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The Ministry Of Gospel Rescue Missions

What do you think about when you see a homeless person camped out on the street or under a freeway? Where can these people go? It goes without saying that homelessness is a huge problem that governments are not doing enough to address. Though there are too many homeless individuals, if it were not for gospel rescue missions there would be a lot more.

According to the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions – Homeless Assistance there are 300 missions in North America, and other ministries that serve more than 7 million needy people in the inner cities in the United States, Canada, and overseas, each year. They provide shelter, food, Christian counseling, rehab, and specialized programs for the mentally ill. So, if there are this many missions providing all these basic needs, why are so many living on the streets? There could be several reasons I suppose. Do some not want to go to missions? Perhaps they don’t know they exist or where they are located. Worst of all, maybe no person wants to take that kind of person to one.

The largest homeless shelter and gospel mission in the U.S. is the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago. It is also the oldest continuous running mission in America, founded in 1872. It has 750 beds for men, and 200 beds for women and children, with a 600 seat dining area. The famed evangelist, Billy Sunday, was led to faith in Christ through the ministry of this mission.

Pacific Garden Mission also has a radio broadcast called “Unshackled.” This program which features true life stories of people who have had their lives transformed by the grace of God through the ministry of the mission, airs over 6,500 times each year globally on over 1,550 stations, and is translated into eight languages on six continents. As of January 2022 there have been over 3,700 episodes! I encourage you to check to see which Christian radio stations in your locale air the program. You will be very inspired.

I personally spent five years speaking in chapel services at my local rescue mission, to the homeless, hurting, and helpless people in my community. After speaking, I sat down and ate lunch with them. It was one of the greatest experiences of my spiritual journey! There is a negative stigma and pre-conceived unjustified dislike attached to these people, even by many Christians. True, some have made very destructive choices in their lives, but there are also some who end up at missions through no fault of their own, like for example, being evicted for not being able to pay their rent.

One time at the mission I saw an entire family with small children. I also became friends with a young man who had been through some very destructive circumstances, but accepted Christ and decided to become a pastor. This is just one example of the work and ministry of gospel rescue missions. They combine meeting practical needs, with deliverance from addictions, and sharing the gospel. Isn’t this what it is all about?

In Matthew 25:35-40 Jesus talks how important it is to minister to the needy, the hungry, the thirsty, the strangers, the sick, and those in prison. It even affects our final judgment!

Proverbs 19:17 says, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deeds” but “Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered” (Proverbs 21:13).

Volunteering just one hour a week at a local gospel rescue mission can be life changing. And helping to put a homeless person in contact with a mission can change their life as well, in a practical and spiritual way. For homeless shelters and gospel missions near you click here: AGRM – Citygate Network

About John Clark

John Livingston Clark is 74 years of age and lives in central Washington State. He has written two published books, and two published poems. His initial book is called, " God's Healing Hope: Breaking the Strongholds of Wrong Thinking." His second book, released in December of 2016, is a motivational book written to seniors titled, " Seniors: Are You Retiring or Recharging?" Both books are available on amazon. You can also view his writings on www.faithwriters.com. His “Poem For Senior Citizens” is in the 5th spot on FW.

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2 comments

  1. Hi John-Such a great article, this is a subject more people should be made aware of. And for those who already know, should help to spread it forward.
    Thanks for taking time to address an important issue in our culture today.
    God Bless~

  2. yes we should help in any way we can

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