Nearly 100 men arrive at the “Coffee House” in the Nashville Rescue Mission each Friday evening for some entertainment, fellowship, relaxation and food. Mary, my wife, and I have had a great time serving food and smiles for the past three weeks. We’ve gotten to know some of the men participating in the 7-month “Life Recovery” program and they are an inspiration. These men, who are dealing with personal problems and chemical addiction, have decided to turn their lives around. And the staff and counselors at Nashville Rescue Mission are there to help.
Mary teaches at Belmont University and has offered students in her business law and ethics course an opportunity to earn extra credit by learning about the Nashville Rescue Mission, serving food, and talking with these men. About ten students have participated each of the last three Friday and another group will be there next week as well. The students have enjoyed the experience and some plan to come back to help out in the future, even though no extra credit is involved.
I spoke with one gentleman, Willie, last night who will be graduating next week. He is enthusiastic, positive, and grateful for the guidance and discipline he’s received during the past 7 months. This is his third time in the program, having dropped out after about two months on previous occasions. He said that he was finally ready to change his life and made the commitment to complete the program. He’s looking forward to re-entering the workforce with a new outlook on life. He plans to take advantage of the low-cost transitional housing available at Nashville Rescue Mission.
This is a Christ-based program with spiritual and emotional counseling, life skills, Bible study, and work. The men encourage and support each other. I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many of the men and everyone has been friendly, polite, initiates a firm hand-shake, and easy to smile. I get the sense that spirit is motivating them to loving and kind to themselves and to others. Ed is great example of someone who, after only 2 months in the program, has already been “promoted” three times in his work assignment at the Mission. He’s very humble and a great example for the other men. Based on his interaction with other men, I see that they respect him.
For those who did not graduate from high school, preparation for the GED exam is available. Paul graduates next Friday and will be taking his GED next Saturday.
I’ve been inspired by these men. They have faced much bigger challenges that I have, and they are changing their lives for the better. Their dedication, tenacity, and willingness to make huge changes in their life is motivating.
What or who inspires and motivates you?