D ece mb e r 2 0 1 8
Searching FOR A SAFE PL AC E
You helped open the door
L I G H T I N G T H E WAY You are a spark of hope to those in need
E REV. GLENN CRANFIELD President and CEO
You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. Job 11:18 NIV
ven in the darkest of nights, the smallest flicker of light can change everything. As a faithful supporter of Nashville Rescue Mission, you are that light that gives hope to those walking in darkness. I am so grateful for your compassion for our neighbors in need. So many of them come to us broken, beaten down, hurting, and desperate. Some are even on the verge of giving up. But regardless of their situation, you’ve opened your heart to them
and provided them with a glimmer of hope. It’s why your support matters so much. I’m glad to share Christine’s story with you this month. Her story is a perfect example of your compassion and generosity at work, meeting real people with real needs. Thank you for helping light her way home.
G I V E TH E G I F T OF H O PE C O N S I D E R A Y E A R-E N D C H A R I TA B L E G I F T Will you consider being a part of Nashville Rescue Mission’s efforts to help the homeless by making your year-end gift today? It’s an investment in our community that makes a difference in many lives. Simply complete the enclosed response card and return it with your year-end gift and you’ll be giving life-saving hope to those in need. Or you can make an online gift today at nashvillerescuemission.org. 02
Heart of the Mission | December 2018
M I S S I O N in my w ord s
STACY CASE I
’ve always been drawn to people, especially children, down on their luck. For so many, the root cause of their current circumstance can be traced back to either abuse or untreated mental illness. Those two things often lead to desperate and poor decision-making and, frequently, addiction. It becomes a vicious cycle that’s hard to break without the intervention and services from places like Nashville Rescue Mission. My work with the Mission started shortly after our family moved to Nashville in 2006. I was a new mom, working part-time as a national network news correspondent, and I had a little extra time to volunteer. I was eager to get plugged in to my new city. I called the Mission and asked if I could teach a class to the women staying there. Each week, I would teach different lessons. I will never forget looking into the eyes of a woman who had been abused so severely she would barely look up. She was at the Mission because she’d finally gotten the courage to leave an abusive relationship. After weeks together, she finally made eye contact, and I smiled. I saw a glimmer of hope in her eyes. She did not speak English, and I speak broken Spanish, but a translator helped us communicate. Later that year, our family took her and her two boys to their very first Predators hockey game. We had such a great time. And I think it was good for them to see my husband model healthy behavior toward our children and me. Our family has continued to volunteer at the Mission, helping with backpack drives and trunk-or-treat events. There is nothing better than seeing a smile on a child’s face when you give them a new backpack or a costume and some candy. Over the years, we’ve adopted different moms 03
“I TRULY APPRECIATE THE COMPASSION MY CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED FROM THEIR MANY EXPERIENCES AT THE MISSION.” with kids each Christmas so they’ll be sure to have gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. We also enjoy serving meals throughout the year and during the holidays. I’m thankful for what these women and their children have taught me. They’ve made me a better person. I truly appreciate the compassion my children have learned from their many experiences at the Mission. There’s always a need, and I encourage anyone looking for a way to give back just to pick up the phone and call them. Your heart will be so blessed, too.
ABOUT STACY Stacy Case’s career as a journalist has taken her all over the world. She’s the main anchor at Fox 17 News in Nashville. Her 27 years as a journalist includes stops in New York; Cincinnati, OH; Champaign, IL; and Greenville, MS. Stacy and her husband have been married for 21 years and have two children who were 1 ½ and 6 months old when they moved here in 2006. After living all over the country, they handpicked Nashville to raise their family. Heart of the Mission | December 2018
Searching F OR A S AF E PL ACE
You helped open the door
“Woman dead from gunshot wound to the head in Birmingham; 5th homicide in 3 days,” read the headline on August 5, 2018, in a Birmingham newspaper. Two weeks later, Christine was on a Greyhound bus headed for Nashville, TN with her 4-year-old daughter by her side.
“Nashville was the closest city I could afford to get to when I bought our bus tickets out of town,” said Christine. “I couldn’t imagine staying one more night in Southtown (public housing in Birmingham). We’d lived there for three years, but these shootings happened right outside our home. It was becoming increasingly more violent every day. I feared for our safety.” Christine was born in Montgomery, but their family moved to Birmingham when she was a teenager. After graduating high school, Christine enrolled in Lawson State Community College then transferred to the University of Alabama. She had
high hopes for her future. But when her daughter was born in 2014, she dropped out of school to get a job and raise her daughter. Since then, the last four years have been trying for Christine. Her father died in 2016, and her mom, who is currently battling cancer, still cares for several of Christine’s siblings. “I wasn’t sure where to go or what to do,” said Christine. “I was between jobs, and I didn’t want to add to my mom’s burdens. Plus, she lived in a rural area, too far from a bus stop and without a car; I had no way to find work. Out of desperation, I decided it was time to go somewhere new and start over.”
Heart of the Mission | December 2018
Because of you, Christine is hopeful.
Your gifts have given them a safe place to stay.
“THIS IS MY FIRST TIME STAYING IN A SHELTER.” “I TRIED to to find a place to stay in Nashville before leaving Birmingham,” said Christine. “All the places I contacted told me I had to secure a bed in person and I couldn’t do it over the phone. I took a massive leap of faith in getting on that bus to Nashville, not knowing where we might sleep that night. But I was trusting God to provide.” Christine had just enough money to pay for a motel their first night in Nashville. The next day, she began the process of trying to find temporary shelter. After hitting several roadblocks, someone finally pointed her towards Nashville Rescue Mission. “THIS IS MY FIRST TIME staying in a shelter,” said Christine. “It’s required some adjustment, but it is unquestionably better than living in a neighborhood that is dangerous and scary. I know we are safe. I’ve found a wonderful daycare for my daughter. I’ve also met with social services to help get some things in place that will help us get back on our feet. I’ve been putting in job applications, and I’m hopeful about our future.”
Thanks to you, Christine’s daughter has a place to play.
Through your support, Christine had a safe place to turn to in her time of need. When all other doors were closed, your gifts made sure the doors to the Mission were open wide to her, her daughter, and to anyone else in need in the community. At the Mission, she found a supportive community and a place where she could connect with God. THIS CHRISTMAS, Christine won’t have to worry about
gunshots going off outside her door. She won’t have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from. And she won’t have to worry about having presents under the tree for her daughter. Because of you, she doesn’t have to worry about those things. But this holiday season, there will be many more women, mothers with children, and men trapped in violent neighborhoods, battling an addiction to drugs or alcohol, each searching for a safe place to stay, a nutritious meal to fill their empty stomachs, a hot shower, and some clean clothes. This is why your support is so crucial.
EVERY $2.26 YOU GIVE TODAY CAN HELP SAVE
Heart of the Mission | December 2018
A TOUR AND A PRAYER LED TO A MUCH DEEPER CONNECTION
“Several years ago I felt a strong prompting from the Lord to pray for the women staying at the Mission. The funny thing is, at the time, I didn’t think women were staying there.” BUT THE PROMPTING WAS SO STRONG, Shawna finally searched online and discovered not only were women staying there, but also there were mothers with children finding refuge at the Mission. And for the next year, Shawna continued to pray for the women and children the Lord had burdened her heart for. It wasn’t until her dear friend, Jennifer, a supporter of the Mission, who participated in Shawna’s Bible study, invited her to take the Mission’s “I Had No Idea” tour that Shawna experienced the Mission for herself. “WHEN JENNIFER INVITED ME TO JOIN HER on
this tour, all I could think was that this was no coincidence. It was a divine appointment from God.” During the tour, Shawna met several staff members, as well as participants in the Mission’s Life Recovery Program. The experience deeply moved her. With many years of teaching the Bible and leading Bible studies for women throughout the community, Shawna asked if there was an opportunity to teach the women in the program. Her request was met with a resounding yes. “I AM HONORED AND BLESSED by my experience as a volunteer at the Mission,” shared Shawna. “My passion is teaching the Bible. With each lesson, I see the healing as it takes place right before my eyes in each of these women. On their first day in my class, some of them can barely lift their heads up. Over time, I see their confidence build, and I see them transform right before my eyes. It is amazing. Only God can do that.” Shawna speaks from her heart. 06
Heart of the Mission | December 2018
she made to the Mission to donate clothes, shoes, and more for these women she had grown to care for so deeply. “ONE THING THIS EXPERIENCE TAUGHT ME is that
many people in the community want to be a part of helping, but they often don’t know how. Once I invited people to join me in these efforts and pointed them in the right direction, I was amazed by their response.” Twice a month, Shawna delivers an early morning time of devotion for the women in the Life Recovery Program. “Each time, I thank God for letting me be a part of starting their day. I hope and pray it makes their day just a little bit better.” “I think what Nashville Rescue Mission does is so beautiful. Our city should be proud of them and the great work they are doing. I’m glad I get to be a part of it.” Shawna enjoys encouraging the women in the program.
“A few years ago, that same friend invited me to join her at a fundraising event for the Mission called Hearts of Hope. Before the event, she expressed a need they had for donations of nice clothes, shoes, and accessories so the women could dress up and attend this event.” The outpouring of support from the women in Shawna’s Bible study was astounding. She lost count of how many trips
“I AM HONORED AND BLESSED BY MY EXPERIENCE AS A VOLUNTEER AT THE MISSION.” To learn more about the different ways you can make a difference in the lives of hurting people, visit nashvillerescuemission.org.
Nashville Rescue Mission’s commitment and dedication to helping homeless individuals in the community resonated deeply with us at David Weekley Homes. We appreciate that the Mission goes beyond providing a hungry person with a meal. They genuinely help individuals get re-established, find employment, and change lives. This aligns with our purpose of Building Homes, Enhancing Lives. We want to make a positive 07
impact in the communities in which we live and build. We understand the importance of having and living in a home—it provides security, comfort, and a sense of belonging. Nashville Rescue Mission does this every day, and we applaud them for helping individuals get back on their feet and giving them a safe place to stay while in the process. Heart of the Mission | December 2018
Christmas Wish List
Here’s how you can help make Christmas merry and bright for those we serve: Purchase a gift off the Christmas Wish List. Download at nashvillerescuemission.org. Purchase a gift off of our Amazon Wish List (see link below) and have your gifts mailed directly to the Mission. Organize a toy drive or stocking party at your church or workplace. Get creative and gather your friends to throw a Christmas Party at the Mission.
Purchase items online at: http://a.co/iZjF1QX
Granola bars/healthy snacks Restaurant gift certificates Women’s clothing
Hats/gloves/scarves Purses/tote bags Socks/underwear (sizes 6-13)
CHILDREN Learning toys/books Musical toys Baby toys (teething rings)
Infant & children’s clothing Socks/underwear Teen clothing
MEN Toothbrush/toothpaste Underwear (large-5XL) Hats/scarves/gloves
Warm winter socks Sports-team blankets Coats (winter & rain)
DONATION DROP-OFFS: 616 7 Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203 Open Monday through Saturday 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. th
For the purpose of this list, we request all items be new.
E NCOURAG E S OM EONE IN NEE D at the Mi ssion r ig ht now by sig ning and re t ur ning the e ncl o s ed card . Our guests w ill b e b le sse d in kn owin g you care as the y re ce ive yo ur no te ser ved w ith a meal thi s C hr i stma s sea son.
L I V E S Y O U H AV E T O U C H E D | October 2018
HOPE lives HERE E st. 1954 639 Lafayette Street, Nashville, TN 37203 615-255-2475 | nashvillerescuemission.org
Nights of Lodging
Bible Class Attendance