Thursday, March 18, 2010


What first pops into your mind when you see the word “Rescue Mission?” Often, the image is one of a flop house where people, mostly men, are stretched out all day on cots sleeping off a drunk or a high from the night before. Mission workers are pictured as those who go from cot to cot offering a kind word, clean clothes, a bowl of soup, or a cup of coffee.

The reality is much different. For the most part, Missions are not like the stereotypical homeless shelter. Rescue Missions offer the opportunity to change one’s life, not merely to provide a bed for those who desire to continue their destructive lifestyle. Rescue Missions are about rescue. They are not content to supply the drowning person with life preservers to keep them from drowning. Ideally, they want to pull the drowning person from the water and put them on dry land.

This is hard work. It involves extending oneself into the life of a stranger, helping him or her to overcome addictive behaviors, providing opportunities to re-learn responsible behavior, and showing genuine compassion for the individual. Most importantly, it is about presenting the opportunity for inner change that comes through the power of God.

Rescue Missions are gospel rescue missions. I realize that this may offend some who might read these words, but the core of the work we do at the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley is to present the gospel of Christ while we address the external needs and life situations of those who come to us for help.

The Mission statement of the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley includes all of these functions. It reads:

The purpose of the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley is to serve and glorify God through Christ-centered outreach of love and compassion that meets the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of disadvantaged men, women, and children without regard to race, color, or creed.

No comments:

Post a Comment