F E B R UA RY 2 0 1 6 THE CIRCLE OF OUR MISSION To offer life changing hope through the Gospel of Jesus Christ to homeless men, women, and children through programs to deliver food, shelter, counseling and discipleship MISSION LIFE M DIRECTOR F R OM TH E Rex Baker y 1 year old hound dog mutt named Spice did it again. As I dressed for work one cold morning, I noticed she had chewed a big hole in the sleeve of my best “dress for work” winter coat. Rather than heading to work looking stylish, I looked like a hobo. This type of thing happens often with Spice. Yet, when I verbally correct her, she lays down prostrate on the floor and stares up at me with sad puppy dog eyes that would melt Attila the Hun’s heart. Then she seeks forgiveness and restoration by laying her head on my chest, looking up at me with those same sad puppy dog eyes. In rescue ministry, we deal with lots of folks who mess up, then seek forgiveness and restoration, sometimes only to mess up again. Get on somebody’s case about cussing after chapel and you just might get this sad stare that says “so sorry, so sorry.” I wonder how God feels about me? I mess up, then go crawling to Him for forgiveness and restoration, sometimes only to mess up again. Now, I know there’s someone reading this going “brother, if you’d just learn to walk in the Spirit, you wouldn’t fulfill the desires of the flesh!!” Two things to note. Each of us is a work in progress. And all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) No matter how good we try to be, we each have a bit of one year old pup in us that just can’t stay out of the kitchen garbage. Sometimes, progressive sanctification is a reality. When Spice was 3 months old, she would have “accidents” in the house. She doesn’t do that anymore. Yes, she chewed the corner off Fresh Wind Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala (an excellent read), and she’s chewed through yellow highlighters and ink pens, but she’s learned to do her “business” outside. At Gateway Rescue Mission, we specialize in people who are a work in progress. If we can get someone to stop smoking crack, meth, or weed, or stop guzzling booze and pickling their liver, that’s major progress. If they don’t quit smoking cigarettes, I’ve learned to live with that. I get a lot of satisfaction in the fact that we put a good plate of food in front of hungry people every day. Many people come through our line and thank us for the meal. Volunteers receive joy in serving in our kitchen. “Some wish to live within the sound of church or chapel bell. I wish to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.” —C.T. Studd But sometimes someone in the lunch line will unleash a barrage of “French” that would make a sailor sound like a rookie. Just as I’m about ready to give him a piece of my mind for arguing and cussing loud, I’ll realize he’s not arguing. He’s just talking with a friend and using his everyday vocabulary. We recently held a day retreat for key staff at Gateway Rescue Mission. We discussed strategic goals and plans for 2016. Opportunities are on the horizon, such as the movie Same Kind of Different as Me, scheduled for release later this year. The true, heart-grabbing story involves life change that combined God working through broken people at a rescue mission. As always, we will look this year to improve our programs so that lives will be changed. We’ll do mundane things like repair vehicles, pick up donations, operate thrift stores, and deal with the tyranny of the urgent. And we’ll dream big about the possibilities. Then, just as we are about to head out the door, we’ll realize that someone chewed a proverbial hole in what we thought looked best and we’ll have to regroup. In all of life, we deal with imperfect people who we love nonetheless. Whether you’re at a rescue mission, a monastery, at church, the office….doesn’t matter. I love Spice even when finding a chewed up Advil bottle on the floor and wondering if she ate them. May we all realize that the people who cause the little messes in our lives also bring love and meaning to our existence. For reasons I’ll probably never understand in this life, God created us knowing that we would mess up. But here’s the catch. I dozed off and ended up sleeping all night recently in my recliner. When I awoke the next morning, Spice was right by my side. We all mess up. But God looks for those willing to lay their head on His chest and say, “forgive me”….folks who even when they’ve left candy wrappers on the floor after somehow managing to find the chocolate, will loyally be found by His side when the morning comes. Rex Baker Executive Director Gateway Rescue Mission ON THE COVER THE CIRCLE OF MISSION LIFE GATEWAY Board of Directors Danny Cawthon President C. Glen Bush Vice President F. Allen Holiman Secretary/Treasurer Lee Bush Braxton Crumpler Hugh L. (Dave) Davis, III Bryan Kerr Jackie Meck Mike Sartor L inda is sort of a fixture at Gateway Rescue Mission. She’s a regular in our kitchen, and has experienced her share of problems. But God has a beautiful way of redeeming and using people, and these days He’s using Linda to take care of Dominique, her two year old grand-daughter. Over the years we’ve prayed with Linda, hugged Linda, joked with Linda, fussed at Linda, given Linda a buck or two here and there….but the other day when she hollered “Hey Mr. Rex !!”, which is her typical greeting, I just couldn’t help but snap a picture of Linda pushing her grand-daughter down the street. When I asked her what she’s doing these days, she proudly proclaimed “taking care of my grand-baby!” Sometimes in life we need somebody to take care of us. But there’s just something about taking care of someone else that provides a touch of dignity. These days, Linda has a home, a family, and someone to love. Speaking of someone to love (or in this case some thing), I just had to stick a picture of Spice in this here newsletter. The canine is pictured in her favorite pose, with her mouth open and something in it. GATEWAY RESCUE MISSION 328 S. Gallatin Street P.O. Box 3763 Jackson, MS 39207-3763 Phone: 601.353.5864 Fax: 601.353.9468 Website: www.gatewaymission.org You meet the most interesting people at Gateway Rescue Mission!! Sometimes its the folks who come through our kitchen to eat, and sometimes its the volunteers who drop by to serve. Vikki Mumford, who currently works with the Jackson Public School System, recently brought her family by to serve in our kitchen. It’s hard to put a dollar figure on volunteers. Some people have the spiritual gift of giving. It’s a gift where God empowers certain people with the desire to financially support something worthwhile. We have many donors with that very gift. God also gives some people the gift of service. The Holy Spirit supernaturally empowers them to sense when something needs to be done, and they get busy doing it. We see both those gifts, and many others, come into play at Gateway Rescue Mission. We’d love you to put your “giftedness” to work at Gateway Rescue Mission. Check out our website at www.gatewaymission.org, like us on Facebook, or go old school and call us on the phone at 601-353-5864. FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA TWITTER: @GATEWAYMISSION • INSTAGRAM: GATEWAYMISSION • FACEBOOK: GATEWAY RESCUE MISSION YES! I will help Gateway Rescue Mission care for the homeless and hurting people of our community! ❏ $25 ❏ $50 ❏ $100 ❏ $250 ❏ $500 ❏ Help as many people as possible $ F E B R UA RY 2 0 1 6 Name Address City/State/Zip Phone E-mail If using a credit card, please provide the following information: Discover VISA MasterCard American Express Card Number Expiration Date Cardholder Authorized Signature (All donations are tax deductible to the full extent the law allows.) Please detach and mail this form along with your gift in the enclosed reply envelope.