Easter Posts

1,000 Happier Feet This Easter

Easter Banquet Banner

As the Denver Rescue Mission staff member who oversees all of our events and corporate engagement, one of the best parts of my job is getting to see the greater community of the Denver area come together to make a difference in the lives of our guests and program participants. Hands down, my favorite event that I get to be a part of is our annual Easter Celebration.

The Easter Celebration is all about restoring a sense of dignity to men and women by providing a holiday meal and a clean pair of socks and shoes. In addition to a new pair of shoes, they enjoye an Easter chapel service, a traditional Easter meal and the opportunity to have their feet washed and examined by a podiatrist. This year we were fortunate to distribute nearly 1,000 pairs of shoes.

Easter Banquet 2017 Shoes

Our Easter Celebration wouldn’t be possible this year (or any other year for that matter) if it weren’t for our corporate partners like Runners Roost Denver and New Balance. As ambassadors of the local running community, perhaps no one understands the value of clean socks and new shoes like the teams at Runners Roost and New Balance. They have served and partnered with us on multiple occasions for our Easter Celebration. Each year, they are willing to not only donate shoes, but also to come and serve at the event to help distribute the shoes to our guests.

I have been honored to work with Runners Roost and New Balance in previous years. I’m always struck by their graciousness, willingness to say ‘yes’, desire to serve those in need and just how “on the ball” they are in regards to communication, efficiency and partnering with us. It’s so awesome to me that these companies believe in: our community; providing and restoring dignity to those Denver Rescue Mission serves; and building community in their own organizations through service opportunities like these.

 

If you are a part of a company or your company is looking to partner with an organization to help make a lasting change in the lives of those in need, please reach out to me at JLittlejohn@denrescue.org. Let’s start the conversation and see what kind of change we can make together!

Spiritual Journeys Come in All Shapes and Sizes

The main reason I chose to intern at Denver Rescue Mission was because I wanted to grow spiritually. The thought of being surrounded by other Christians in a professional work environment really appealed to me. I prayed to God that my time here would change me for the better. My prayer was answered, but it did not come as easy as I thought it would. It took time and a lot of getting out of my comfort zone.

Being a double major in journalism and international relations, I interned with the public relations department. I was loving the work that I was tasked with, my supervisors and what I was learning. Everything in the department was going well. It seemed like God had answered my request to grow professionally, but not spiritually. What was going on?

I realized that although I was working in a Christian environment that did not mean I would experience spiritual growth right away. So, I prayed and well…everything changed.

Denver Rescue Mission interns Ashley Montano and Shannon Stewart

Shannon Stewart (pictured right) and I formed a close friendship interning at Denver Rescue Mission

One day, out of nowhere, I ran into a fellow intern in Denver Rescue Mission’s administration building named Shannon. We talked about how our internships were going and about life in general. Before you knew it, phone numbers were exchanged and a friendship was formed.

Shannon introduced me to all of the other interns. We prayed before meals, encouraged each other and it pushed me to want to build an even stronger relationship with Christ. This was the complete opposite community that I had during my college years. It was refreshing and I noticed that I was happier, overall.

 

 

 

The spiritual journey did not stop there. I was able to volunteer at Denver Rescue Mission’s Easter Banquet on Good Friday. I was expecting to be moved, but I did not think that I would come out changed. As the homeless sat down, there was a look of sadness in some of their eyes. When I brought them their warm plates of food, there was a sparkle in their eyes. In that moment they were being taken care of. In that moment they felt safe.

Guests worshiped together in Denver Rescue Mission's chapel before enjoying their Easter meal

Guests worshiped together at Denver Rescue Mission’s Easter service

I then journeyed down to the chapel where our guests were able to sit through a church service. As I walked in the middle of it, I noticed that some people started to cry when the pastor told them that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and He loved them. I kind of lost my control and shed a tear as well. I was sad that these people were in such a vulnerable position in life. I was moved by the fact that Christ still loves them and that he could change their situations. It was at that exact moment that I connected with Denver Rescue Mission as a whole.

This organization saves so many lives through all of the programs that it offers. I also witnessed this at Champa House when I shadowed an intern there. Champa House is a nurturing place for single mothers that shelters and cares for up to nine women and 20 children at one time. Observing how the moms have a strong desire to change their lives was astonishing. It was shocking considering the hardships that they went through. Some of them said that only through Christ were they able to find that will to change.

I have seen how Christ was working through all of the employees and interns at the Mission. I am so happy that God answered my prayers. I learned that it is important to put yourself out there in order to gain experiences. I believe that this experience changed me for the better. God changed me for the better.

God may not have answered my prayers the way I expected him to… but I’m glad he caught me of guard.

If you’re looking for your own spiritual journey, learn more about interning at the Mission at www.denverrescuemission.org/internship.

Easter Devotional // Spirit of Hope for a Season of Change

Written by Lon Gregg, Spiritual Director at The Crossing

Earlier this month a visitor — a lady whose son is in serious trouble with addiction — stopped by to tour The Crossing, Denver Rescue Mission’s transitional living facility. She came out of motherly instinct; she wanted to find help for her boy, and had heard stories about the Mission.

The woman later wrote to thank us for the tour. Her comment: “The feeling of HOPE was almost tangible in that place” (her words and emphasis, verbatim).

Of course, places like Denver Rescue Mission are designed for hope. How can people change without it? We’re glad she sensed it at The Crossing and we’re glad we have it to offer. Everybody needs hope: her son needs it, she needs it, we all need hope, and we need it every day. What joy to have a place where we can give it away!

In this lovely season, when we’re celebrating the resurrection of our Savior, we have every reason for hope. New life is budding everywhere after the long cold of winter. People are outside, soaking up sunshine after huddling for months, wondering at times if warmth ever really existed! And of course, the empty tomb of Easter, Christianity’s cornerstone, breathes hope into many a hurting soul, hope that God can still reach down and touch the deep hurts of the world.

Of course, true hope is more than just wishing. If it’s founded on good reasons, hope becomes something more like “expectation.” Any young man will hope more firmly for a car his dad promised if Dad is a millionaire. And our lady visitor can hope almost tangibly for redemption for her son when she hears the many stories of transformation for which the Mission is justly famous.

Mine is like those stories. I found a new life many years ago at Pacific Garden Mission, a mission in Chicago very much like the Denver Rescue Mission. In my own case, I had wandered away from a good family and prospects, but at the mission I found a hope that has endured the decades since, including the two decades (plus) I’ve spent serving in Denver. And the years have steeled my hope into expectation. I would be foolish not to recommend the Christian hope to everyone!

I hope for you that this season may bring you a refreshed hope. May the good graces of Easter touch and fill you with all the joys of new life. And may that joy endure!

 

Guest Post // The Dream

// Written by Joe Mudd – Denver Rescue Mission foot washing volunteer //

Over the past few months I have had this recurring dream that while walking down town Denver I came across this older man sitting on the curb. I felt compelled to go over to him and asked if I could wash his feet with the water bottle I had been carrying. He said yes and began to cry as I washed his feet….. I would then wake up with this wonderful feeling that God was pleased with me.

Over the past year my heart has been stirred to get out of my comfort zone and just focus on loving people and helping them on there spiritual journey. I am open to wherever and whatever God has in store for me. I must admit, it’s a little exciting preparing for a journey that I have no idea what it is.  I do know as long as I seek Him…. everything will turn out just fine.

___________________________________________________________

//John 13: 12-17 //

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Foot washing from Denver Rescue Mission’s 2012 Easter Banquet

Denver Rescue Mission, Volunteers of America and Runner’s Roost Denver are partnering to feed approximately 600 homeless and low-income men, women and children this Easter. The 20th Annual Easter Celebration at the Lawrence Street Shelter will be held on Friday, March 29. Worship, communion and foot washing are offered out of humility and love. Each guest receives a new pair of shoes and socks, with the option of a foot exam administered by medical professionals.