Thanksgiving At The Mission 2018

On Tuesday, Tracy Lawrence teamed up with Nashville Rescue Mission for the thirteenth annual Mission:Possible Turkey Fry. We fried over 500 turkeys together for our Great Thanksgiving Banquet. Tuesday night, Tracy Lawrence, Halfway to Hazard, Eric Paslay, Bristyn Camp, Doug McCormick, and Phil Vassar played a fantastic show at the Wildhorse Saloon benefiting the Mission!


 

Wednesday morning, we kicked off the Great Thanksgiving Banquet with the Life Recovery Program graduation. We were blessed to hear several amazing stories of transformation.

Mayor Briley joined in to congratulate the graduates and reminded us of the blessings of this community, including places like Nashville Rescue Mission. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, the Mission served over 5,000 meals during the holiday weekend.

 

 

 

Henry’s Sock Donation

When Henry found out there are families living with no home, he decided to help the homeless for his “give back” to the community project. He was hoping to collect or raise money for 100 pairs of new wool socks. Last week, Henry and his family dropped off his donation of 1,000 pairs of socks, 900 more than his original goal. Way to go Henry!

 

Mission in My Words: Matthew West

Mission in My Words: Matthew West

A few years ago I had the opportunity to perform a concert at a church for those who had recently donated to Nashville Rescue Mission. Joining those who were being thanked for their gift to the Mission were some of the men and women who call the Mission their home. It was through this experience I was introduced to the fantastic work and transformation that is taking place in the lives of so many men and women at the Mission.

The first thing that took me by surprise was to see the joy on their faces. I thought that to be out of place for someone living at a homeless shelter until I started hearing some of their stories. I was truly inspired as I heard men sharing how God had shown them a new way of life through the Mission’s Life Recovery Program.

A few years back, my record label decided to forgo an employee Christmas party and instead bring the party to the Mission. I had a chance to meet a lot of the men who are taking advantage of this incredible opportunity to change their life. Clay, one of the men in the program, shared with me that he’d struggled with addiction for a long time and had made some pretty bad choices along the way. He said he came to the Mission to change his life. He wanted to learn how to be a better dad and try to repair the broken relationship with his wife. After being at the Mission for just a month, Clay told me God was clearly showing him the way.

The light in this man’s eyes moved me. I was floored when he told me he was coming through this seven-month-long program voluntarily. He had pretty much lost everything, but now was choosing to rebuild his life.

I’ve performed and volunteered at a lot of shelters, prisons, and recovery homes across the country. But, there is definitely something different about Nashville Rescue Mission—it’s not just a homeless shelter—it is a place of hope and healing for the broken.

They are showing men and women what it means to put their regrets and feelings of shame at the feet of a healing God. The Mission is helping these hurting men and women see that hope for tomorrow looks a lot better than the pain of their past.


Matthew West is a four-time GRAMMY® nominee, multiple-ASCAP Christian Music Songwriter/Artist of the Year winner, Dove Award recipient, American Music Award winner (‘13), Billboard Music Award (Top Christian Artist, ‘14), K-LOVE Fan Award (‘16), and named Billboard’s Hot Christian Songwriter of the Year (‘16).

Breaking Bread

Breaking Bread

“You never know what someone is going through.”

 

A Long History

Serving at the Mission is like coming home for Victoria. In the late 70s, she spent two years working in the building the Mission now occupies. “I was working in Florida at the time,” recalled Victoria. “But wanted to move back home when Sears transferred me to their store in downtown Nashville.”

On her drive to work, she recalls seeing many homeless men lining up on Demonbreun waiting for a meal at the Mission. “I would also see homeless men come up to the candy counter in Sears. They would want some popcorn or those maple nut goodies. I would sometimes give them some change if I had it. Many times the store manager would make them leave out of fear of them shoplifting. I tried not to judge because you never know what someone is going through.”

“I find it interesting that back then the store management would run them out, but God would take that building and allow it to become the very place they can run to for help. Only God can do that. He is in the business of blessing.”

 

When I Was Hungry, You Fed Me

As long as Victoria can remember, she’s had a heart for feeding people. Even in the midst of her struggles, their door was always open to anyone who was in need of a meal. In 2003, Victoria started a community service project at the school where she worked called Feed Friends. Their goal was to collect food and give it to those in need.

“I always go back to the verse that says, ‘When I was hungry, you fed me.’ We have no idea when we are entertaining angels unaware. And just like God multiplied the bread and the fish, He is always provided for my family and me. Today, I have three grown daughters, and even they are known to feed people all the time.”

“It’s not about us. It’s about Jesus. It’s about glorifying God. this is Kingdom building!”

 

An Inspiration to Others

“The first time I volunteered at the Mission in 2015, I was so moved I cried like a baby. I came with a few friends, and we served breakfast. I was hugged and thanked many times. When you can look past a person’s condition and see them as a child of God, just like you or me, well then the love of Christ is on display for all to see. I have been blessed many times over.”

After that experience, Victoria was inspired to volunteer on a more frequent basis and invited friends and family to join her. Her group that started with just five has grown to over 15 and includes family members, friends from work and church, and people who are near and dear to her.

“I’ll never forget serving at the Mission the day before Thanksgiving. It’s an extraordinary day as the women and children come over to the main campus, and everyone participates in the chapel service and enjoys a special Thanksgiving meal afterward. Seeing these ladies express such heartfelt gratitude blew me away. No one complained. Everyone was respectful. They kept thanking us like we did something. It is the Lord’s work.”

“I hope that when others see the joy I get from volunteering at the Mission that it will inspire them also to get involved.”


 

Volunteers make a difference every day at Nashville Rescue Mission.

Sign up online and be a part of transforming lives!

 

 

Thank You for Giving

Thank You for Giving

“No one should go hungry, at Thanksgiving or any other day,” said Rev. Glenn Cranfield, president and CEO of Nashville Rescue Mission.

 

Open Doors

“Especially in a country as great as ours. And with the support of such a generous community, the Mission is making sure that no one in Nashville goes hungry this Thanksgiving,” said Cranfield. “Our doors are open to anyone who is need of help and hope. We welcome them with open arms and are saving a seat for them at our table.”

Much like you might eat at home, the Thanksgiving meal at the Mission includes all the traditional fixings of turkey, dressing, green beans, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce, served with sweet tea, and a slice of pie. Volunteers are a big part of the celebration as they arrive early to help with preparing and cooking the meals, but they also make the day extra special by carrying the trays of the guests and escorting them to their table. On this day, guests of the Mission truly are the guests of honor.

 

Thanksgiving Hope

“Thanksgiving is an extraordinary holiday at Mission,” said Cranfield. “We want each guest to know their life matters regardless of the situation or circumstance that brought them here. We want them to know that good people like you still care about them. Your support of the Mission gives the men, women, and children experiencing homelessness in our community access to meals, clothing, shelter, but more importantly—it gives them hope.”

It is also a day of thankfulness. While the prayers shared around your table might be thanking God for blessings such as a new job, good health, a special relationship, or even an improved financial situation– the prayers around the table at the Mission are more likely to be offering thanks for necessary things like having a safe place to sleep, a hot meal to eat, or even a chance to start over again.

Take Ken for example. Ken recently graduated from the Mission’s Life Recovery Program and is thankful for a multitude of things. But the one blessing that stands out from the rest–the opportunity he now has to attend college and further his career.

“Nashville Rescue Mission has given me a lot of reasons to be grateful this Thanksgiving,” said Ken. “I came to the Mission with nothing but the clothes on my back. I was beaten down and about as low as a person could go. Not only did they make sure I had something to eat, a safe place to sleep, they also extended love and acceptance to me despite the state I was in. I received encouragement, training, counseling, and education while in the Mission’s program. I found hope at the Mission, and I now have hope for my future. They helped me see that God put me here for a reason and that my life has purpose and meaning. I’m now enrolled in college classes with a plan to become a counselor. I want to be able to help people like I was helped when I came to the Mission.”

 

Your Gift Provides Transformation

Hope is a powerful thing. It can change people. It can change lives. Nashville Rescue Mission provides hope by offering shelter to the homeless, feeding the hungry, inspiring life-long learning, and encouraging a personal relationship with God to everyone who walks through the doors. Many come seeking a hot meal and are greeted by a loving community, and here they find hope for a better tomorrow.

“We couldn’t do what we do without the support of generous donors, committed volunteers, and faithful staff,” said Cranfield. “Each plays a valuable role in the ministry of the Mission. In some cases, our ministry starts with a meal… and sometimes that meal is the one served on Thanksgiving. In the process of filling an empty stomach, it might also be the very thing that opens the door to other Mission services such as job training, counseling, recovery programs. In many cases, it’s often the start of a new and better life.”

Ken is just one of the thousands of the people your support allows the Mission to serve. He is an excellent example of how a meal, a piece of clothing, a coat, a pair of shoes…goes a long way in opening a heart and preparing a mind for the life transformation that awaits them if they are willing to take that next step, as Ken did. Your gift today makes this a possibility for so many others, much like Ken, who come to the Mission in need of help and hope.

Thank you for giving. Your generosity gives hope.


 

Ken is just one of many men who have found help and hope at Nashville Rescue Mission. Your gift today will help us serve even more.

With your help, these men can overcome their past and walk into a brand new future.