Merry Christmas!

Looking outside the frosted window, you see the first snowfall of the year and the reflection of the freshly lit and decorated Christmas tree. Family is gathered around the dinner table prepared to eat a warm, delicious Christmas meal followed by the exchanging of gifts, singing Christmas carols, and sharing and celebrating the wonderful news of the birth of Jesus Christ.

This describes the visions we have about the Christmas season, and this is the type of experience we want to provide for the men, women, and children at the Holland Rescue Mission. There is no better way to share Christ’s love than to invest in another person’s life, which is exactly what our community is doing this Christmas season.

If you were to walk into our Men’s Ministry Center or Family Hope Ministry Center, you would see lit Christmas trees, hanging ornaments, evergreen garlands, Christmas candles, and more. You would see residents gathered around the dinner table eating a warm, delicious Christmas meal with one another. You would see Christmas gifts being exchanged Christmas morning. You would see individuals coming in to provide a special Christmas event or share Christmas carols with our residents, but most importantly, you would see devotions, chapel, and church services focused on the gospel and the birth of Jesus Christ.

This experience would not be possible without the involvement and volunteer services of churches, businesses, families, and individuals in our community. We have volunteers decorate our facilities with Christmas decor, volunteers prepare and serve meals, volunteers provide gifts through our Emergency Shelter Gift Bag and Adopt-A-Friend programs, and volunteers who get involved with singing Christmas carols, providing special craft nights for the children, speaking at chapel services, and investing in the lives of our residents.

The Holland Rescue Mission is thankful for the involvement of all volunteers through their financial donations and the time they invest into the lives of our families. We are blessed by the community we live in and their willingness to not only be involved this Christmas season but throughout the entire year. We are thankful for the community involvement in our ministry, for praying for our ministry, for investing in the lives of the men, women, and children here, and for sharing the great news of Christ.

And the angel said unto them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11

 

-Anna Southwell, Volunteer/Event Coordinator

I no longer live in fear because I know the Lord is Always at my side

My name is Mike. One week before I came to Holland Rescue Mission, I tried to kill myself. I wanted to be creative, so I set up a pulley overhead and threaded it with a length of rope to which I tied a shotgun. I then drank half a gallon of drain cleaner and jumped off the chair, assuming that would end it all. Well, the gun went off, but it hit the rope and shattered it as I fell
unceremoniously to the ground. As it turns out, the drain cleaner must have been old and flat, because it had no effect on me. So there I was lying on the floor not dead, but thinking to myself . . . okay God, if I’m not gonna die I better go to the Mission. My life was so messed up I couldn’t even kill myself.

“ My TV and I were best friends. In fact, the television set was my only friend.”

My Christ-esteem is improving and I’m glad I didn’t, because here at the
Mission I’m discovering who I am in Christ. It’s not my self-esteem that’s improving; it’s my Christ-esteem. For the first time in a long time, I no longer feel broken or angry. I once had a home-based business where I was earning a
yearly income of six figures. I figured with all that money I didn’t need the Lord. Well, that was crooked thinking. That’s when I needed Him most. Now I’m back in the fold, reading my Bible, praying, and being grateful to God, the Mission and to you who give so much of yourself to make this place available to me.

In the past, I was so timid I’d stay in my cabin and have my groceries delivered. I didn’t want to see or meet anyone. My TV and I were best friends. In fact, the television set was my only friend. Today I can talk to people, interact with them and live a much more normal life. Well, that’s my story in a nutshell. Thank you for listening — and thank you for being a hope provider for me today and for the better days that lie ahead in the New Year.

Your Friend,

Mike