Missions Highlight: REFUGE night with Rescue Mission

On a Wednesday night early April, Beautiful Mess Ministries partnered with Syracuse Rescue Mission and held a worship night in the nonprofit’s chapel.

The Rescue Mission is dedicated to changing lives in Syracuse — providing one hot meal, or one warm bed, at a time to individuals affected by homelessness. “Beyond meeting basic needs for food, clothing or shelter, Rescue Mission case managers help our guests to develop a plan to leave homelessness and hunger behind,” the organization’s website says.

Refuge events are nights where Beautiful Mess Ministries’ brings together worship in a missional community context with the goal of unifying people in music, and then mobilizing them into mission.

For the event in April, Beautiful Mess Ministries asked attendees to bring donations to Rescue Mission – and Matt Waldby, the Chaplain Program Coordinator, said there was a “tremendous donation response.” He said the personal clothing and feminine products donated “seemed to have made the most impact,” as they are more rare donations, but something that is greatly needed. 

Although this wasn’t the first worship night to take place at Rescue Mission, Matt said believes this event “was unique enough to stand out and speak to a new generation of guests coming for services. There was a level of intimacy present that really struck people.
“Honestly the biggest part of the night for me was seeing my guys open up, raising their hands in worship. From them, it meant a lot to take an evening aside to be able to worship and express their love for God,” Matt said. “Several of those in attendance said how much it meant to them to have a night like that to worship God in the midst of their situation.”
Having a night of worship like that take place on Rescue Mission’s campus was refreshing to Matt. He said “it stands as a testament to (Rescue Mission’s) roots and the overall desire of what we do to minister to the whole person, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.”
Matt said one of his biggest needs right now is for volunteers:  “I’m in need of volunteers to be present on campus for various groups, bible studies, mentoring further encouragement. I’m only one person so I can’t be everyone for everyone all the time.”

If anyone would like to be put in touch with Matt to learn more about how to get involved with Rescue Mission, find them on their website or reach out to Beautiful Mess Ministries to help point you in the right direction. 

Tim Ehrhart, who led the refuge worship night, thought the night was “awesome.”

“I thought it was the epitome of what we’re trying to do,” Tim said. People at Rescue Mission were able to enjoy the music, and perhaps some ‘comfortable Christians’ were able to step out of their comfort zone a little to have their eyes opened to what’s going on in Syracuse.

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