The Main Thing – Real love isn’t like a box of chocolates

 

When the world talks about love, you never know what you’re going to get. Especially during the season when chocolates are flying off the shelves, there are plenty of counterfeit ideas contending for the title of real love. If people are nice, if they’re honest, if they’ve done us no harm, if they contribute, if they benefit us, if they’re attractive and fun to be around – these are all reasons the world “loves.” 

Isn’t it a relief that God offers us something so much better? His love, the love He calls us to share, transcends any of these qualities, because it’s unconditional. It’s the love that reaches out to the lost, time and time again, that brings hope and joy to the underprivileged, the same love that picks us up and dusts us off every morning.

It’s the only thing in this world that can take a wounded life and make it new again – and with your help, we’ll share it with thousands more this year. Thank you for the privilege and the partnership, and God bless!

 

 

 

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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Christmas is Right Around the Corner

Our annual Winter Wonderland Event is right around the corner! This annual event is a special day where we invite our community into our campus for a day of celebration. Families who may otherwise go without celebrating Christmas due to financial strain, are greeted with a carnival-like environment where they can just have fun! Parents are able to "shop" for presents for their children, and kids even get the chance to return the favor and pick out a present for their parents. There will also be cookie decorating, fun activities and hot chocolate for everyone!

It is only through your support this special day is possible. We need toys for children of all ages, as well as items for adults like household wares, personal care items, blankets, and tools. If you are interested in hosting a toy drive or rally friends and family around this worthy cause, reach out to Catie at chammann@phoenixrescuemission.org or 602 346 3347. Volunteers are also needed for this event to bring joy to families who may otherwise go without celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour! To get started and see the different opportunities to serve visit prm.volunteerhub.com. Want to speak to volunteer services about how you or your church can volunteer your time or talents for this special day in our community? Reach out to Volunteer Services at volunteer@phoenixrescuemission.org or call 602 346 3363

If you, or someone you know could benefit from this special day and want to sign up, contact Jussane at jcarrera@phoenixrescuemission.org or 602 346 3372

Having to Choosing Between Paying the Bills and Food on the Table

 

Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, your aunt’s famous casserole, the list of options with which to pile on your plate goes on and on at most homes during Thanksgiving. But not so for Sara’s family. Hers was one of hundreds in Phoenix who find Thanksgiving a luxury they can ill afford. When life is hard and you’re forced to choose between keeping the lights on or putting food on the table, the holiday season has a way of making it even harder.

But today, everything has changed for Sara. Her family of five is eating well and even looking forward to a Thanksgiving feast this year. So what made the difference? Hope!

Specifically, Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Hope for Hunger Food Bank.

“A friend told me about it [Hope for Hunger Food Bank],” says Sara. “She saw that we sometimes struggled with the decision to either pay the bills or to buy food. Now once a month we come and receive the food our family needs.” Nearly 30 percent of our Arizona neighbors are considered working poor. These are hard-working men and women who struggle to stretch dollars that barely cover housing expenses. Many times, for families like Sara’s, those dollars don’t quite stretch far enough to put food on the table. Arizona ranks as the 5th worst state when it comes to food security.

But through your support of the Phoenix Rescue Mission – you are making a difference.

“I’m so grateful and thankful to God and to the Mission. What they do is amazing.

They are helping a lot of families like ours. Here, we get good stuff, vegetables, fruit, rice, beans – all the stuff you really need.

 

It’s like when you go to the supermarket, you need eggs, you need cheese, you need vegetables. The way they work things here is amazing.” For many families living paycheck to paycheck, all it takes is one emergency situation – a car breaking down, an unexpected medical bill – to put a family over the edge and onto the street.

The goal of Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Hope for Hunger Food Bank is not only to provide nourishing food to individuals and families who struggle to afford it, but also to temporarily remove the burden of a food bill from the household budget. This allows families to begin to save, to provide themselves with a safety net when the next unexpected bill comes around the corner and, perhaps most importantly, a path out of the cycle of poverty.

Sara, who has been coming to Hope for Hunger for two years is not only close to that goal, she’s begun to give back and provide for others.

 

 

The Main Thing – A Volunteer’s Difference

Our volunteers are the biggest difference-makers in the ministry of the Phoenix Rescue Mission. I see time and time again the impact volunteers make in the lives of those we serve.

Janet, a former addict, is now one of our regular volunteers. “I still see my old self in many of the faces of the men and women at the Mission,” she says. “I’ve gained so much from volunteering. My journey led me full circle — I am home again.”

It is common with our volunteers, they come to serve others and touch the lives of those in need. When in reality, the volunteer is the one who is impacted the greatest. Whether your serving a meal to men, women, and children who were once broken and lost, packing a food box for a family in need, or working in our boutique to give dignity back to women and children through the simple gift of a new shirt, dress, or a new pair of shoes. Lives re being transformed, and that's the main thing here at the Phoenix Rescue Mission.

The Mission simply would not be what it is without volunteers who give their time, love, and support to serve our community. Volunteers are a part of the Mission family, and see first hand the transformation that takes place not only in the lives of the men and women we serve, but within their our hearts as well.

We would love to have you join us as a volunteer in this life-changing ministry! Join Janet and hundreds of other volunteers at the Mission. No matter your skills or talents, no matter how much time you’ve got, whether you’re an individual or part of a group . . . you can begin to transform a life today!

In just a few weeks, all of our homemade favorites will be making an appearance around the dinner table. Turkey will be coming out of the oven, and freshly made pies will be on the counter waiting for hungry bellies.

This time of year, we have a huge opportunity to reach out in love to hundreds of hurting men, women, and children throughout Arizona. Every day, Phoenix Rescue Mission volunteers give their time serving a meal, packing food boxes for local families, providing office support for our staff and performing countless other duties big and small ... The simple truth is, we could not do what we do without volunteers.

For people like Teresita who serves faithfully every week at our Hope for Hunger Food Bank, extending warmth and kindness to the people we serve.

I have a great appreciation for what our people are doing, and spending time at our Hope for Hunger Food Bank is a true testimony to how much our volunteers make an impact in our ministry.

With all the volunteers I've had the pleasure to meet, there's one consistent.

They feel far more blessed than the people they are serving through their volunteer work. It's not about them, it's about God.

At Hope for Hunger, we see first-hand how God provides. Food is provided by God, we give thanks for it, and distribute it. Through food, we are able to build relationships, and help those we serve find solutions to an array of issues, whether it's food insecurity, homelessness or poverty. Through that, lives are transformed. And that's the main thing!

As we continue to grow, we need more volunteers. There are so many opportunities, especially during the holiday season to get involved and make a really difference in our community! For all of you who have ever volunteered with us, I give my sincerest thank you. You are a part of the life-transformations taking place behind our doors. Thank you for being a part of our family, and showing the love of Christ to the least, the lost, and the last.

Jay A. Cory
President and CEO
Phoenix Rescue Mission

 

If you are ready to begin your journey as a volunteer, visit VolunteerHub to create an account and sign up for opportunities around the Mission!