121 Years of Service
A r e H f o e c a l P Own In my Fatherâ€™s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2 (KJV)
Mary moved into her own apartment two months ago. She shows off every room to visitors, excitedly describing her thought behind arrangement and decor. “I’m most excited to cook healthy meals for myself,” she says.
A r e H f o e c a l P Own “I feel like I didn’t get to have a childhood,” Mary says sadly. Mary was the eldest of seven children. One of her parents struggled with alcoholism and another with serious mental illness. “Mandy is so upbeat, supportive and encouraging. She makes me feel like she admires me instead of looking down on me. I don’t feel like a charity case when she talks to me,” says Mary with a smile.
The week after her 18th birthday she joined a convent. “It was quiet there, silent most of the time. I liked the idea of community. It felt safe,” she explains. Over two years later, just before taking her vows to become a nun, they unexpectedly asked her to leave. She was crushed and couldn't make sense of it. For the next 25 years, Mary tried to do what she thought God was asking of her. After a failed marriage, she earned a degree in Biology and tried to move forward with her life. In her second marriage, Mary endured 19 years of abuse. At age 49, she decided to put an end to the suffering. She filed for divorce and signed up to get her teaching license in the same month.
During this frustrating process, Mary was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This diagnosis helped her understand new things about herself and her work habits. Mary found a job in 1999 with a specialized insurance company and stayed through two company reorganizations. She bought a house in 2005, settling into her life in Colorado. Just a year later, they let her go. “I was depressed,ˮ Mary remembers. “I thought God was punishing me. I kept searching my mind to figure out where my responsibility was in all that had happened.ˮ For years she took tutoring jobs and some difficult minimum-wage jobs, constantly trying to obtain fulltime employment. She strung together enough money to make partial payments on her mortgage, but eventually lost her home.
But finding a stable job proved more difficult than expected: “The abuse made me feel like I wasn't worth much. I would accept jobs that weren't good jobs,” says Mary. “I accepted a teaching job in New Mary did the only thing left to do: she typed Mexico. I packed up all my stuff and moved,ˮ she says. “homelessness” into the Google search bar. “When I got there, the position was no longer available.ˮ The very first website she found was Denver And this became a pattern. She moved from city to Rescue Mission's, where she read about the STAR city, finding and losing jobs, ending up in Denver. Transitional Program at The Crossing. In October
2012, she moved in. “Counseling was probably what helped me the most. Loyce [a volunteer counselor at The Crossing] is closer to my age, so she understood some of the things I was going through,” explains Mary. “I would often think, ‘Will I have anything to present to Christ when I get [to heaven]?’ We worked through things like that.” Mary’s outlook began to change. She attended Bible classes each week led by Larry Chatman and Yolanda Sonnenberg, case managers at the Mission. She received counseling once a week. She did a book study with Mandy, an intern and Mary’s case manager. She was a foster-grandparent at the local elementary school last year. She even co-teaches a Bible study at her church each Thursday for cognitively challenged adults! These activities slowly built her confidence in herself and in God. Mary’s science background, coupled with her own disabilities, have given her a deep passion for brain health. She believes there are many ways to prevent brain disorders and some diseases, and dreams of starting her own company to raise awareness and offer solutions. “When you find out late in life that you have disabilities, you tend to think of all you can't do instead of what you can do,” says Mary. But she’s discovered many things that she’s capable of: “When I came [to The Crossing], I thought I could never be self-supporting. Now, I can afford housing. I've made connections here that have given me hope that I didn't have before.” She now sees life with eternity in mind and places far less emphasis on her earthly possessions: “I used to get discouraged by how long painful circumstances can last. One day, Larry drew a line across a huge whiteboard, representing all of eternity and put a little dot on the line to show how small a lifetime is. There will come a time when nothing is important except that you got through it. In my Father's house, there are many dwelling places. I'm going to have a home, and it won't be shabby.” To post a note of encouragement for Mary on the Mission's Facebook page, visit Facebook.com/DenverRescue.
“It’s good to know that being a foster-grandparent matters. I can see a d ifference in their behaviors and academic progress. It makes me happy and gives my l ife purpose and meaning,” says Mary proudly.
From the CEO
Denver Rescue Mission Golf Tournament
Friday, September 6th 7:30 a.m. Shotgun Start
I asked Larry Chatman, former New Life Program participant and current Sr. Case Manager in our STAR Transitional Program, to share a few words with our readers this month: Having a place to call home is one of the most important things in life, and while the word homeless is commonly used to describe the people we serve at Denver Rescue Mission, it usually means much more than being houseless. When the New Testament’s “Prodigal Son” found himself wanting to eat the slop he was serving to pigs, he remembered his father’s house and the life that was available there. He set his heart to go home. But he had sold himself into slavery in a foreign land. How could he possibly get home? The scriptures don’t tell us. Short of being whisked away to his Father’s house, he would have set out on his own. Soon he likely walked with fellow travelers, telling his story as he sought food and shelter along the way. These days, the prodigal is me and all my fellow prodigals who have sought to return to the Father’s house by way of Denver Rescue Mission. And the fellow travelers and providers are the volunteers and donors who support this great work. On behalf of all of them at Denver Rescue Mission, and from the very bottom of my heart…THANK YOU! The thing you have given us that no one can measure and no one can steal is HOPE. I urge you not to grow weary in your well doing for in due time you will be rewarded for all you have done. Because of what you have already done for us, we can now do for others. We can teach, pray, provide, encourage, love, and give hope. Sometimes, it’s hard work. Always, it’s good work! God Bless,
Brad Meuli, President/CEO
Come on out and hit a hole-in-one for the hungry and homeless! The cost is only $90 per person and includes registration, a golf cart and a delicious lunch! The tournament will take place at Broadlands Golf Course on Friday, September 6th. For more information, please contact Lisette at 303.313.2414 or LWilliams@DenRescue.org.
Volunteer Information and Tour Sessions If you'd like to learn more about Denver Rescue Mission’s programs, locations and volunteer opportunities, please attend one of our Information & Tour Sessions held weekly at the Lawrence Street Shelter or The Crossing. You'll hear how Denver Rescue Mission is making a difference across the Denver metro area, and learn how you can be involved in changing lives! To sign up for one of the following tours, or for more information, visit DenverRescueMission.org/Volunteer, or call 303.953.3955. Lawrence Street Shelter Tuesdays 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Wednesdays 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. The Crossing Thursdays 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Fridays 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Denver Rescue Mission Golf Tournament
How You Help JUNE
Food boxes distributed
Broadlands Golf Course Friday, September 6th 7:30 a.m. Shotgun Start For more information, please contact Lisette at 303.313.2414 or LWilliams@DenRescue.org. Fourth Annual Harvest Farm 5K: The Boot Scoot Harvest Farm (Wellington, CO) Saturday, September 7th 8:00 a.m. Registration 9:00 a.m. Race kick-off
Our Outreaches Lawrence Street Shelter: Emergency care: meals, overnight shelter, free health care, food box and clothing distribution.
To register, please visit DenverRescueMission.org/BootScoot5k For more information, please contact Ann at 303.313.2454 or ASchlesinger@DenRescue.org.
Women Who’ve Changed the Heart of the City The Brown Palace Hotel Friday, September 27th 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
To find out more information and to purchase tickets, please visit DenverRescueMission.org/WWCHC2013.
Fort Collins Rescue Mission: Emergency care: meals, overnight shelter; and transitional program. Champa House: Residential facility offering long-term help toward self-sufficiency to single mothers with dependent children. Harvest Farm: Long-term New Life rehabilitation program, farming and ranching operation, food and clothing distribution, and Fall Festival.
For more information, please contact Ann at 303.313.2454 or ASchlesinger@DenRescue.org.
The Crossing: Long-term New Life rehabilitation program, transitional program for New Life graduates and homeless families, temporary housing for interns and visitors.
Evening of Exploration
Ministry Outreach Center: Warehouse facilities; food, clothing and household goods distribution.
The Wildlife Experience Friday, November 1st 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Silent Auction & Cocktail Reception 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. Dinner, Program & Testimonies To purchase tickets and for more information, please visit DenverRescueMission.org/EveningOfExploration2013.
Family Services: Transitional program; assistance for permanent housing; mentoring for homeless working families, seniors and refugee families. Global Ministry Outreach: Consultation, resources and support to city/rescue missions around the world.
Changing Lives is the monthly news publication of Denver Rescue Mission. Director of Communications: Christine Gallamore Designer: Rachel Vigil Writer: Rachel Greiman P.O. Box 5164 • Denver, CO 80217 • 303.297.1815