Volunteers are one of our most precious resources here at Gospel Rescue Mission. Even though some of the tasks don’t always feel super “rewarding,” like doing dishes or manning the front desk, it is making a HUGE impact on the guests, whether you see it or not. The peaceful presence of a volunteer can sometimes calm a frustrated person or sharing a story with them or even just a conversation can spark a fire. You hardly ever get to see firsthand how what you do here, or what you give, makes a difference, but it really does. And not just in the lives of our guests. Just ask Jack.
When he was first saved, he was asked to go into prison ministry. At first, he was reluctant because he knew it would be a big commitment, and after all, he was a new Christian, still trying to get his own bearings down. He agreed to do it though and after a time, he developed a craving for serving God in whatever capacity that he could. The more he served, the more blessings he received. Not financial blessings, but something much more rewarding: spiritual fulfillment. He knew had a calling to serve, so he expanded his reach, helping not only in prison ministry, but branching out into the homeless sector. He started working at a shelter in Tulsa, and eventually he became a leader in their program. Watching how God was working in the lives of, not just the guests in their Mission, but the volunteers and himself as well, was miraculous.
He made his way back to Muskogee and that’s when he decided to start serving at the Gospel Rescue Mission. He is confident that when you serve, it really seems to work double time. It’s helping others, but it’s also helping yourself. It just makes you feel good. “Fulfilling is really the best way I can describe it,” he said. “It leaves you with a big smile on your face.” He continues to serve in the prison ministry, and has been for over 29 years, with over 10 years simultaneously in homeless outreach. It hasn’t been an easy or convenient road, but he feels that it’s been so worth it.
With so much time invested, it’s important to keep his own fire fueled so he spends a lot of time in scripture. In Matthew 25, there is the parable of The Sheep and The Goats, where it talks about Jesus coming to sit on his thrown, and he will separate the sheep from the goats. The sheep are the ones who are blessed by the Father, and during His time of need, they helped Him. In the parable, the sheep were confused because they didn’t remember helping him at all. In Matthew 25:40 it says, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” This parable really sticks out to Jack. To him, serving people is just like serving Jesus himself. “Who wouldn’t want to do something for Jesus when he’s done so much for you?” he asked.
Jack serves with Seventh Day Adventist Church on Saturday evenings. They feed the guests physically by cooking and serving a hot dinner, then they feed them spiritually with a sermon in the chapel. Jack and his church are an important part of our volunteer team, and we are so thankful for all their help. He had mentioned that he wasn’t sure whether what he was doing was really having an impact, but he knows it’s what God wants, so he obeys. If you have thought about serving but aren’t sure whether you would really make a difference, I encourage you to read our guest stories. Not all of them are ready for life change, and that’s ok! For the ones that are though, the volunteers and donors make a HUGE impact on them. Anyone that serves, donates, or sponsors events at GRM can know that they played a part in every success story that we have. You can make a difference!
If you would like to get involved by volunteering, email Charolette at firstname.lastname@example.org, and to get involved financially, email Nycky at Nycky.email@example.com. We would love to schedule a tour and show you around our amazing facility!