Freedom Through Truth
By Hannah Rodgers
In Haven of Rest’s 75th year, time has been spent looking forward to what the Lord has planned for the Ministry in the future. It is also prudent to look back and praise God for what He has done in the lives of thousands of men, women and children who have come to Haven of Rest. While looking through archived issues of The Voice (Haven of Rest’s monthly newsletter), I came across the moving story of Charlotte Markey, in her own words, published in March 1965 (pictured left as it appeared in the Voice at that time).
Some things to note the time this was written: Haven of Rest was located at 200 E Buchtel Ave in Akron and Rev. C. C. Thomas held regular church services for anyone looking to follow the Lord, not only for people who needed the services that Haven of Rest provided.
Freedom through Truth by: Charlotte Markey
Freedom? I wanted it. I longed for it all my life for I was born in Hungary during World War II. In my early childhood days I attended church regularly…but soon this became forbidden by communistic rule. My arms were chained – one by the teaching of my parents…the other by the indoctrination of the Russian communists.
Then came the Revolution of 1956. Hardships accompanied our escape from the country as we walked for five days…extremely dangerous steps…until we stepped on the soil of Yugoslavia. I spent time in six different refugee camps. After the third camp I became anemic due to poor nutrition. How well I remember the days my girl friend and I would sneak past the guards and through the barbed wire to beg food from residents in the village. We did this because out cooks at the refugee camp went on strike and all we had to eat was canned fish and moldy bread.
On occasions I quoted the Lord’s Prayer for this was the only prayer I knew, but this did not satisfy because I was not a Christian. In December, 1957 it was arranged for me to go to America – the home of the free and the brave – but even in the U.S.A. I felt as if I was shackled. In this country I had freedom, but still I had never experienced true freedom. I was out of trouble and I didn’t need God…so I thought.
Four years ago I met Louis (now my husband) and we began to date. After going out a few times he asked me if I would go to the Mission with him on Saturday night. Reluctantly I agreed. My first impression was that the Mission was for people who had the drinking problem and I never had that so this did not apply to me. As we went more often I realized my life was empty and the people who gave testimonies were filled with joy…with joy that I had never heard of before in all my life. Through the testimonies of men and women who had committed their lives to Christ, and the stirring Gospel messages of Rev. C. C. Thomas, my need for Jesus Christ was made plain. The Holy Spirit convicted my soul. I knew that I had to make a decision.
Freedom through truth finally came four years ago when I walked the aisle at the Haven of Rest to receive Christ as my Lord and Saviour. I realized for the first time that God’s Word meant exactly what it said: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God Hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” This very moment the chains of sin fell off and I experienced for the first time…FREEDOM. Now I am happy serving Him. I am a Sunday School teacher, a Vacation Bible School teacher and our family is happy in the Lord.
I am thankful for my salvation through Christ, and thankful for the Haven of Rest Rescue Mission where people of all walk of life can come and meet God. God has been good to me as He spared my life through danger and the thousands of miles from the old country to American where I experienced the greatest freedom of all…“if the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
Praise the Lord for His work in Charlotte Markey’s life and for every life He has changed in the Mission’s history. For more Mission history, continue to check back at the blog during the year and also keep your eyes open for The Voice newsletter. Not receiving it? No problem, sign up here!
Want to learn more about Charlotte and her story? She will be our speaker for the March Women’s Auxiliary Program. Come to Haven of Rest on March 6th at 1pm and be blessed by what she has to share! For more information contact Rose Rose at 330-535-1563.