"The Missionary" Newsletter

"Living Like a Real Man"

Jason Foxwell

"I had accepted Christ long ago in a jail cell, but I had no understanding about God. I realized that He put me at the Mission to clean up my life."

When Jason Foxwell's cellmate found him unconscious from a heroin overdose, it seemed like the end of the story, but God had more chapters to write. Instead of dying at age 18, he survived to continue his cycle of addiction, rehab, failure, prison. The night he came to Central Union Mission in April 2011, he had an open warrant for his arrest for counterfeiting.

When he confessed that he was on the run from the law, Mission leaders urged him to turn himself in. He complied and was surprised to find that the judge commuted his 21-year sentence to 3 years of probation. "I've turned myself in before, but I'd never been released from anything." Here was serious grace. "I could see where God had His hand on me and was honoring my attempt to follow Him."

Now 26, Jason has completed the first phase of the Spiritual Transformation Program, serious work which he says compares to Bible college. He's active with St. Brendan's in the City, which meets in the Mission chapel, and he has several mentors in the congregation.

He'd like to pursue a software engineering degree so he can get a good job. He also has four children and several relationships to reconcile. He says: "I came to God and gave Him everything, and He moved everything out of the way so I could follow Him. Now I'm being held accountable, coming under authority, living like a real man."


Seniors Luncheon
Wednesday, February 8, 11:00 am
The Seniors need your help at their Valentine's Day program.

Every Man's Birthday Party
Wednesday, February 15, 6:00 pm
It's everyone's birthday today.
You can volunteer to serve cake and distribute gifts.

Seniors Luncheon
Wednesday, March 14, 11:00 am
"Here Comes Spring!" luncheon needs volunteer helpers.

Easter Lunch and Open House
Sunday, April 8, 1:00 pm
Join other volunteers in celebrating Christ's Resurrection with service to our needy neighbors.

Family Day
Monday, April 9, 11:00 am
Hispanic families gather at Camp Bennett (Brookeville, MD) for games, Bible teaching and lunch.

Executive Dinner
Wednesday, April 25, 5:30-7:30 pm
Enjoy a meal and Mission tour and learn more about what we do.

Contact Seamus Merrigan at 202-MISSION, ext. 249
or jmerrigan@missiondc.org for volunteering information.

Souper BowlSuper Time for "Souper" Caring

When the XLVI Super Bowl game played out this year, Mission students and overnight guests were part of the TV audience, too, at the "Central Union Mission Stadium." During the "Souper Bowl of Caring," volunteers dished up soup, chili and other critical snacks as the men enjoyed the game on a large screen TV donated for such occasions. This was a much-anticipated time for warm fellowship and safety from the frigid weather outside. Many thanks to our volunteers who served snacks and baked football cakes for the party.

From the Executive Director

Mission Men Pay It Forward

Dave TreadwellShare Your Warm Heart This Cold Winter

This is the hardest time of year to be homeless and poor. The streets are inhospitable, even deadly cold. Greater demand makes shelter space scarce. Long, dark nights expose the most vulnerable to more crime. Whether warm or cold, they are always hungry.

Central Union Mission is very busy this season helping those who might otherwise freeze to death on the streets. A warm meal and safe bed are literally lifesavers. It breaks my heart night after night when we post our "full" sign and send hurting men to less desirable, crowded accommodations.

Will you help us provide warm nightsThank you note and nutritious food for our neighbors? Now is also a great time to contribute toward our Gales School renovation project. With our new facility, Lord willing, we will not have to turn anyone away. I am so grateful for your compassion for our needy community.


Dave Treadwell

Mission Men Clean Up Gales SchoolOne of the most fulfilling and respectful aspects of the Mission's purpose is to teach men that they have plenty to offer their community. As Director of Social Work Shirley Johnson tells them, "No matter how down and out you think you are, you always have something to give." For those without a home or income or for those who've become accustomed to handouts, that's a challenge that brings unexpected self-esteem and obedience to God.

Every week, Mission men give back with World Vision DC. Central Union Mission volunteers are responsible for sorting products, restocking shelves and assisting clients. Mission men staff the Mission's booth at Christ on the Mall on July 4th. They help set up Health Fairs, have helped several small nonprofits move their offices and are on call to help churches prepare for their events.

They also help the neighborhood whenever they're needed: Mission men move furniture, clean, paint and even put up drywall out of their conviction that Christ calls us to love our neighbors. One guest, Ayele McKonene, honored our block by planting a small flower garden by the Mission's front door, which encouraged him to volunteer his landscaping skills to his church.

As Jesus says, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked (Luke 12:48)." Central Union Mission men have much to thank God for, and they love Him in return with their grateful service.

Homeless Children Need Help, Too

Volunteer Spotlight:
Happy Birthday to Our Servant Friend

The Mission's Distribution Center is a picture of God's economy in action. Sometimes we never know why the Mission receives certain gifts, but sometimes we do! Jeff Tooles, Center manager, found the place swimming in donated children's books. Communications and Outreach Director Deborah Chambers had an inspiration: to bless children in the Gales School neighborhood where the Mission will soon be moving.

Little GirlsThe Mission soon discovered Bright Beginnings, a free preschool and daycare program just for children in homeless families. With the care at Bright Beginnings, needy children are safe and prepared to enter school while their parents are free to work or job-hunt. Bright Beginnings was eager to receive the books. "Your book donation has filled up our shelves!," responded Latoyia Allen, Bright Beginnings development manager.

As well, the Mission contributed Christmas presents for their 100 children, furthering our goal of helping homeless families in our community. We have a pretty good idea now of why those books came to be at our Distribution Center!

Bright Beginnings logo

Ms. Mabel ClarkAs a World War Two Navy WAVE veteran, Mabel Clark was only beginning her life of adventure. She earned her pilot's license and worked for USAID in Southeast Asia and East Africa for 25 years. After she retired, she had enough time to get married and volunteer as a guide for the newly opened Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. She volunteered with Hospice of Northern Virginia and Talking Books of the Arlington County Library.

About that time, a friend on the Central Union Mission Board approached her to ask if she was interested in serving-"especially since they were looking for women Board members at that point." It didn't take her long to get involved. "Once you see what the Mission does, you can't help but support it. You see them doing unbelievable things for 'the least of these,' and those of us who have connections can't help but be affected, too."

Ms. Clark served as a Mission Board member from 1991 until 2005 and Secretary from 1996 until 2005. She also served as the Evening Auxiliary President, leading women who volunteered their time and money in serving poor women and children in the community.

She came to the Mission for a quiet birthday lunch and instead was surprised by a big party. Congratulations, Miss Mabel, on your 90th birthday, and may God grant you many more.

Surviving Winter

4 Starts
for Central Union Mission

Biting winds. Frozen ground. This is the cruelest part of the winter. Even then, some homeless people prefer to stay on the streets. They are afraid of the crime, vulnerability and humiliation they expect at a homeless shelter.

Thankfully, that's not the situation at Central Union Mission. Central Union Mission is safe, clean and polite. Due to compassionate donors like you, our most vulnerable neighbors are cared for, protected and introduced to the love of Christ.

Would you consider supporting your Mission this winter with a heart-warming gift? Thank you so much for your compassion. Click here to give online.

Homeless Sleeping

We are proud to announce Central Union Mission has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, the largest and most influential charity reviewing website on the internet.According to Charity Navigator, "Receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates that your organization adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way."

Charity Navigator 4 Star Charity"Approximately a quarter of the charities we evaluate have received our highest rating, indicating that Central Union Mission outperforms most other charities in America. This 'exceptional' designation from Charity Navigator differentiates Central Union Mission from its peers and demonstrates to the public
it is worthy of their trust."

CENTRAL UNION MISSION | 1350 R St NW, Washington DC 20009 | 202-745-7118 | www.missiondc.org

The Hungry Need Your Help - Learn More

Mission Statement:
To glorify God through proclaiming and teaching the gospel, leading people to Christ, developing disciples, and serving the needs of hurting people throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area.

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