• When Holidays Hurt…by Hannah Rodgers

    The end-of-year holidays are upon us; it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Unless it’s not… For some, the holidays are something to look forward to all year. But to others, it is a time of sadness. Whether the holidays bring stress, painful memories, or fills your heart with the joy of the season, it is certainly an emotional time of year. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 reads, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” For those of us who are filled with the joy of the season, it can be easy to praise God. But for our neighbors who are struggling through this time of year, it can be hard … Read More

  • Seasons of Life…by Hannah Rodgers

    In the autumn months, changes are all around us. Trees transform in bursts of color; wardrobes transition from shorts and sandals to sweaters and boots; instead of reaching for a cool glass of lemonade, we welcome a warm mug of pumpkin spice latte or hot apple cider; even wildlife changes as animals stock up for the cold months and birds head south to avoid the chill to come. For me, it is difficult to go through this season of change without thinking about the changes that come with the different seasons of our lives. Some seasons I look back on and smile, like growing up alongside my brothers and sister and playing the days away without a care in the … Read More

  • Eyes on the Prize, Part Two…by Hannah Rodgers

    Last blog post I introduced the idea of our life journey being like rowing a row boat. If you missed it you can read it here. Short recap: we are rowing a row boat like the guy in the photo above, back facing our future, only able to see what we have gone through in the past. Again, we aren’t necessarily fixated on the past, it is just all we can see and understand as we row through our lives. Now, to me, that is mildly horrifying. While I sat in my Bible study, thinking about this analogy and how it applied to my life, I realized how scary the future could seem. How will I know if there … Read More

  • Eyes on the Prize, Part One…by Hannah Rodgers

    In a recent Bible study, I was blown away when the speaker compared our lives to rowing a rowboat. If you have ever seen a rowboat in action, the rower is generally facing backwards on a bench in the middle of the boat. This leaves room in the back for passengers, depending on the size of the boat. Here is a photo if it’s hard to visualize or if you’ve never seen one: The front of the boat is the narrower end in the front of the photo. Notice the bench in the back of the boat that the rower is facing; that is generally saved for passengers. In this photo the man is rowing towards the photographer, whom … Read More

  • A Picture is Worth (at least) a Thousand Words…by Hannah Rodgers

    I recently had a group of close friends go on a mission trip to Haiti. God richly blessed their experience and provided a hedge of protection around them as they travelled and came back safely with lots of fantastic stories and a heart on fire to serve the Lord. As a present, they brought me back a painting done by a local artist. It was the perfect gift. I was unable to go on the trip this year, so the painting was a great reminder of the trip I took two years ago and of all the Lord showed me while I was there. The painting is of a scene I saw plenty of times while in Haiti. The main … Read More

  • Through the Eyes of a Resident…by Hannah Rodgers

    Haven of Rest provides emergency relief for men, women and children who come to us for help. Staff and volunteers do their best to meet the immediate needs of weary and downtrodden individuals and families who may have nowhere else to turn. At the Mission, they can find food, shelter, clothing, counseling, and a myriad of other resources available at the Mission and through partnering agencies. Though this type of care is vital to most who come through our doors, our care does not stop there. Haven of Rest is also committed to long-term recovery. The Men’s and Women’s Residential Programs focus on preparing men and women to take an active role in their transformation to a more productive lifestyle. … Read More

  • Roadblocks…by Hannah Rodgers

    I’m sure the vast majority of people reading this have been affected by the road work and blockages happening in and around Akron recently. There seems to be no end in sight for all of this work. As I was stuck in a sea of hot and disgruntled people travelling home from work this week, God put on my heart that roadblocks, both literal and figurative, are all part of His plan. I thought of all of the people I see at the Mission each day: residents, clients, volunteers, staff, Board members, and anyone else who might find their way through our doors. Everyone has experienced some sort of roadblock. It could be a hiccup in a project that a … Read More

  • Hope Sports Camp…by Hannah Rodgers

    Summertime is full of great opportunities for kids and families. Children have so much time to play outside in the warmer weather. They don’t need to be in school, so kids have the freedom to run around outside all day long. There are also so many summer and sports camps to attend that children should never be bored. Families take vacations and go to the beach or to a theme park for a week or two, or maybe they visit family out of state. Summer is full of relaxation and fun for most families; but not for all. For homeless and impoverished families, summer can look immensely different. Kids are plucked out of the routine and structure that school brings, … Read More