• Opportunities …by Jim Cole

    In a ministry like Haven of Rest, there are always surprises. My favorite surprises many times appear at first glance to be the greatest challenges. During his years as director, Rev. Thomas would frequently say, “There are no problems, just opportunities.”

    Recently, a man called Haven of Rest from a hotel room. He explained to me that his money had run out, and he would soon be on the street. He had no clothes but those on his back, no identification, was illiterate and had no hope. The odds seemed stacked against him. I encouraged him to come in, and we would do the best we could to help him. When he came to the Mission, he was greeted by a caseworker who was able to listen to his story. That same evening during our chapel service, he followed the invitation of the chapel speaker and came forward to accept Christ as his Savior.

    This man’s situation had not changed yet, but something inside

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    able to assist him with clothing and identification, and he began to look at life differently than when he first called the Mission. Over the course of a month, he joined a local church and was baptized, made amends with his family that he had been estranged from for years, and moved into his own apartment. He has called us several times to let us know that he is doing well. He is quick to say that God used the Haven of Rest as a turning point in his life.

    I wish every story worked out that way, but not all of them do. Yet, I am honored and privileged that God works through ordinary people like me and you to do extraordinary things in peoples lives. So often, the problems with insurmountable odds are God’s platform to show up and demonstrate His power. I am grateful for the “opportunities” in my life and in the lives of those He brings across my path, even if I do not realize they are opportunities when they first arrive.

    Jim Cole
    Director of Men’s Division