A Father’s Day Gift: Will & Amy’s story

Will and AmyVolunteers at the Mission are close and dear to us. Their generosity helps the Mission feed, shelter and provide Christ-centered Life-transforming solutions. We witness the blessings of our Mission’s clients every day. And so when we learned about the blessing received by our Mission volunteers, we made sure to share with you this very special father and daughter story.  

Amy Roberson was adopted as a baby and learned in July 2012 that Pastor Wil Russell was her dad. It was a reunion full of emotions, but perhaps the most shocking revelation was that they both had been volunteering at Phoenix Rescue Mission for several months prior to finding each other.

Amy, 24, began volunteering in Phoenix Rescue Mission's kitchen in March of 2012. She donates her time on a weekly basis to prepare and serve food to the homeless. Pastort Russell began volunteering at the Mission in April of 2012 and now serves in the ministry full-time. But it was not until July that they realized their special connection.

Amy had tracked down some relatives, which led her to one of her nine siblings. When she called her father, she asked to speak with "Andrew."

"That's my middle name, and no one has called me that for a very long time," Pastor Russell said. "I had been praying that she would come into my life, and receiving that phone call was as if God said, 'I heard you.'"

The two met the next day for breakfast where Pastor Russell recounted how life in his 20s was a "train wreck" and how he turned his life around and now helps others who are struggling with addiction and other life challenges. After a long talk, he said he needed to leave as he was scheduled to serve at the Phoenix Rescue Mission. Amy was stunned as she told her father that she volunteered in the Mission’s kitchen.

"When I first began volunteering at the Mission, I instantly felt like I needed to be there," Amy said.

Her father, who began volunteering in the Mission's kitchen but then moved to teaching Discipleship classes, agreed, adding, "I felt the same way. The Mission became home away from home."

My hope is that this has served as an encouragement to you to get involved in some way. God only knows what sort of transformation you’ll experience as a volunteer with us.

Please be sure to watch Amy and Will's story by clicking here to activate our YouTube video.

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