Many of the persons that find themselves at the rescue mission door have long ago dropped out of main stream America. Their issues are so serious that they can no longer get by with a "tune-up". They need a full "overhaul". Rescue missions also welcome families that have made poor decisions regarding their finances and those, through no fault of their own, found themselves homeless. This book is about lost and found hope. It is about how people change when they meet Jesus. Rescue Ministry produces more Christian conversions in a month than some mainstream churches experience in a year. The book is also about people that know the name of Jesus, but do not know Him.
There was an era when most mission guests were single alcoholic males. The demographics now include people of all ages struggling with a variety of serious issues. Drugs and/or alcohol abuse continue to contribute in whole or in part to many situations of homelessness. In addition to being preachers and teachers of the gospel, many staff returns to college to become substance abuse counselors. Some missions provide just a place to sleep and a hot meal, while others have developed programs that teach people the tools necessary to achieve independent living. Many missions have some form of rehabilitation program for those in bondage to life controlling issues. The mission in Casper, Wyoming and Bakersfield, California where I ministered called the program, Discipleship Training. Mission program guests may experience a resiliency totally unexpected by their families and others who have watched helplessly from the sidelines. The Mission in Casper best embodies the spirit of rescue ministry in three words, "Rescue, Restore and Reconcile".
Those in rescue ministry are often called from secular occupations and not from clergy positions. Some unknowingly have been training for rescue ministry their entire life. Once God revels to them His purpose and will, they embrace their call and leave behind whatever life they had been living. Across this nation and beyond, they tirelessly pour themselves out day after day. Every night God comes to them to replenish their spirit and their energy. The very next day they do it all over again, never regretting that they answered the call to ministry. These workers rejoice at the opopportunity to serve God for yet another day. And so it was with us as we left our previous life for central Wyoming to answer the call. My husband was 65 and I was 53.