Looking Back On 2019
It feels like just yesterday when I was pondering what God would do in, around, and through the Central Coast Rescue Mission in 2019. I was trusting Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or even imagine, according to His power at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” I knew God is not limited by my imagination. I remember the excitement and boy did God deliver! In 2019 we saw more life change than ever before; we had more graduates, more nights of shelter, served more meals, and gave away more clothes through improved programing and outreaches! We got to be the hands and feet of Jesus, as we built on a foundation poured out over 20 years of ministry; 20 years of volunteers, donors, and mentors giving to help others experience the love of Jesus. It’s a tremendous legacy to be a part of and all of us at the mission are honored to carry it into the future. In August we invited a small group of donors and volunteers to be fresh eyes for our ministry, help us navigate difficult situations, add a level of accountability and credibility, and be ambassadors for the mission as our new Advisory Board.
This year, with the help of local churches, we hosted an Easter BBQ in an at risk neighborhood. One little girl stated, “I always wanted one of those!” She was looking at 1 of the 100 Easter baskets we passed out. She then took one to her little brother and the scene was repeated with him. It’s cool to help someone… but to help someone help someone else is absolutely amazing!
Active Church has a thriving team that heads into downtown SLO every Wednesday night and serves “Burgers for Jesus” every other Friday Night and hosts special “Service Days” that happen on Saturdays throughout the year.
During our time together, we took a look of 20 years of ministry, heard from one of the founders of Santa Maria Rescue Mission, our CEO spoke about the purpose of our organization, plus we got to celebrate two graduates from the Life Recovery Program.
Anthony lost his way after his father died unexpectedly. He got in with the wrong crowds and ended up homeless and using drugs. Desperate for help, Anthony came to the Mission and was over whelmed. “I wasn’t used to all the privileges—the TV, the food, the bed,” he said. “I just saw what a blessing it was. I was super thankful and everyone was really nice.” Anthony graduated the recovery program in April and was honored during our 20th Anniversary Celebration. He is now in our Transitional Living Program and is sober, housed, employed, and active in a church community.
Last February we introduced you to VW Joe. Joe lives in his van and had been served by the mission through meals, showers, and friendship for ten years. Joe shares a Gospel song with some of the mission staff through a text every day. He may never enter our recovery program, but he’s grateful to have “found people who always have a good word for you, like these guys here,” he said of the mission staff and clients. “I don’t fit in very good (in most places). But the mission has always been good to me.” Joe was recently contacted by his long lost daughter and is currently visiting her and her family.
Once again, I find myself pondering where God will lead in the coming year. Due to the success we experienced last year, we find ourselves facing new challenges in 2020 as our current facilities are no longer able to keep up with demand. Discussions of expansion are underway and adding a new 6 bed residence is in the works. This will help elevate the growing wait list, but I’m leaning into God with the expectation that He will do immeasurably more than all we can ask or even imagine. I believe that He will grant us even greater success, as His power works through us, to bring Him glory, as we change lives for good!
Thank you to everyone who has made the Central Coast Rescue Mission’s story possible! I pray that God will do immeasurably more than all you can ask or even imagine throughout the coming year and into the future! ~ Jon Bronkowski, Director