From The Voice
By Hannah Rodgers
The Mission has been celebrating its history through special articles in The Voice newsletter for a few months now. As part of those articles, we asked for people to share their stories with us about how Haven of Rest has made an impact on their lives. The stories we have heard have been incredibly moving and uplifting and the following is no exception. Jim shared this with us:
I’ve been a friend of the Haven for many years and since your latest newsletter requested memories of my interactions with your people and the remarkable services you offer, I thought I’d take a minute to write.
For 25 years I was a professor of education at Kent State, but a few years into my tenure there I decided to go back to my “classroom roots” and work one day each week as a teacher of gifted middle school students in Twinsburg. My program budget was $0, but I was given a school bus and a driver 2 days each month to bring my 7th-8th graders to local – and free – places of interest. One of the first places I contacted was the Haven, asking if they’d be willing to accept a bunch of 25 8th graders for a “tour” that included more than just an overview of your facilities – it would also include your overall philosophy of believing that the human condition could be changed for the better with the positive interactions that the Haven espoused.
At first I questioned whether this would be an appropriate venue, as my students represented many religions and cultures. But what I saw repeatedly over my 8 years of visits to the Haven with my students was that your commitment to and compassion for people of all types of backgrounds reinforced the idea that humanity has much more in common than it doesn’t. After every visit to the Haven, my students came to understand that the services you offer are done in ways that always respect the person entering your front door, despite their backgrounds, beliefs, or indiscretions. Indeed, you helped to make my students understand that every person on Earth is valuable, noteworthy, and capable of more. They will carry these lessons with them throughout their lives – I know this because many of them, as adults, still connect with me via social media. The Haven of Rest represented to them, as it does now, the best of what one human being can offer to another one.
My best to you for your always-valiant efforts on behalf of others.
Thank you for sharing this with us, Jim. The Lord blesses all who come to the Mission, not only those who are here for our services, but also those who serve. What a blessing to have the trust and support of the community we serve!
Do you have a story to share about time you spent at Haven of Rest? Please email your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!