Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter and be brought up-to-date on what is happening at Bridge Street Mission. As you know, our desire is to engage, encourage and edify the hurting, homeless and those battling addictions of our community, helping them realize who God created them to be through the transformative power of Jesus Christ. We value your compassionate partnership, and we know He values it even more!
October and November are “count-down” months for our ministry, as we gear up for the increasing numbers of hurting souls who need our help as the weather chills. There is Thanksgiving, there is Christmas – holidays that can be a struggle for many of the individuals who reach out for our (and your) help.
As you may know, toward the end of Jesus’ physical ministry on earth, in the days leading up to the cross, He made a statement that I have often found intriguing. When there was concern among the disciples who questioned Mary’s exorbitant display of affection for the Lord Jesus, as she “bathed” His feet with some very expensive perfume. The comment was made that a better use of the funds she used to procure the perfume would have been to donate it for the poor, Jesus defends her actions as preparing His body for burial, and proclaiming wherever the gospel would go forth, what she had done would be made known as well. I’m sure Mary never had said recognition in mind when she expressed her love for the Lord Jesus in such a practical way; and such an extravagant and costly way. And yet her love for Him made such action reasonable—the right thing to do! Jesus then says, “The poor you will always have with you!”
I find that intriguing, yet obvious. A quick review of the Old Testament accounts, as well as teaching of the Psalms and Proverbs, shows us that the poor—the needy, the afflicted, the sick, the oppressed, etc, were very much on God’s heart. We also see that Jesus, in whom God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in bodily form—who was God is flesh, we see that His life was consistent with this aspect of God. Look at who He hung out with? The lame, the infirmed, the possessed, the leprous, the blind, the deaf, the paralytic, the homeless, the addicted—even the disciples, all of which were poor. The fact that the poor will always be with us is intentional on God’s part so that we always have an arena in which He can use us to make Himself known–He can use us to communicate His love for them in a practical way.
Understanding this about my God and Father adds some conviction to some of the statements we find in Proverbs. I’ll just list two for you now:
- “One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his good deed.” Proverbs 19:17
Did you ever think about lending to the Lord? You know He is good for it; you know He will pay it back…and with generous interest. Talk about a wise investment! I am sure anyone and everyone would jump at that. And yet, He tells us how to do it, and we don’t! It’s like we say, “Oh, that’s what He means.
- “He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered.” Proverbs 21:13
Often our thought process is we’re too smart, too good, too diversified, too educated, to ever find ourselves poor. We look down on the poor, while thinking that if they really wanted to, they could get out of the position they are in. It would never happen to us. We ignore their cries for help, their pleading eyes; we look away because we can’t stomach what they are about. This verse is a God-breathed promise; we need to take it seriously.
We are also in the early stages of launching the 30-day shelter program, the 8-month Sober Living initiative, and the 2-year mentor program, for which there are still needs that must be met before January 1, 2020.
As we count down the days toward the holidays and our official launch, would you lend to the Lord by sharing a generous gift with Bridge Street Mission? Whatever you can give will be so appreciated; and we know that He will richly repay you! It is an “out-of-this-world” investment that pays eternal dividends; the value never crashes. Thank you in advance for your partnership with us, and your investment in kingdom work!
In His service—by His grace and for His glory,
Todd Van Ryn
Interim Executive Director