To offer life changing hope through the Gospel
of Jesus Christ to homeless men, women, and
children through programs to deliver food, shelter,
counseling and discipleship
aul Martinelli flunked out of high school with a severe stuttering problem. He then
bought a used vacuum cleaner and began a janitorial career. He scrubbed toilets nightly
until 3:00 a.m., emptied trash cans, and removed cigarette butts from urinals. Sounds like
a lot of people who might come to Gateway Rescue Mission when the bottom finally falls out.
But today, Paul Martinelli is a multi-millionaire, professional speaker, and corporate coach. I
heard him drive home the power of belief in a speech last month. Martinelli says “belief drives
behavior. You never out perform your own self belief.”
Allow me a moment of personal confession here. I think many who work in Christian charity
often miss the boat. At times, I’ve been in that group. Jesus fed 5,000 and loved the down and
out, so we feed thousands and love the down and out. But somewhere the conversation shifted
from transformation to “providing services.”
We live in a dumbed down society of dumbed down expectations. We preach that Jesus saves
but then accept mediocrity. I’ve about had it with seminars on how to “improve services” when
people really need to be challenged in love to get up off their behinds and do something with
their lives besides smoking dope and providing a living for the probation officer.
I’ve seen lives transformed at Gateway Rescue Mission. I can name numerous people who have
risen from the depths of despair to become beacons of hope. I also daily see the love of Christ
ministered to those who are unable to help themselves. But most of the people whose lives have
been transformed already had a work ethic before the drugs and booze took them down.
But among those who are able to help themselves and don’t already come to us with a work
ethic, frankly our record stinks. Granted, this can be a tough bunch to help. Which is why I
think we stress offering services rather than expecting life change. It’s hard work!!
“Some wish to live
within the sound of
church or chapel
bell. I wish to run a
rescue shop within a
yard of hell.”
I did the math. When Paul Martinelli started scrubbing commodes in 1988, I was working on
my Master of Journalism degree. Today, Martinelli is worth about $40 million. I don’t even
have a paltry one million.
It’s not about the money. It’s about living out God’s purpose for putting us on this green earth.
But Paul Martinelli said some things that pierced my heart. He memorized Archie Campbell’s
Hee Haw routines to overcome his stuttering. He put in a 40 hour work week by noon
Wednesday. He made mistakes, took risks, and worked really hard. And it paid off.
So why shouldn’t we work equally hard in ministry? Lives are at stake. I came away from his
speech determined to flush down the toilet this idea that rescue missions exist primarily to offer
services. We exist to offer the hope of Jesus Christ to those who desperately need it. But we
are called also to do the hard work of mentoring and discipling and that includes modeling and
teaching how to work hard for a living.
“You don’t get what you want. You get who you are,” said Martinelli. That’s a piercing thought;
“who am I, really.” Truth is, we are all created and loved by God who wants us to live out His
destiny. And lest we forget, the sins of the millionaire and the mission worker are just as rotten
as the sins of the dope smoker and the lawbreaker. So, may we live out who God says we are,
and expect nothing less from those around us.
Gateway Rescue Mission
Board of Directors
C. GLEN BUSH
F. ALLEN HOLIMAN
HUGH L. (DAVE) DAVIS, III
team of folks from Blue Cross Blue Shield Mississippi recently dropped
by our kitchen to help serve dinner, or as we call it where I come from,
supper. A recent study shows that people who volunteer experience
better mental health, and the more you volunteer, the more your mental health
increases. So, come on down and volunteer at Gateway Rescue Mission. It’s
good for you !!
With the summer winding down, we seriously need to restock our food pantry.
Summer typically drains our food supply, but in September the fall giving season
hasn’t yet cranked up. So, the time is nigh, and downright perfect for you, your
office group, your civic club, your Sunday School class, your bunco group, or
whatever to hold a food drive for our pantry. Donated non-perishable foods
ALWAYS get eaten at Gateway Rescue Mission!
328 S. Gallatin Street
P.O. Box 3763
Jackson, MS 39207-3763
ours Truly (Rex Baker) and Gateway C.O.O. Ben Edwards (pictured to my left) recently fellowshipped with the good members
of the South Rankin Rotary Club. We shared some insight about Gateway Rescue Mission, reunited with some old friends and
made some new ones. And, we ate too much. And speaking of speaking, if your civic club, church group or whatever would
like to hear more about Gateway Rescue Mission, we have a trained, erudite group of elite speakers who will come to your location
and regale you with stories about rescue ministry; and we have some good stories. As a bonus, we’ll finish on time. As one rotarian
jokingly told me, “you can speak as long as you’d like, but at 1P.M., we’re all leaving.”
In closing, a big thank you to Southern Hills Missionary Baptist Church, who recently dropped of a monetary donation to Gateway
Rescue Mission. Just so happens we had some hymn books donated to our thrift store that their church needed, so we were able to
bless them with the hymn books. God doesn’t let things go to waste. May voices be lifted in praise to Jesus Christ at Southern Hills,
and may you praise Jesus in song through your life.
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