“You have made us for Yourself so that our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” – Saint Augustine
Augustine, one of the early church fathers, would have felt right at home in the Mission’s day room. He was wildly rebellious as a young man. When he repented, he recognized that what he had been yearning for all along was a relationship with the God who made him.
I am occasionally asked why the Mission requires men to go to chapel. The simple answer is that we want everyone who comes through our doors to hear the Good News: The Creator of the Universe loves you so thoroughly and completely that He was willing to sacrifice His own Son to bring you into relationship with Himself. Every person, whether or not he knows it, longs for that relationship and will never be at peace without it. It is THE solution to man’s problems. Time and again, over the course of 25 years, I have seen men who wanted nothing to do with chapel be transformed by it.
In Romans 1:16, Paul writes: “I am proud of the gospel because it is the power God uses to save everyone who believes.”
The love and power of the gospel. It is the very best, most essential thing we have to offer here at the Mission because it outlasts everything else. Our neon sign on Trent Avenue says, “Sharing a message of hope.” That hope is what we seek to convey through the food, the shelter, the medical care, and the counseling: God loves you. New life is possible.
Thanks to a host of volunteer providers like Greg Beumer (featured in this issue), the gospel is proclaimed in chapel on a daily basis, and thanks to your investment, it is lived out through a grace-filled community. As David said, “I’ve got brothers here that love me no matter what – just like God loves me.”
Through the gospel, people find love and acceptance and purpose. They are set free from their addictions and made whole. Why in the world would we withhold the cure from those who are dying?