Show Them [How to Save] the Money – Part One
“While here at the Mission, the money they helped me to save enabled me to get an apartment. The cycle was broken! I’m so very grateful to the Mission for giving me both the gift of time and the financial tools I needed to finally get ahead.” – Jennifer
One bad turn deserves other another…and another, and another. Or so conventional wisdom would tell us. Some would call it “bad karma”— as in you get what you deserve. Yet while it’s true our poor choices can lead us to “reaping what we sow” you can’t overlook the power of God’s grace — His unmerited favor — operating in our lives to help turn what “the enemy meant for evil into good.”
Take how we handle our money. This is one area where the thief comes to “steal, kill and destroy” many people—including many of our guests and those going through New Life Recovery. Either they once had money but lost it all due to no fault of their own, or through “riotous living.” That’s how the Bible describes the prodigal son’s actions after he demanded an early inheritance from his father.
Then there are the people who grew up in poverty and stayed stuck there because they didn’t know anything else. They never saw anyone in their family or in their group of friends break free from the shackles of generational poverty. Neither were they given the basic tools to work hard, save money and invest in their future.
The men and women who come to the Mission often fall into the latter category. Many come from generations of poverty. It probably didn’t help that once upon a time, Redding was known as “Poverty Flats.” Whoever it was that bestowed this negative moniker upon the-then fledgling city, clearly wasn’t doing it any favors. Some might even say they were placing a curse on the region.
But God is bigger than a name, and more powerful than a curse. As we’ve seen time and time again with our Mission guests, men and women who have been “cursed” with a poverty mindset CAN break free; that is, IF they can begin to SEE themselves as something other than a victim of their circumstances—trusting in the empowering grace of Jesus Christ who said, “I’ve come to give life and give it more abundantly.” It’s the exact opposite of what the thief’s (satan’s) mission.
As they do their part—work hard, exercise discipline and “be faithful in the small things,” it’s amazing what God can do to turn their life around—including around finances.
Take Jennifer. Now a volunteer, she was once a guest at the Mission. She came here destitute and with a serious medical condition. After her mom died, she had “no direction home, feeling like a complete unknown.” Soon she found herself living on the streets…living hand to mouth. To survive, she resorted to shoplifting.
Thankfully, Jennifer ended up at the Mission. While here, Jennifer was able to save money through our Money Savings Program and get back on her feet! Today she has a stable home, and a strong, healthy support system. Most important, she’s reconnected with God—a relationship she had cast aside when her mom died.
“I didn’t even have a chance to save up money out on the streets because I was spending what money I did have on hotel rooms and buying packaged food. I just couldn’t catch up! But when I came here, they have this amazing money savings program that’s built to help people reground themselves financially. So that way, when you leave the rescue mission, the probability of returning to the rescue mission is much slimmer. It sure worked for me!
While here, the money they helped me to save enabled me to get an apartment. The cycle was broken! I’m so very grateful to the Mission for giving me both the gift of time and the financial tools I needed to finally get ahead.”
There are many others who have been helped tremendously through our Money Savings Program. In Part 2, you can read Russ’s story and how the Money Savings Program helped him get on is feet after he moved here to me near his hospitalized 6-year-old daughter. Read Part 2 of Show Them the Money.