The Ripple Effect

One way or another, God's work leads to new life.

Ken was a success story in progress...

It had been a whirlwind couple of months for Ken. First, he had reconnected with his estranged brother, Randy, after more than 10 years, only to discover Randy had been homeless for a while. Then a few weeks later, Ken was evicted from his apartment and became homeless himself. When the brothers decided to pool their resources and rent an apartment together, Ken showed up on move-in day but Randy was nowhere to be found. Sitting in front of his new apartment bewildered, he was approached by a stranger.

“This guy comes up to me and asks, ‘What’s up?’ and I don’t know him from anybody so I say, ‘I don’t know.’ And at that point he says, ‘I take it that you don’t know what’s happening.’”

The man was our recovery graduate Rich Heitz, the driver of our newest Hope Coach. He explained that he had met up with Randy on the streets and that Randy was currently enrolled in Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Men’s Recovery Program. Randy had asked Rich to meet up with his brother and explain what happened.

“I was in shock. It sounded to me like my brother had abandoned me. So I took my stuff and told Rich, ‘Goodbye! I’ve gotta walk.”

Ken went to live in the river bottom in lower Buckeye, but Rich continued to keep in contact, hoping to convince him to leave the streets. Nothing Rich said seemed to have an effect, until he approached Ken one day with sad news – Randy was in hospice.

“I got to talk to him one last time. He told me that he was sorry for leaving, but that he had to do it. He passed away shortly after.”

At Phoenix Rescue Mission, we believe God’s work never returns void. This was a perfect example of the ripple effect of God’s love in action.

“That was a wake-up call for sure. I knew in that moment I needed to turn a corner, find something better. I called Rich and told him to sign me up.”

Ken enrolled in our Men’s Recovery program. He accepted Christ and was baptized on June 18th!

Ken wasn’t the first to benefit from the ripple effect and he won’t be the last. You may have heard about a young man named Joshua Staggs. He had been homeless in Goodyear for five years, until a partnership between Phoenix Rescue Mission and the Goodyear Police Department started a ripple effect of its own.

“He was a heroin addict and used meth,” says Officer Martinez. “We had many prior encounters with him. He was one of our frequent flyers.”

But that soon changed. In September of last year, Goodyear PD formed a special “Homeless Outreach Team,” comprised of Officer Martinez and Sergeant Ward, designed to offer resources to the homeless.

“We go out and look for individuals on the streets or in camps. Together with Phoenix Rescue Mission, we offer them hygiene kits, water, shoes, and clothing. The ID vouchers are the most popular, that’s a door-opener. Once we started the homeless outreach and began offering Joshua resources, he decided to go to the methadone clinic to try to kick the drugs.”

Nine months later, Joshua was back on his feet, off the streets and living in his brand-new home.

“Phoenix Rescue Mission helped him a lot with transportation, with bus passes and actually driving him to get his ID. From what he tells me, it was that feeling that somebody cares that helped him decide to make the change.”

That’s more proof that when you meet people where they are, there’s no telling what God can do or how many lives you’ll transform. Thank you for the support that’s making big waves in our city!

Help Stock the Pantry!

We're running low on food - our neighbors need your help!

It’s 110 degrees outside. Turkey dinner with all the trimmings is probably the furthest thing from your mind right now. But the holidays are right around the corner – a time when so many hungry souls find their way to the Mission and our Hope for Hunger Food Bank, first for food, then for transformation.

The bad news is: our pantry is almost empty!

This summer has stretched our resources close to the breaking point. That’s bad news for the men, women, and children we serve. We need your help today to replenish and restock our pantry in time for the Thanksgiving rush!

It’s not just the homeless who benefit. Your gift this month will mean a world of difference for hard-working families on the edge like John’s:

“No matter how much my family plans financially, things happen unexpectedly,” says John. “Places like this help us out a lot.”

We can’t possibly turn our hungry neighbors away – not during the holidays, not ever. Together we can provide nutritious food and slip an arm around every famished soul that walks through our doors this coming season.

Thank you for your support as we gear up to give the chance to chow down and choose new life to as many hungry and hurting families as we can.

Dback’s Nick Ahmed hits it out of the park for PRM!

The Mission was honored to have Diamondback’s shortstop Nick Ahmed host the first annual Topgolf Swing for Impact event on June 23rd. It was a huge success! All totaled, Nick helped raise more than $10,000! All dollars raised for the Phoenix Rescue Mission went to support children living at the Changing Lives Center.

“We had so much fun raising money for good causes,” said Nick in a video posted on Twitter. “We’re not just donating money, we’re changing lives. We’re changing families. We’re changing generations. We’re treating and helping the whole person–mind, body and spirit.”

Nick and Amanda are touching lives both locally and internationally. In a press release, Nick said, “Amanda and I are committed to restoring and developing communities here and abroad. Thanks to the generous support of fans, we’re continuing to support the great work we started last year in the Dominican Republic. This year, we’re also supporting Phoenix Rescue Mission in their incredible effort to help the homeless and hurting here locally.”

Thank you to Nick and everyone who participated for making a HUGE impact in the lives of the children we serve!

Removing Fear from the Future.

In todays’ always-on, 24-hour news cycle, we’re never short of new things to worry about. It feels like the world is on fire, and fear hangs in the air.
But we don’t need to let fear rule over us.

The scriptures outline the remedy to anxiety and dread in four simple steps:

  1. Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46) – Reminding ourselves who God is not only corrects our perspective, it allows us to unload our worries on the One who is truly in control.
  2. If anything is Excellent or Praiseworthy, think about such things (Philippians 4:8) – By taking our thoughts captive and using our minds for something positive, we can actively replace our worries.
  3. Those who help others are helped (Proverbs 11:25) – When we focus on helping others, our worries are replaced with blessings. For instance, a Charitable Gift Annuity can benefit you, your family, and Phoenix Rescue Mission. Your gift gives you:
    • An immediate tax deduction.
    • Capital gains tax deferral.
    • Increased income stream for life.
    • An opportunity to put “good” in motion for generations to come.
  4. Who knows… you may be alive today for such a time as this (Esther 4:14) – Maybe God placed you in a unique position to change the life of someone you know.

We are all put here for a purpose. By contemplating our purpose, we can shift the focus off our own worries towards the hurting world around us.

If you’re unfamiliar with Gift Annuities, let’s chat! Call Adele at (602) 346-3323 or email at ADietrich@PhoenixRescueMission.org.

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

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"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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