Arianne Benedetto bring us a devotional of hope as our guest blogger. As the lead grant writer at Portland Rescue Mission, Arianne is deeply invested in supporting the needy and hurting in our community. Every role has it’s part to play in offering new life and we are grateful for her message of restoration.
Hope. The Advent season is all about hope.
It’s about far more than playfully anticipating yummy treats and shiny wrapped presents.
Advent represents generations of God’s people waiting, longing, yearning. As they suffered through centuries of oppression from their enemies and the consequences of their own persistent rebellion, the Israelites waited for the promised Messiah, who God said would make all things right.
When that baby was placed in the manger, “the hopes and fears of all the years” were met in the same place, on the same night.
The baby in the manger became the Christ on the cross, who then was raised to life to become our Advocate at God’s right hand. Today, we are still longing for the return of our King, when Jesus comes again “to save those who are eagerly waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:28).
Through his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus came to bring us from death to life; to bring good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and to open the prison of those who are bound (John 5:24, Isaiah 61:1).
This is the source of hope of every believer, and it’s the driving motivation behind why we do the work we do. Because of that hope we have been privileged to see the transformative power of God’s love fulfilled with our own eyes.
Hope is fulfilled in Stephanie, who was reunified with her two children* in Portland Rescue Mission’s recovery program for women and children, Shepherd’s Door, after losing custody of them while living out of her car. She is now preparing for her independence by working and saving money while under the support of Portland Rescue Mission’s Community House for mothers and children.
Stephanie is one of many mothers who have been reunified with their children. In the last two years, Shepherd’s Door and the Department of Human Services worked together to support the successful reunification of 25 children and their mothers.
Hope is fulfilled in Bradley, who graduated from Portland Rescue Mission’s men’s recovery program, The Harbor, in 2016. Now, as our Vocational Training Coordinator at Portland Rescue Mission’s Drive Away Hunger, he invests back into the vocational development of other men and women currently in our recovery programming.
Bradley is one of over 80% of Portland Rescue Mission’s recovery program graduates that remain in housing and free from addictions up to four years after graduating.
And hope is fulfilled in Kevin, who found community and a reason to live again in Portland Rescue Mission’s Connect Program. This enabled him to break out of homelessness and obtain a home of his own after 25 years of living in a camp in the woods.
And Kevin is not alone. Annually, over 150 men and women are served in Connect. They receive nightly shelter, three meals a day and practical support in career planning, finding housing, job searches, and healthy community.
Restoration is possible.
This is why we’re so grateful for those in the community who walk beside us and the people we serve, including thousands of volunteers, donors, and many partnering churches, foundations, businesses, and organizations in the city.
This is never more evident than at Christmastime, when our volunteers, donors, and partners show their highest level of engagement. Through teamwork and our mutual hope in the power of God’s love and lives are being restored.
Join us in giving hope and restore life.