Letter to the Editor: Reader shares good Miami Rescue Mission is doing
Article Date: Aug 27, 2014
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Reader shares good Miami Rescue Mission is doing
As a chaplain at the Miami Rescue Mission I am exposed to more brokenness, pain and heartache than most people are exposed to in an entire lifetime. The stories I hear from countless numbers of homeless men and women at our centers on a daily basis can be terrifying. Everything from domestic abuse, prostitution, drug addiction, mental illness and more mark the stories of those who sit in my office to receive pastoral counsel from God’s Word.
Though the world gives up on men and women such as these, God never does. The Miami Rescue Mission exists to transform the lives of homeless men, women and children through comprehensive residential programs to effect lasting change and empower them to be productive members of society. All of this is done on the foundation of Christ and His Word, as we seek to show compassion, give hope, aid restoration and enable the transformation of every person who walks through our doors.
According to Kevin Bumgarner’s July 31 editorial, “Weighing our responsibility to help Florida’s homeless,” Southern Baptist churches are increasingly finding ways to relieve overburdened and underfunded social service organizations while also seeking to continue to spread the Good News of Jesus in word and deed. Though this desire to help is informative, only our actions will prove to be transformative in the lives of the hurting and broken within our communities.
For as many supporters as there are of homeless ministry, there are also all the more skeptics. Yet it is impossible to live out the ethics of the Gospel apart from ministering to those Christ labeled as “the least of these.”
It is a tremendous blessing to have a Christ-centered organization such as the Miami Rescue Mission offering hope, in the greatest sense of the word, to those who need it most in South Florida. Rev. Ronald Brummitt, who serves as the president of this organization, has made it clear that “our goal is not just to put new clothing on a man or a woman, but rather to help people become a new man or woman with new clothing in Christ.”
The truth is, an organization such as the Miami Rescue Mission, whose sole focus is ministering to this specific demographic, can make a greater impact for the homeless in our community than any single local church can. With that being said, though the Miami Rescue Mission can do more than a local church can for the homeless, it can do nothing apart from local churches and their support.
What better way to show the students in our churches the importance of caring for the hurting than by sending them to feed the homeless at one of our shelters for summer camp? What better way to unite a church in the fight for justice than to come together and do food and toy drives during thanksgiving and Christmas seasons? What better way to train men and women for ministry than by sending them to start Bible studies or provide on-site chapel services? What better way to be stewards of our finances than to lend to those whom the Lord has directed us to?
One of my greatest concerns for those who come to know Christ through our program is that they would find healthy, Christ-exalting churches to become members of once they leave. We are deeply in need of more churches coming alongside of these people to further disciple them through regular fellowship, ministry opportunities and the exposition of God’s Word. The harvest is plentiful here, and your churches are welcome to come and reap!
The opportunities to help are endless, and for those in the South Florida community, they’re imperative. The Miami Rescue Mission/Broward Outreach Centers serve all of South Florida. There is a center near many of our Southern Baptist Churches.
Don’t overlook the mission field that is homeless ministry. Pray for the broken, the hurting, the needy and the Miami Rescue Mission.
Volunteer at one of our centers serving meals or doing special projects. Have your church do a food, hygiene, toy or clothing drive. Get involved in one of our Street Outreaches such as “Thanksgiving on Good Friday” or “The Great Christmas Outreach.” Allow our pickup trucks to park at your church on a Saturday and receive donations from members’ households such as furniture, appliances and clothing. Consider contributing financially through a monthly or yearly missionary pledge. My prayer is that we would always remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ who said, “As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matt. 25:40).
Chaplain, Miami Rescue Mission
Organization accredited by the Evangelical Free Church of America
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