Front line soldiers can grow weary and they need back-up support. Here at the Union Rescue Mission the employees are serving Jesus on the front lines of the battle field. They come to work every week into the worst neighborhood in the country, dealing with some of the most horrific back stories you will ever want to hear, and ministering to some people who aren’t always that understanding or kind.
One of my roles at the Union Rescue Mission is that of Staff Pastor. It’s my responsibility to care for the spiritual health of 175 employees. It’s a daunting task. The needs are many and great. I have seen an overwhelmingly open reception to the care being provided. Here are a couple of responses from staff:
“Wow, thank you for responding to God’s calling and getting here – URM – He knew I would need you.”
“So glad God knew how much you were needed here and that you answered that call.”
“Absolute tears! Thank you, that touches me more than you’ll ever know.”
I share these with you, not to promote myself, as I don’t really feel I’ve done that much, but to highlight how critical it is for these front line soldiers to have spiritual support.
I put out a devotional called Soul Care three times a week to each employee. Here is a response from one of the staff:
“Pastor Dan, thank you so much for sending out ‘Soul Care’. It really makes me think about things in a different way. I need spiritual help and admit this. I questioned God and I need to stop. Reading your ‘Soul Care’ helps me and I thank you.”
Here are three front line staffers who could use your spiritual support. They have all given me permission to share their story with you.
Thelma Reed is a department manager and has been at the mission for many years. She deals with tough decisions every day as it relates to the guests. The other day I stopped by to see her and she asked everyone to leave the room so we could talk privately. She asked me to pray for her as her grandson had just committed suicide. I came back to see her after the weekend to give her a little book on grieving and when I asked her how she was doing she told me that over the weekend her sister died. She is hurting and asking for prayer.
Celina Juarez is in the donor care department. Celina has four teenage and adult children. Her husband was murdered in 2009. After a few years of emotional court proceedings and a conviction of the killer, Celina found out she had cancer. After overcoming cancer this past year she began to have relational problems with a couple of the children. Two weeks ago one of them moved out of the house and won’t speak to her. She is emotionally drained. She needs spiritual support.
Antoinette Johnson works with our mothers with children on the fourth floor. She is a private person and keeps to herself. I visited her last week and we had a very vulnerable talk. This past December, just before Christmas, her husband was walking to his car after work and was shot and killed. They have two children 18 and 23. Her mother is her closest friend. Antoinette lost her mother two weeks ago. She feels alone, scared, and holding on to the children ever so tight. She needs spiritual support.
Would you please help me care for their souls by praying for these three grieving women? I feel like I need a team of people lifting their names before the Lord. And would you pray for me as I attempt to minister to them for I too need spiritual support to minister to them.
One final request: I have introduced Celina to Antoinette as she has gone through this same tragedy. Please pray that they will develop an intimate relationship and that God uses Celina to minister to Antoinette in ways I could never do and that Celina finds a level of redemptive grace in the process.
Thank you to all of you who have helped financially and thank you ever so much for your partnership in prayer. I’ve heard missionaries come to visit and say that prayers are even more important than financial gifts. Quite frankly I wasn’t really convinced. Living on Skid Row for three months has changed my mind.
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16
- Pastor Dan
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