I lived in Philadelphia, sporadically, from 2007 – 2011. If I’m honest, the hardest decision I’ve ever made was leaving because I love that city so, so much. And a huge reason that I loved it was because of Helping Hands Rescue Mission, a small and little-known brick building in North Philadelphia where kids came to find some quiet.
It’s because of that place that I aspired to work at Denver Rescue Mission when I moved to Colorado. I wanted to work alongside the same demographic I was serving in Philly. I knew if Denver were to feel like home, I would need to work with the hungry and hurting. But I need to give credit where credit is due: my good friend Adam ignited in me a passion for the homeless that I didn’t know was there. For my four years in Philly, I spent every Monday working with his outreach, Philly Restart, and every Tuesday at the Mission with the kids. (This led to Wednesdays mentoring two young girls, Thursdays playing soccer with all the kids and Fridays taking them to professional basketball and soccer games.)
This week, an article ran on philly.com about Adam. It blew up my Facebook page as all my old friends from Philly shared it. This isn’t something new (see here, here and here), but it jogged something in my memory. I remember when interviewing him for a class sometime during college, he ended a recorded sound bite with this: “That’s what we’re doin’! Changin’ Lives!”
And here I am, more than five years later, working at a place whose Mission is just that: Changing Lives in the Name of Christ. Sometimes we question if God has us in the right place or if we’re walking the right path in life. Then, He gives us subtle indicators of His hand over us and His plans for us. Though it was and continues to be very painful for me to leave a place and group of people I love so much, it’s worth it to know and to be reminded that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.