For the First Time in My Life I’m able to Love Myself . . . Because I Know God Loves Me
My name is Catherine. He said I was worthless. I regret putting him on the deed to my home, because he stole the house from me. You’re no good . . . You’re nothing but white trash . . . You’re not worth anything . . . those were the words I heard day after day from a man I used to love. The more I suffered his words of abuse, the more I believed they were true. Now I know they were lies from the pit of hell.
It’s only after I came to Holland Rescue Mission that I began to realize I had any worth at all. I’m confident if I had not come to the Mission I would be in a mental institution today.
Here is where I am meeting Jesus in a brand-new way. His love is manifested in every staff person every day here at the Mission. I know He also lives in your heart. I say that without reservation because you would not invest in a person like me if you did not believe in a loving God.
Thank you for a warm bed, nutritious food and nice clothes. I honestly did not know there were so many nice people in this world. I was once living at rock bottom . . . without hope and with no desire to keep on living. Today, Jesus is the center of my life. I’m also being taught how to save money. I think you would be proud of me. In the old days, whenever I would get any money it would go through my hands like water. Today, I am learning how to save for today and for my better future.
As a result of your donations, you are helping to create a responsible, God-fearing citizen. Because of your kindness I will be grateful to you for the rest of my life. I also know the best is yet to come!
I was a Professional Screwup
My name is Jordan. If you lined up all the possible sins one could commit, I would probably have committed most of them. I was a drug addict. A felon. An inmate in county jails. Even though I grew up in the church, I chose not to believe in God. I was happy to burn in hell. If Satan could have loved, he would’ve loved me. After all, I prayed to him every day, while all the time I was studying atheism. When my dad died I just lost it. From that moment on my life was in shambles. I chose to be a troublemaker, hurting everyone I could in every way possible.
From a heart of stone to a spirit softened by the love of God
One day as I sat in my cell God began to talk to me. Previously, I had refused to listen. But this time it was different. My heart had been as hard as stone. But God’s love now began to soften my rock-hard spirit to the point where I began to listen to His voice. When I chose to respond to His sovereign grace and to His plan for my life things began to change.
Almost overnight, I was transformed. God pulled me from the depths of hell. I went from being incapable of loving others and myself to becoming a person who now cared about others. If that’s not a miracle, then I don’t know what a miracle looks like.
Perhaps you can see why I am so indebted to Holland Rescue Mission and the Gateway Center. Because of an understanding staff and someone like you who cares, I am living a new life. I now know there’s hope for me. I lost everything when I followed Satan: today, God is giving me back more than I ever had before. Thank you for helping me find my way home.
Help, Hope and a Future Filled with Promise
A teacher once gave this assignment to her students: “Find an unnoticed flower around your home and study it. Note its petals — their shape and their color. Turn it over and look at its underside. As you do, remember this is your flower. It might have died unappreciated had you not found it and admired it.”
Next day, after the students reported on their flowers, the teacher said: “Each of us is like your flower. We are all unique. But we often go unappreciated because no one takes the time to notice our unique beauty. Each of us is a masterpiece of God. There will never be another person like us — never again.”
What a good word from the classroom of life. And this is how we treat every man, woman and child who comes to Holland Rescue Mission. Every person has his or her own story. Everyone is special . . . unique. We remind our friends there’s no longer a need to live in tombs of despair and darkness. Instead, they learn they can now move joyously into the life-giving light provided by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanks to you, rescue happens! Your gift can help save the life of a homeless, hungry, and hurting neighbor.
On March 22, over 100 women attended our Annual Garden Auction. This ladies-only event boasts beautiful spring décor for both the home and garden. Women bid on items, and all proceeds were given to help homeless women and children at our Family Hope Center. Thank you to those who attended and gave so generously to help those in need!
On April 21 and 22 we celebrated the opening of HRM’s Gateway Center. This new 82,000-square-foot training center offers a conveniently located donation drop-off, thrift store and processing center, administrative offices and recovery program training rooms.
For more information about this new facility and the training it will offer homeless men and women, please visit hrmgatewaycenter.org or call 616-396-2200 to request a tour.
Many people work hard all their lives to make sure they can leave behind something of worth — an inheritance for their loved ones, or a personal legacy of values like work ethic, kindness or faith. Roberta King’s father was no exception.
When Mr. King died, his estate was well planned — including his choice to use unused IRA money for charitable purposes (knowing it would have been highly taxed if he’d given it to an individual) — and Roberta was tasked with distributing the money he’d left. The process of doling out the checks to his church, local art museum, YMCA and community foundation not only brought unexpected joy and pride to her heart — it helped ease her grief, hearing personal stories from each of the recipients who knew her father so well. Of the experience Roberta later wrote, “Yes, I did receive a nice inheritance, but the gift my dad gave me wasn’t his money. It was a deeper understanding of the importance of volunteering and financially supporting a community that you love.”
Have you considered the legacy you’ll leave behind? And if so, why wait until after you’re gone to impact the ones you love? Hebrews 3:13 says, “Encourage one another . . . as long as it is still called ‘Today’ . . .” Harness the power of today with these ideas:
• Say it. Do you come from a generation where “I love you” was simply not said? Can you change that? Write a letter, make a phone call, invite your loved one to coffee and tell them how you really feel.
• Give together. When creating or updating your estate plan, include your children or grandchildren in the process. Introduce them to the ministries you care about, like Holland Rescue Mission, and help them see the passion behind your checks.
• Choose today. Like the late Mr. King, most people leave an inheritance to be distributed upon their death — which is normal and right to do. But what about giving to your loved ones now? Why not bless the people you care about when you can see the blessing and reaction it creates firsthand?
You can leave a wonderful legacy for those you love — one that honors our Heavenly Father, the ultimate Giver of good gifts.
For the full version of this article, contact Rachael Neal from Holland Rescue Mission at (616) 396-2200 ext. 425 or firstname.lastname@example.org — or bless your family today with a God-honoring will at www.christianwill.org/hrm.
A Word of Gratitude from Darryl
Dear Friend of Holland Rescue Mission,
You have now read the amazing testimonies of how God is working in the hearts of Catherine and Jordan. While their stories are different in so many ways, it is the same God, the same Holy Spirit and the same Christian compassion you offer that’s transforming their lives. For our two friends, success is measured by the day — even by the hour.
What then is Holland Rescue Mission’s definition of success? Well, we’re not Wall Street, so there’s no direct economic return on your investment (ROI). Here are the more important issues — and questions: What is the value of a human soul? Do we dare put a price tag on a changed life . . . on one addict who’s now clean and sober . . . on one homeless person who’s returned to society as a responsible, tax-paying citizen? Without the power of a living, loving God working in us our failure rate is 100%. But with Jesus as our foundation, we have the strength and courage to help turn sadness into joy and failure into success . . . and this is the only success that matters.
You’re helping people like Jordan and Catherine realize their God-given potential
Our many decades of experience at Holland Rescue Mission are maturing us as a ministry, and today we’re looking for even greater challenges as together we touch the lives of so many who have lost all hope. Thank you for saying yes to people in need as you continue to put smiles on the faces of people like Catherine, Jordan and hundreds more.
Until the next time, God bless you and keep you always.