By Chris Brooks
The recession has produced many difficult challenges for the Rural Mission during 2009, but He continues to provide, and this gives us faith. The low income rural families, the elderly, migrant families and the at-risk children and youth we serve are suffering greatly in hardships and poverty. The people with the least are bearing the greatest burdens of this recession, but one family at a time, we are continuing to bring them uplifting hope and assistance.
The Mission has been tremendously blessed and is thankful for the outpouring of volunteers seeking to give of themselves this past year. They may not be able to give financially, but they have dedicated themselves to discipleship. Many have renewed their relationship with the Rural Mission from past years and many have come for the first time. All denominations are represented. Not since the outpouring of love in the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo have they come in such numbers to the rural Sea Islands. Our volunteers know that people are suffering and they want to help.
One wonderful example of such caring and commitment has been the large numbers of volunteers who have worked since the groundbreaking in June on a new, safe and adequate home for Mrs. Shirley Smiley and her family near Hollywood. Their very old and dilapidated trailer home has not only been falling apart; it was also making them sick . This picture was taken on August 18, and it shows how far we have come. Shirley and her family have been there side by side each day with our volunteers. These memories and bonds of love, friendship and respect will stay with everyone for a lifetime. Volunteers have returned home with the joy and blessings of giving and with Shirley’s endearing smile and her sincere expressions of gratitude. She has been ever present, with bottles of water and Gatorade and popsicles to make these hot days a little easier.
Help us to repeat this wonderful story for the many still waiting to be helped. The Rural Mission provides a convenient and secure means to donate to our outreach ministry online by going to www.ruralmission.org. The donate now link is right on the homepage. Do this in memory or in honor of someone special in your life!
Please help us to continue providing hope to these desperate families. Please support our many volunteers who continue to come. Their growth through discipleship depends upon the contributions and gifts of many. Donations can also be mailed to PO Box 235, Johns Island, SC 29457, or by calling 768-1720.