Rescue Portland November 2009
Special Holiday Issue
Lives Regained Hurting Men and Women Find Healing in Their Renewed Identities
He was ashamed of his past and closed off to others.
A few years ago, you would find Parrish working the crack line downtown, just blocks from Portland Rescue Mission. Living on the streets, he would steal, sell his body and stay on his feet for days without sleep if it meant getting another hit of cocaine. He was so dependent on the drug that he never gave temptation a second thought. He didn’t deal with that guilt. He simply did whatever it took to feed his habit. Parrish knew about Portland Rescue Mission and had been a guest a few times before. It wasn’t until he went to jail and had to find an addictions recovery program that he realized he could get more than an occasional meal and a bed there. The day he left jail, Parrish came straight to the Mission. The first thing he got was a winter coat. He eventually found a new direction for his life. Parrish didn’t have any dependable relationships when he enrolled in the Mission’s New Life Recovery Ministry.
But during his year in recovery, he faced the obstacles in his life and began to rely on the people around him for support. He learned that God provides escape from temptation through grace-filled relationships. As he faced his temptations and dealt with his addictions, despair and pride, he began to respond to the compassion of the people God placed in his life. These relationships have helped make him a new man.
“I get to put trust in God.” “Temptations don’t go away. As a matter of fact, I actually look forward to them, because I get to put trust in God,” Parrish says. He has new goals for his life now. He wants to eat well and live a healthy lifestyle. He wants to work on his character when he interacts with others, especially in times of stress. Though these goals may seem small, considering how far he’s come from his addition to crack, Parrish realizes that the challenge is the same. So is the solution.
Parrish says he’s now “a man of action.” Rather than ignoring his heart and bulldozing straight towards what his human nature craves, he takes the burden of those temptations to God and to others, and he finds strength and trust to carry him through. Parrish graduated from our New Life Recovery Ministry in July. He wore a pressed suit and addressed the audience with impromptu words of hope and courage, beaming from ear to ear. His father joined him that day, as well as members of his local church family who have supported him through his recovery. He has dependable people in his life who embrace him and want to see him succeed. Parrish knows he’ll make them proud. Since graduation, Parrish has regained his commercial trucker’s license, and he’s found work. He wants to write a book. He wants to be in direct ministry with others. He wants to live well and love others. And he’s found in Christ the grace that enables him to be the man God created him to be. Watch Parrish’s video story of hope: www.PortlandRescueMission.org/Parrish
Once closed off to others, Parrish now joyfully shares about the positive changes in his life.
those she loved, she was left with nothing in return. She drank heavily to numb the pain. Debbie eventually began dating an old boyfriend, covering up the hurt of past relationships with a new one. She sold her house to live with him. She drank day and night. On the day Debbie showed up to work intoxicated, her boyfriend lost his patience. Before she knew it, she was living at a domestic violence shelter, with no connection to anyone at all. She was alone. Debbie would eventually achieve sobriety through a handful of programs, but she still struggled with her pain and addictive tendencies. When a social worker told her about the New Life Recovery Ministry at Portland Rescue Mission, she felt a quiet tug. Just a few months after entering Shepherd’s Door, that empty feeling in her life finally began to disappear.
“I know I am a child of Christ.”
Debbie now releases her anger to God as she reaches out to others in love.
When Debbie has a bad day and feels beaten down, she might want to wallow and whine. She’s human, and for her, this natural tendency can be one of her biggest downfalls. During her time in the New Life Recovery Ministry at Shepherd’s Door, she’s learned to pick up the phone and call someone when things get tough. But she calls with a specific purpose—not to complain about her day, but to hear about someone else’s. This new habit of reaching out to others with an open heart is a beautiful illustration of the magnitude of Debbie’s growth at Shepherd’s Door, the women and children’s ministry center at Portland Rescue Mission. As staff, volunteers and other women
at Shepherd’s Door have served her in recovery, she’s learned that reaching out and serving others in healthy relationships can be the best remedy for a hurting soul. Debbie raised four children on her own for 20 years. She had a stable job and a great house, and her kids were her first priority. Debbie’s struggles were fairly normal. She worried about bills and about the future. But she kept her family together, all by herself. For her, family was life. Just five years ago, as her children got older and left an empty home behind, Debbie had more spare time than ever. She had time to reflect on what her life had become. All she felt was empty. After all she’d given to
“I know I am a child of Christ. He loves me, and that’s the foundation of my whole life now.” Debbie’s newfound understanding of the Gospel has given her a new relationship with God, and that has sparked healthy relationships with others—with her recovery mentors, with her children and with herself. She’s worked through the inner anger she’s had for years. She’s learned to handle her own struggles as she helps others through theirs, reaching out with grace and strength. A year ago, Debbie wasn’t welcome in any of her children’s homes. Things are different this November. Debbie will gather with her family during the holidays as a new woman in Christ. Her children will see the mom they remember, and Debbie will love her family unconditionally because of the love she’s found in Christ. Watch Debbie’s video story of hope: www.PortlandRescueMission.org/Debbie
Parrish, Debbie and many more find total life recovery because of your support. Please pray for our residents, and consider giving today.
A Big Year, in Big Ways Dear Friends,
111 West Burnside Portland, OR 97209 503-MISSION (647-7466) www.PortlandRescueMission.org Our Board of Directors Bob Elfers Chair John W. Van Diest Vice Chair Janine Schulwitz Treasurer Kathy Anfuso Barb Deeming Greg McWade Merrit Quarum, M.D. Todd Sheaffer Rick Teeny Executive Director Eric Bauer
Portland Rescue Mission has seen its share of excitement this year. We’ve been blessed despite the difficult economic conditions. Men and women have graduated from our New Life Recovery Ministry and are now equipped to face life’s temptations and struggles with newfound strength and confidence. We increased our capacity to serve 35,000 more meals this year. We sharpened our administration, strengthened our staff and expanded our ministries in order to give the increasing number of men, women and children whom we serve every day the healing and training they need for total life recovery. Parrish and Debbie, who are featured in this newsletter, saw a lot happen in their own lives this year, too. They both faced huge obstacles—obstacles of addiction, pride, false beliefs and fear—and learned how to handle them with faith and grace. Parrish, Debbie and dozens more like them learn to trust God to see them through their shortcomings, and they learn to be vulnerable to others through healthy relationships in order to grow that trust. Staff and volunteers planted seeds of truth and grace in these two lives, and the fruit is truly beautiful. This Thanksgiving and Christmas season, we thank you for your partnership with Portland Rescue Mission. We are so blessed to have our needs met, both through prayer and through diligent financial giving. Your support allows us to sow seeds of hope and life into the lives of people in our community who need more than a meal to find total life recovery. As the days grow colder this winter, the men, women and children who visit us will receive warmth and the love of Christ from our staff and volunteers. Thank you, again, for your partnership with us. You are part of a family that brings transformation to many hurting lives. During this holiday season, may you experience the abundant love of our Lord. You’re a gift to us,
Eric Bauer Executive Director
On November 12th, we heard this year’s stories of hope and transformation from men and women in recovery. Thanks to all our supporters and corporate sponsors for making our annual “Journey of Hope” Celebration Banquet a success.
Bank of the Cascades • Delap LLP• KOIN Local 6 • Gateway Communications • Providence Health System
Please bring donations to 111 West Burnside. • New underwear, socks, bras • Jeans, hooded sweatshirts • Hygiene items (e.g. deodorant) • Toothpaste and toothbrushes • Disposable razors
• Blankets, pillows • #10 canned vegetables / fruit • Fresh fruits, vegetables • Meat, eggs, cheese, butter • Paper towels, plates, napkins