We had our first night of the missions jubilee tonight and it was a real blessing! Ernie Mills from the Durham Rescue Mission was there talking about the work of the mission, the burden he has and the future of the mission. The Victory Choir from the rescue mission was there. It consisted of around 15 men that live and work at the mission. Two of the men and the director shared their testimony before they started to sing. They shared how their lives had been affected by drugs and homelessness. How easy it was for them to fall into the addiction and how hard it was to get freed from it. Brother Bell brought a great message, only the way he can!
The message was great, but my mind kept going back to Raymond, a man that I met back in February at the Piedmont Rescue Mission. I didn’t share much about Raymond at the time, but my heart felt heavy as I wondered what had happened with his life. He had been at the rescue mission for a little over a week. This wasn’t his first trip there and he honestly said it probably wouldn’t be his last. Raymond lived in a small trailer on someone else’s property, alone. His wife had died a year earlier and he hadn’t much desire to do anything other than sit in his trailer and drink since then. He shared with me that he started seeing her in her favorite chair and the joy would come back until he realized that she was no longer there. He would cry himself to sleep and be angry when he awoke the next morning and she was missing once again. Raymond no longer wanted to live and tried to take his own life because he could not end the cycle in his life. After being kicked out of his home because he could no longer pay the rent some friends took him to the rescue mission. He knew he needed help but was at the end of his rope and didn’t know what to do. After being at the rescue mission for a couple of weeks he gave his life to the Lord and was slowly getting the help he needed. He told me he was doing a ton better and that he owed it all to the Lord and the rescue mission.
He shared this with me in a matter of minutes after the service was over. I asked him where he was from and he told me that he had grown up just a few miles from the rescue mission and had lived there most of his life. I told him my name and he looked up into my eyes. He had been looking at the floor the whole time he shared his story with me. Raymond looked at me and asked me how my grandpa was doing and called him by name. This caught me off guard. We talked for a few more minutes before he had to leave to do his work that night.
So, I am praying for Raymond tonight! I am praying for the Raymonds you may have in your life, the Raymonds you may have in your family, the Raymonds you may have as friends or what you yourself may share with Raymond. We are not above finding ourselves needing the help of a rescue mission for help with addiction or homelessness, but only by the grace of God. When we see someone with these problems we can’t simply turn our heads in the opposite direction. These people need Jesus, the hope, the salvation, the love of Christ, just like you and I. We need to look past the problems of sin we can see with our eyes and see the void that is in their lives without Christ.
I am looking forward to tomorrow nights service to see what God has in store! Welcome Baptist Church, 3100 New Sharon Church Rd Hillsborough, NC at 7:30pm