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 - Current resident of Phoenix Rescue Mission - "Inner Healing"

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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 - Current Resident of Phoenix Rescue Mission - "Inner Healing"

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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 - Current Resident of Phoenix Rescue Mission - "Discipleship"

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Valley of the Shadows

Many may not be able to tell, since it’s often hidden in our Valley’s back alleys, under our bridges, or in scattered camps in abandoned lots, but homelessness is on the rise in PhoenixPer 2017’s Point-In-Time data, our Maricopa County homeless numbers were up 25 percent from 2016, and up nearly 60 percent from two years ago. 

With number like these, we find ourselves with more and more people each year falling into a dark, isolated, homeless life in Phoenix. They exist in this “Valley of Shadows” without a hope to find a place of

comfort; however, Phoenix Rescue Mission is working to connect the homeless and hurting to a God who truly loves them.

There’s so much love here…so much recovery,” says Megan Long, a resident of our women’s recovery program. “I came out of an addiction to meth for 22 years, and that’s all I knew. My life was getting worse and worse, and I’d probably be dead. But, you know, God says, ‘Come as you are,’ and they do too! No matter what your situation is.”

Even as the needs grow, your prayers and support continue to bring a light of hope and freedom to these darkened areas – together we’re bringing men, women, and children out of the Valley of Shadows and into the Sun!

 

Here more from Megan in the below video.

You’re Invited, Mission Accomplished Celebration!


Mission:Accompished! Celebration is an opportunity to you to enjoy fellowship with other friends of Phoenix Rescue Mission and celebrate the transformed lives of those who have completed our highest program level, Ministry Training.

Consider inviting family member, friends or associates to introduce them to Phoenix Rescue Mission.

 

Phoenix Rescue Mission's Board of Directors invite you to attend

Mission: Accomplished! Celebration

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Doors open at 5:30pm

Program begins at 6:00pm

Glendale Nazarene Church

5902  W. Cactus Road, Glendale, AZ 85304

Due to limited seating, you must RSVP by Friday, January 19, 2018

Please RSVP at

MACJANUARY2018.eventbrite.com

or email naikasmith@phoenixrescuemission.org

Seasting is limited. RSVP soon!

“Life is About What You Give.”

Some 9-year-olds think it’s unfair that they have to go to bed on time or that they have to clean their rooms. Unlike other kids her age, the now 14-year-old Makenna Breading-Goodrich thought it was unfair that the homeless had to sleep out in the cold during Phoenix’s frigid nights.

After watching a television program about homeless families living on the streets, she looked at her mom Jennifer and said, “That can’t be fair.” Jennifer replied, “You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution.”

So, Makenna did exactly that – she became part of the solution and has since helped thousands of needy people stay warm through her campaign “Makenna’s Coats for a Cause.” It began in October of 2013, when Makenna asked her parents to print 50 fliers she created, which she then put up around her neighborhood. She also went door-to-door, telling her neighbors that she’d be back in a couple weeks to pick up their spare coats. Two weeks later, she had collected about 200. Since then, the number of coats she has collected has continued to increase year after year.

In 2014, she collected 500. In 2015, she collected 800. And, last year, she collected more than 1,000 jackets. “She knew she couldn’t help everyone,” said Jennifer. “But she hoped that by helping someone, it would encourage them to help the next.” 

This year, Makenna has already collected more than 1,200 coats and is well on her way to surpass her goal of 1,300, for a total of nearly 4,000 coats since 2013. She handed out the jackets to those in need during the Mission’s Winter Wonderland holiday event on Saturday, December 16.

“Life isn’t about what you get, it’s about what you give,” said Makenna. “There is no greater feeling than showing someone unconditional, non-judgmental love.”

Arizona can see some of the coldest weather in the U.S., and thanks to Makenna’s kindness, thousands of individuals will stay a little warmer this holiday season. A lot of kids see unfairness in the world yet few do something about it. It’s the little heroes like Makenna who can help make the world a better place.

 

Heroin and Opioids: A Growing Epidemic

An opioid related epidemic has been growing for a number of years in our city and sadly just now beginning to break into the immediate realities of the mainstream consciousness.

Current Arizona Department of Health Services and National Institute on Drug Abuse information show a strikingly grim reality; although heroin and opioid related deaths in the U.S. and Arizona have been increasing for nearly a decade now, 2016 marked a spike in the overall trend.

A look at some of the recently released statistics show how serious and widespread the issue has become.

  • In 2016, somewhere between 59,000 and 65,000 people died of overdoses in the U.S.
  • In Arizona, a total of 790 people (on average more than two a day) dies from overdose of opioid prescription medication s and heroin in 2016.
  • Over the last five years, heroin related deaths have triples in Arizona, and heroin specifically accounted for 39 percent of all opioid deaths last year.
  • Arizona adults 45 to 54 had the highest overdose rates at 18.1 deaths per 100,000 people.
  • Additionally, "opiod-related encounters" cost the Arizona health-care system more than $341 million in 2015 alone and there were an estimated 51,000 "opioid-related encounters" at hospitals in 2016.

State health officials report that this surge shows no signs of stopping.

Phoenix Rescue Mission is doing it's part to help with the surge in overdoses in Arizona. We are already training our staff and volunteers on opiod safety and overdose prevention, as well as the recognition of an overdose. We are also now providing many of our centers and our Hope Coach with Naloxone, a medication used to block the effects of opiods. Administering Naloxone during an overdose is the first step in saving a life!

It's another way that your support is keeping our neighboss on this side of eternity! Our hope is to provide more man and women like Trevor (cover), who have gotten caught up in this tremendously addictive and deadly drug, with a second shot at life and a second chance at transformation.