The Missionary Newsletter - June/July 2011

This is Our Summer of Hope

The weather is hot, and so are our summer plans. While this is a slow time at many rescue
missions, instead we're on a mission to create hope for financially disadvantaged young people.
What a Summer of Hope we have lined up for our children and youth-and you can be involved!

June Is Jumping July Is Summer Fun

Camp Bennett When school's out, many inner city children have nothing but the steamy streets to look forward to. That's why your gifts are so very important. With your help, a needy child can spend a week at Camp Bennett in rural Brookeville, MD. He or she can learn to swim, climb a ropes course, make leather crafts, find new friends among the counselors and other campers and - most importantly - learn about Jesus.

A gift of $37.50 will provide a half-day full of camp-time fun for one child, and $75 will give one day. $112.50 provides a day-and-a-half, and so on. Maybe you'd like the satisfaction of knowing about the child that your donation sends to camp. When you sponsor a child for a week through "Little Campers, BIG Hearts" for $375, you will get a photo of your sponsored child, some personal information and a thank you note. This sponsorship could be a great community service project for your office or Sunday school class.

Contact Tracy Duncan at 202-MISSION ext. 260 or tduncan@missiondc.org or click here for sponsorship information.

Washington Nationals Baseball Do you enjoy our "national pastime"? You can join us at Nationals Park on July 29 as the Washington Nationals take on the New York Mets. It's Advocacy Night, and a portion of each $26 admission ticket will benefit Central Union Mission's youth programs.

Mission staff and volunteers will be there to share information about the Mission's work in the DC community. Come root for the home team, and help us hit one out of the park for needy youth. You can buy tickets online at www.missiondc.org/nationals.


From the Executive Director
Summer of Hope

While our Summer of Hope is hot, the economy is not. According to the Washington Post, "The number of homeless families in the Washington area has risen 9.5 percent since 2007….Local officials said that increase was a measure of how stressed low-income residents have become in the recession, as thousands have lost their jobs, or their homes to foreclosure" (by Annie Gowen, April 13, 2011).

One complication is that homeless shelters that accept government funds are finding their budgets smaller now that federal stimulus money is gone. That leaves more people competing for even fewer resources. Central Union Mission is funded by God's provision and your generosity, rather than by the government.

While some media reports say that the economy is reviving, we don't see that in our ministry. Poor families are affected by job and home losses first and are the last to experience recovery. Just as times are harder for many of our donors this year, the demands for our services have been greater than in the past for the men, women, children and families who depend on the Mission.

We encourage you to give generously this summer, as our needs are greater than ever. Please consider enjoying one of our Summer of Hope events, volunteering at the Mission, giving a financial gift and, most importantly, praying for God's provision for the needy people in our community. We appreciate your compassion and faithfulness so much.

Blessings,

Upcoming Events

Father's Day Luncheon
Sunday, June 19, 2011
12:00 noon
Fathers are celebrated and encouraged at our luncheon today. Please help our guests enjoy the meal.

Camp Bennett Begins
June 20 - August 5, 2011
For information about summer camp, please see www.missiondc.org/camp_bennett/.

Spiritual Transformation Program Graduation
Thursday, June 30, 2011
11:00 am
Please help us honor our hard-working students at their ceremony.

Christ on the Mall
July 4, 2011
Join Mission students and guests as they offer cold water to participants on the National Mall.

Seniors Luncheon
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
11:00 am
Join us in providing neighborhood seniors a patriotic program and lunch.

Advocacy Night at Nationals Stadium
Friday, July 29, 2011
Support the Mission while watching the Nationals play the Mets.
Tickets are available at www.missiondc.org.

August Is Sizzling

Before you know it, school will be back in session. That's why our Operation Backpack distributes back-to-school supplies on Saturday, August 6. Our faithful supporters understand that it's hard to keep up in class when you don't have the necessary equipment, so friends like you donate just what the children need.

It's easy to help. Please purchase a new backpack, fill it with age-appropriate materials (we'll provide you with a list of school-required supplies) and drop it off at the Mission before July 31. Your generosity will start a child's school year with enthusiasm and promise.

Last year, our neighbor Malaika Staff and her niece packed 17 backpacks for our Mission students. Maybe you or your youth group could contribute even more! For details and supply lists, please call Tracy Duncan at 202-MISSION ext. 260, or e-mail her at tduncan@missiondc.org. More info


You can help distribute the backpacks at our Operation Backpack party on August 6.

Robert Taylor and his new bride Lauren, married April 30, 2011.

I came to Central Union Mission at the end of twenty-odd years of fighting God. I had accepted Christ as a child, but when my first marriage ended, I felt God had fully rejected me. I rejected Him, too, based on the other "unfair" things in the world: famine, illness to good people, rape and abuse of children. A God who allowed such things was not One I cared to follow any more.

During the next several years, I learned how bad an idea it is to lean upon your own understanding. Through my behavior and choices, I drove away almost all my friends and family, and, unemployed, I just gave up completely on life. At this time in 2008, my son, whom I was living with, planned to move to California, and I wanted to join him. While he visited his mother to say goodbye, I thought I'd pass the two weeks with an interesting adventure-living on the streets of Washington, DC.

Then my son decided to stay in North Carolina with his mom. Suddenly, I really was homeless. I spent two days camping and praying on Theodore Roosevelt Island, asking God, "Help me. What should I do?" I walked to the Key Bridge, praying for God's direction. Eventually I headed east on R Street and came up to 14th Street. Walking out of a tunnel of trees and brownstones, I saw Central Union Mission, with those wonderful words "COME UNTO ME" emblazoned on the side of the building.
I came in as an Overnight Guest, and after many days of prayer and reading the Bible that Mission Supervisor Jerome Hall gave me, I asked to join the Spiritual Transformation Program.

It has been a wondrous, challenging journey since then. I have been blessed with a fantastic job as executive assistant in the Mission executive director's office, reconnection in relationships I had thought were beyond repair, a Word-based church in which I am very active and a wonderful, God-fearing new wife. For the first time in my life I look forward to the future with eagerness; I can't wait to see where Christ will lead me.

Robert Taylor is completing his Bachelor's degree at Nyack University, Senior Warden at St. Brendan's in the City (Washington, DC), leader of its DC Outreach committee and member of its International Outreach committee and Prayer Team.

YOU GIVE HOPE THIS SUMMER

As you read in Mr. Treadwell's letter above, this season is one of the hardest in recent memory. More people need food, clothing, housing and encouragement than ever before-while outside resources are dwindling to nothing. Our neighborhood has no alternative but to rely on God's provision.

That's why we depend on you, His faithful servants, to follow His leading to care for the poor and homeless people among us. Your generosity this summer provides hope for the helpless and even promise for the eternal future.

Please consider an emergency gift at this time. Your compassion is saving lives and hearts this summer.

Give Now

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