta Storvik

Aneta was employed by the Mission in our PR Department for several years. Her last day was in 2015 and she now enjoys spending time with her family and new beautiful baby girl.

The PR Desk: The Journey

A few Fridays ago, I sat among 100 people to honor and celebrate Jeremiah. Jeremiah once sacrificed his family, his children and his well-being for drugs. His home was raided three times. During one of the raids, his son was taken away from him. The cry Jeremiah heard from his son that night is a cry that he would never forget.

His addiction cost him everything.

He tried to fight for his son, but the courts said Jeremiah was an unfit father and that he’d never see his son again.

A few years and other treatments later, Jeremiah found himself at Harvest Farm looking not only to find sobriety, but to change his heart. He sat there in Chaplain Jason’s office staring at a poster that highlighted all the people in the Bible that screwed up badly, yet God redeemed them. Jeremiah found hope in that poster.

A poster. A poster gave hope.

Don’t underestimate the power you hold to help change the course of someone’s life just like the poster Jason had in his office. That poster changed Jeremiah’s journey and restored relationships.

His father and sister drove 600 miles to celebrate Jeremiah and all that he has done. They got their son and brother back. And when Jeremiah rectifies a few more things from his past, he will be able to see his son – a son he was told he will never see again.

Encourage someone on their journey. Give them hope. Love them well.

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Jeremiah

The PR Desk: Love Thy Neighbor

If you keep up with the Mission then you may already be aware that we had a groundbreaking event for the Lawrence Street Community Center.

Groundbreaking events usually aren’t impressive, but this one blew me away. Maybe it’s because we ended it by singing together about our great God, or because it was an image of community together. Maybe it was hearing Michael’s journey from addict to homeless and then to manager at a Goodwill store after coming to the Mission.

Regardless, the Mission’s groundbreaking event gave life to the words love thy neighbor.

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The PR Desk | Sober Friends, Sober Dads and Sober Grandpas

Frank's daughter, Frank and Bob (a Mission chaplain)

Frank’s daughter, Frank and Bob (a Mission chaplain)

I spent my morning at Harvest Farm celebrating Frank’s new life. The room was filled with mostly men who are also in pursuit of a new life. When Frank first came to the Program, he was angry and battling an alcohol addiction. He had lost his faith and left relationships behind. He tried rehabs before, but nothing seemed to work until he came to Harvest Farm.

The journey wasn’t easy for him. There were days he didn’t want to be there, but those days would pass and he would cling to the hope of a better future—where he is sober, reunited with his family and walking in step with God’s plan. During the graduation ceremony, Frank spoke about his journey and other men in the Program said encouraging words and shared memories.

A flood of hands went up for the opportunity to share and voices chocked back tears as they spoke about Frank and his new found life.

“Remember that you’re not done. There’s a whole new life ahead. A great one,” said a fellow New Life Program participant.

“I missed my dad and now I have him back. The Farm didn’t just help him, they helped our family,” Frank’s daughter shared.

“It’s important to connect with the other guys here on the Farm. We need each other and Frank took the time to encourage others,” said another fellow New Life Program participant.

“It was a privilege to watch you go from angry to a man full of joy,” a Mission employee gladly shared.

“What we now have in common is that we will be sober friends, sober dads and sober grandpas,” said yet another fellow New Life Program graduate.

That’s when tears streamed down my face. Here are men who faced some of their worst days, who are now friends loving each other through better or worse. These men are starting over, and they can’t wait to find sobriety and peace again—but they need each other.

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7th Annual Last Waltz – Revisited Concert Benefits Denver Rescue Mission

Seven years is a long time in the music business, but that’s how long “The Last Waltz” concert has been coming back to Denver with incredible local musicians featuring Polytoxic.

In 2005, the popular local jamband wanted to create a show that would feature all their friends in the Denver music scene. They decided to re-enact The Band’s “The Last Waltz”, a 1978 concert film by Martin Scorsese that included greats like Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. That first concert at Dulcinea’s sold out in minutes and the rest is history. 

They now play two shows – one at the Boulder Theater (Nov.18) and the other at the Ogden Theatre (Nov. 23). Both concerts are just prior to Thanksgiving and have become a pre-holiday tradition for many. Concert goers have supported the Denver Rescue Mission over the years whether they knew it or not. 

This year, you can help feed the hungry and homeless by bringing canned food to the Denver show.  Anyone who brings seven cans or non-perishable items will get a free limited edition concert poster.  A portion of the show’s proceeds will also benefit the Denver Rescue Mission.  It’s a great way to start your Thanksgiving weekend!  

For information on the concert visit www.facebook.com/TheLastWaltzRevisited.

Discovering the Reality of Homelessness

Last Thursday night, over 200 people discovered the reality of homelessness at the Denver Rescue Mission’s annual banquet through Mike Yankoski’s, author of Under the Overpass and Zealous Love, personal account of living on the streets.

This year’s banquet was relevantly titled, Evening of Exploration as both speakers Mike and DRM’s graduate, BJ Swenson, shared their testimonies. Tamara Banks was the event’s emcee and was honored to introduce the incredible men with their remarkable stories.

Tamara Banks

Mike was up first to speak. When Mike was just kid he never had to face the reality of what it meant to go to bed hungry or not to have a comfy bed to sleep in. He also never thought that he should help anyone in need. That all changed when he was in high school and a few of friends introduced him to Christ. Mike finally realized that poverty was no longer an abstract idea, but it was a person – it was reality.

He started exploring what it looked like to respond to homelessness and poverty and this is where his journey began. A friend, Sam joined Mike in research and planning to prepare for their five-month journey of living on the streets. It started at the DRM’s Lawrence Street Shelter. For 30 days they lived among the homeless and New Life Program candidates. Mike was the cook alongside program candidate, Timothy. Through Timothy, Mike understood that Rescue Missions provide hope and redemption. Timothy would still be on the streets or even dead if it weren’t for the Mission.

Mike Yankoski mingles with guests at the Evening of Exploration.

I won’t ruin the rest of his story, but it’s worth mentioning that Mike emphasized we should have ‘active, real love.’ It’s about love that does not make anyone invisible – even man sleeping on the bench. It’s about making eye contact with someone, and maybe even talking to them over a burrito.

Following Mike, BJ Swenson, a New Life Program graduate, told his humbling story about what it means to run with a purpose. BJ began running away from himself for 15 years. In those years, he became an alcoholic and reliant on drugs, he strained his relationships and found himself homeless a few times. In 2009, he entered the New Life Program at The Crossing and there he found healing, peace and belonging through the message of Christ.

Today, BJ is no longer running from himself. He is now running with a purpose to prove that you can do anything through Christ. BJ has run three marathons and 9 half marathons. BJ says that he himself is not remarkable, but that he now has a remarkable story to share.

BJ Swenson and family at the Evening of Exploration.

Thank you to both Mike and BJ for inspiring all of us with your words!