Since you guys seem to be interested in Christianity this weekend...

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Since you guys seem to be interested in Christianity this weekend...

Post by Dennis324 on Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:46 am

Private Missions Restoring Hope to NYC's Homeless

NEW YORK -- When Hurricane Sandy hit New York City last fall, thousands were forced from their homes. Months later, many are still displaced.

But shelters in the city have been providing a place to sleep for the homeless long before this crisis.

They're also restoring hope.

The Bowery Mission in lower Manhattan first opened its doors to the city's homeless in 1879. The shelter has been effectively rebuilding the lives of homeless people for more than 130 years.
Here they treat more than just the symptoms of homelessness -- they treat the root causes of the problem.

Through the years the mission has provided food and shelter to thousands of people. Today, in this city of 8.4 million, its kitchen serves some 800 meals a day.
"We create nutritious hot meals from scratch from top food that we get from all over the city," Ed Morgan, with the Bowery Mission, said. "While soup is a part of our menu, lobster is also a part, too. You can come here and get a nutritious meal any time."

Last year the mission provided more than 30,000 bags of groceries and nearly 80,000 nights of shelter.

But its goodwill extends beyond food and housing. It also offers a six-month live-in drug and alcohol recovery program.

Participants are enrolled in computer classes where they receive hands-on training and job counseling.

Over the years services have evolved. In the beginning, the mission only sheltered men. Today,women are welcome, too.

But some things have remained. Hymn-singing, prayer, and sermons in its chapel still provide nourishment to the souls of the city's homeless.

James Macklin once owned his own cleaning business. That all changed when he started abusing alcohol and drugs.

"Cocaine destroyed me and all that I ever accomplished," Macklin said.

He soon found himself sleeping under bridges and in subway stations.

He recalled the the first time he stepped through the chapel doors some 30 years ago.

"I sat all the way in the back of the chapel and pastor was preaching," he told CBN News.

"I was looking around remembering my childhood and seeing all those marvelous scriptures on the wall," he said. "They sung a song that I knew. I said, 'Wow, what kind of place is this?'"

Finding Redemption

This place is where he found redemption, he said. Now, as director of outreach, he shares that same hope with others.

"I want to be the father to some that never had, the friend to some that never had -- a true friend and say to them if I can do, it so can you," Macklin said.

Donations from private citizens help the mission make a difference in the lives of men like Macklin. As a privately funded group it receives no government money, something that allows it to implement spiritual guidance in its programs.

"When you really change a man or woman's heart it tends to last, especially if you support them after they graduate," Morgan said.

"Four out of five of our graduates are still clean and sober a year later and that's not true of secular programs," he said. "That's a wonderful result."

Saving Lives, Saving Money

Those results cost a lot less to produce than at government-funded shelters, Morgan said.

"It does cost a good deal to do this," he said. "So, we say for a man to go through our program and graduate clean and sober and connected to Christ and everything, it takes about $12,500."

"But you contrast that with, for instance, it takes $20,000 a year just to warehouse a man in one of the city's shelters and even more if he's committed a crime and in jail," he said.

Craig Mayes, with the New York City Rescue Mission, agreed.

"I'm thankful to the city for doing what it can in getting shelters and getting people off the streets and giving them food and shelter," Mayes said. "But if you don't address the deeper spiritual more fundamental issues of what it means to be a human being, I think you're going to continue to have shelters that are full of people who come back day after day, week after week for the same thing."

Mayes said the problem of homelessness is beyond the scope of local, state, and the federal government.

"I think it's best in the hands of private individuals or organizations who this is what they do," he said.

A Growing Need

City officials calculate that the number of homeless in New York is around 47,000. But with the rising cost of living, Mayes said he believes that number is much higher and on the rise.

"Some of us actually who are in this work think that number is like double, could be 100,000," he said. "So the need is getting greater."

Meanwhile, places like the Bowery Mission are sure to be around offering more than a helping hand.

Christianity is so often ridiculed, but we rarely ever hear about the good that Christian Missions and groups do. And we do a lot.



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Re: Since you guys seem to be interested in Christianity this weekend...

Post by Dennis324 on Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:56 am

'Joni and Friends' Bring Hope to Disabled Ugandans

U.S.-based ministry Joni and Friends is sending its interns to Uganda so they will become better advocates for people with disabilities.

The special needs of children with disabilities are often ignored in developing countries. They are the discards of society.

Joni Eareckson Tada Honored for Disability Work

Christian author and radio host Joni Eareckson Tada will receive the Wilberforce Award this weekend for her many years of ministry to help those with disabilities and their families.

Tada is 62 and became quadriplegic at age 17 after a diving accident. She's since devoted her life to ridding the world of the unfair opinion that a disability makes life worth less living.

"We've delivered tens of thousands of wheelchairs and Bibles all around the world," Tada continued. "All to proclaim the name of Christ and to reclaim the territory of disability back from the adversary and bring it under the banner of Jesus."

Earlier this year, Tada was also inducted into the National Religious Broadcasters' Hall of Fame for her radio ministry.

Thousands in Ireland Hold Vigil for 'Pro-Life Promise'

As many 30,000 people attended a pro-life vigil in Dublin's Merrion Square Saturday, Jan. 19, to oppose any changes to abortion legislation in the Republic of Ireland.

In a phone call from the rally, Dr. Eoghan de Faoite, with Youth Defence, and rally attendees demanded in unison that Prime Minister Enda Kenny and the government keep their "pro-life promise."

Last month the Irish government said that it would legislate abortion in "certain cases." Abortion is currently illegal in Ireland, except to save the life of the mother.



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