What is Love?

What is love? A difficult question for most people, let alone men and women who have experienced a a fair amount of trauma and abuse. Yet, these men and women are learning what love looks and feels like when God is a part of their lives. Some are early in their journey. Some are deep in their truth of what the Bible says about love. February, and every day, we celebrate God's love for us and how we can walk that out in our own lives by loving like Jesus loves.

"Love is an action. God IS love. God sending his only son to die for us .. is love. Something as simple as a smile can represent love."

Michelle - Graduate of Phoenix Rescue Mission

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Tom - Graduate of Phoenix Rescue Mission

Tommy

"I didn’t know what love felt like. All I knew was hatred, shame and guilt. I didn’t realize until I came to the Phoenix Rescue Mission and actually received Jesus Christ, my personal Savior, and turned my life over to God, what love feels like. And now its like a feeling in my heart all the time. It’s amazing. I care about myself again, I care about everyone around me. The way the Mission and the staff adopted me as family. That feeling you get, it’s crazy. I don’t have problems anymore. It’s a good feeling."

"Love is selfless, and takes a lot of sacrificing of your own desires."

Tiffany - Graduate of Phoenix Rescue Mission

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Stephen - graduate of Phoenix Rescue Mission

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"This is a good week to talk about love. When I think of love, I think of 1 Corinthians 13. What is love, what is the picture of God's love for us? Love is patient , love is kind. Love keeps no record of wrongs. It does not boast, it is not envious. And looking at 1 John also, perfect Love casts out fear, if we don’t know God, we don’t know love."

"Past experience with love hasn’t been the greatest, but a lot of that is because I didn’t have a relationship with God. Now that I do, it’s kind of re-learning everything through His eyes, His perspective. That’s where I’m at right now. I’m still learning a lot."

"Love means home. With my kids, it’s home, family, my babies. That’s love to me. Here at the Changing Lives Center, my kids aren't here with me. So I often go to our daycare on campus, and spend time with the kids. I feel an abundance of love there. It’s unconditional. This is my home right now, I feel safe and I feel love from Christ. Love from God is overpowering, just all-consuming, joy, smiling, happiness. It puts me at peace. My relationship with God now is the strongest it’s ever been. I feel God’s Spirit, that’s love."

Michelle - Client at Changing Lives Center

Michelle-Love

Brandon - Graduate of Phoenix Rescue Mission

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"Love is an unconditional acceptance and a yearning to be with someone or something. Love has no bounds, there are no stipulations as to how I can give it to someone or something."

"This is what I have sought for in love. When I think of love, I think of my mom. She showed me the most love, forgiveness, encouragement and just enjoying the company of others. That’s where I learned what love is. Enjoying and wanting to invest all of yourself regardless of cost."

"Love is to be fully known, yet accepted. Unconditionally."

Sala - Graduate of Phoenix Rescue Mission

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GCU Gives Back for Holidays

Kassandra Elson couldn’t believe she was watching a Grand Canyon University women’s basketball game on Tuesday night. She described her participation in the partnership between the Lopes and the Phoenix Rescue Mission (PRM) as “crazy’’ because less than a year ago she was incarcerated. In her case, the Christian-based PRM is aptly named.

From left, PRM residents Kassandra Elson, Katie Diercks, Courtney Kinnear and Holley Kirk surround PRM Donor Events and Engagement Coordinator Nikki Smith (center).

“I came to Phoenix Rescue Mission from prison,’’ Elson said. “My outlook on life was really hopeless. I just knew that if I didn’t do something immediately that I would end up back in prison, so I came to their Changing Lives Center praying that there would be some kind of hope there for me. Now things are going well. I am a leader on the campus and I am doing things that I never thought I would do.’’

Cheering for the Lopes had never been on Elson’s radar.

“It is crazy to think I am coming to something like this, a GCU basketball game,’’ she said. “This is how I am spending my free time rather than doing things that put me in prison.’’

As fans placed toys into the boxes in the lobby of GCU Arena, Elson reflected on her childhood as the oldest of six children in a low-income family.

Donations of toys and games will be distributed at the Winter Wonderland on Saturday.

“I totally understand. I know that not having that great of a Christmas really affects your life, and you remember that stuff forever,’’ she said. “So the fact there is a toy drive to help people get presents for their children is really great because the children will remember something different than just having a poor Christmas.’’

Along with collecting toys, games and household items for PRM’s Winter Wonderland, GCU and PRM were united by Jesse Dalla Riva, who gave a compelling pregame prayer.

Dalla Riva overcame drug addiction and homelessness through PRM.  He has worked at PRM full-time the past four years while majoring in counseling with an emphasis in substance abuse addiction at GCU.

“I was motivated to give back to the community that I was once part of in that I am addict myself,’’ said Dalla Riva, who plans to graduate in April.

With his wife, Blake, and their 19-month-old son, Jaxson, looking on, Dalla Riva prayed for the students and the athletes, adding, “God, I pray for all of those who are suffering and in need tonight.’’

Jesse Dalla River offered the pre-game prayer as his wife, Blake, and his son, Jaxson, watched from courtside.

“It was a real surprise that they asked me to lead the prayer,’’ he said. “I didn’t expect it and I was really happy to do it because of what this school has meant to me along with the opportunities they offered me and my family. ‘’

The connection between GCU and the Christian-based PRM was further strengthened by a halftime video that shared PRM’s mission. In addition, Nikki Smith, Donor Events and Engagement Coordinator for PRM, urged the GCU community to make donations.

“Unfortunately, a lot of our children have come from traumatic situations,’’ she said. “Some of them are hopeful for Christmas, but others are not. They do not have high expectations for what might be under the tree, so something like this gives them hope. It lets them know that other people care that they matter. It is a joy to change a child’s life and perspective, so it is a big gift.’’

GCU women’s basketball fans Mike Carley and Sue Hunter happily donated toys and dish cloths.

“Anywhere we are we try to make sure we help out,’’ Hunter said. “It is just part of what we do.’’

A GCU women’s basketball fan makes a donation for PRM.

The toys, games and household goods, which will be collected until Thursday, Dec. 13, at Building 71 (contact Sue Boyle) and Building 26 on the main campus, (contact Debbie Accomazzo), will be distributed on Saturday at the Winter Wonderland, where parents can “shop” for their children.

Smith summarized, “Events like this go a long way to giving people hope and helping them to transform their lives.’’

 

 

There’s only a few days left to make your Arizona State Charitable Tax Credit donation!

 “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  ~Luke 6:38

If you give a gift to the Phoenix Rescue Mission by December 31, 2018, it may be given right back to you after you file your Arizona State taxes.

Through the Arizona State Charitable Tax Credit also known as the Arizona Working Poor Tax Credit, you can give a tax-free gift and help provide meals and care to those who are hungry and homeless in our community.  If you itemize your tax return, your donation to Phoenix Rescue Mission may qualify you for a dollar-for-dollar tax credit. Just donate to the Mission before December 31, 2018 and use our Qualifying Charitable Organization QCO Code 20549. The Phoenix Rescue Mission will send you a receipt of your gift by mail. Then, when you file your Arizona States tax return, you can receive a tax credit of up to $800 when filing a joint return or $400 when filing an individual return (using form 321)*. Best of all, you will be helping to feed and clothe men, women and children who rely on the Mission’s services to make ends meet.

Your end-of-year gift will help us close the gap on the unprecedented demand for our services.  Would you please make an online gift today? If you have already donated, please share this with a friend so they too can take advantage of the Charitable Tax Credit.

As 2018 comes to a close, we humbly thank you for your faithful support of those we serve at the Phoenix Rescue Mission.  Your generosity is helping change lives year-round!

Peace and Joy,
Jay A Cory
President & CEO

* Please visit Arizona Department of Revenue for more information and seek the advice of a tax professional to determine if you qualify.

 

 

 

 

Are you a healthy giver?

Are you a healthy giver?

How you can make a REAL difference this Christmas

During the giving season, more than any other time of the year, we all want to help our fellow brothers and sisters. But are you a healthy giver?

That’s a question we all need to ask before we hand our next $5 bill to someone on the street.

Jerome Parker, of the Healthy Giving Council (of which Phoenix Rescue Mission is a part) is doing his best to get the word out ahead of the crowds this holiday season. “We urge people to not give money or food on the street,” says Jerome. “It’s much more helpful to direct them to an  organization that already provides meals, clothing, and recovery programs set up to close the gap between those who are homeless and permanent housing.”

It may seem counter-intuitive, but feeding someone on the streets does more harm than good. It often leads to discarded trash in our neighborhoods (53 tons of it was collected off the streets between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year) and enables the homeless to avoid help for one more day. It even changes the way we think about the people we are hoping to help. “Street giving and feeding puts us in a frame of mind,” he says, “where we begin to see the homeless as less human. If we’re honest, we know that burger or dollar bill we hand out isn’t going to change  anything.

We do it to make ourselves feel better. We need to ask: Is what we are doing bringing this person closer to, or further away from, ending their homelessness?”

Here are a few easy ways to be a healthy giver!

  1. Hand out the enclosed Rescue Referral cards instead of food or cash when you see someone in need. Including a $4 bus pass is even better (bus passes can be purchased at most gas stations and grocery stores).
  2.  Help provide food, clothing, spiritual guidance, addiction recovery, counseling, education assistance, job training, and so much more by supporting the efforts of the Phoenix Rescue Mission.
  3. Become a volunteer by visiting prm.volunteerhub.com and give your time and energy by serving with us on the front lines.

 

Together, we can make a real difference in the lives of the men and women we see on our streets this holiday season!

Download your own rescue referral cards to print at home by clicking the image below.