I saw her in her ponytail and pink sneakers. She hugged a banana from the dinner cart to her chest before slipping it under her thin jacket. She gave me a child’s shy smile that grew into a sort of across the room embrace when she saw that her happiness made me happy too. It made me happy and sad in equal measure. I was grateful she was sharing our supper. I was sorry her family ran out of food because rent was so high.
At the Anchorage Gospel Rescue Mission, we are God’s love on a mission. We are also the hands of the Anchorage community making beds, serving the soup and helping people find a future that does not include standing on a street corner with a sign.
We are a safety net for those who have no net. We serve over 7,500-9,000 meals a month, often to working families who had an unexpected expense that drained their resources. To people in a new job but who have yet to receive a paycheck. To veterans needing housing and employment. To women who need a safe place to sleep while making a plan. To men who are looking for a way out of substance abuse. Our 100 beds are full every night in a clean, safe and supportive environment.
Our mission statement guides our work. A meal. A bed. A soul well fed. It is the well-fed soul that discovers all the possibilities that come from living in God’s family. It is a new identity and it is not just who we are but whose we are. It is new life complete with new doors. Until that life emerges it is a hot meal, a warm bed and the right clothes for the season.
Picture yourself in need of our services. What if you had to start over from scratch? What might scratch look like? It is a sobering thought to think of having nothing, of feeling you are nothing. Some of our clients are the authors of their own troubles. Some are people who tried so hard to do things right but life happened. We are here for all of them.
We have been helping people to help themselves out of homelessness for almost half a century. We take no money from the government and we are supported by donations from the community we serve.
At this time we are seeking your financial support if that is something you wish to contribute. I can assure you that we will never take your partnership for granted and we will use your loving gesture fully in support of those who need it.
We would welcome you to schedule a tour with us. Let us show you, in person, who we are and why we need you to help us buy more bananas.
May the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, bless and inspire your life, granting favor to all your endeavors.
In love, hope and gratitude,
Pastor John LaMantia