by Nicole Tschetter
For those who don’t know, I have the privilege of working at Denver Rescue Mission; it’s the largest homeless shelter in Colorado. My first thought when COVID-19 hit Colorado was about the thousands of men, women and children we serve every day who don’t have the luxury to self-isolate in their own homes.
However, in this uncertainty I’ve never seen God’s love more perfectly reflected through my colleagues and our community that are rallying together to help our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness. I don’t know how else to explain it other than extraordinary acts of kindness and bravery. This couldn’t ring more true than with my friend Dave (his name is changed for privacy purposes).
Working in the public relations department at the Mission, you get to hear a lot of stories that change your life. Dave’s story is one of them. Two years ago he was homeless, living on the streets and addicted to some of the hardest drugs I’d ever heard of. He was lost, hopeless, and at the absolute lowest of his life.
One day he was sitting outside our Lawrence Street Shelter and saw our famous “Jesus Saves” sign. He would tell me months later, during an interview we did, that he saw that sign and knew that he would have to make a change. He would tell me that signs message is so clear and powerful … “Jesus really does save us.”
Dave eventually found his way to Denver Rescue Mission’s New Life Program, where he worked hard to become sober and self-sufficient. He graduated this program last July with a job, a car and money in his savings.
So, why am I telling you this story about one of our program participants? Well, three weeks ago as I was rushing out the door of our administrative building, I ran into Dave. He already has a job, but was heading into the Mission’s building for new hire orientation to be one of our temporary employees in his off time. “I’m here to help however I can during this time,” he said.
My heart was filled with so much joy in that moment. To see someone who once had nothing and once was so lost come full circle to give back to those in need during this challenging time is nothing short of the same love Jesus has for all of us— a love that is selfless and pure.
Dave’s light isn’t the only one I’ve seen shine brightly through all this darkness. There are students and teachers who’ve signed up to volunteer to serve meals. There are restaurants, who despite having to close their own doors, have donated tons of food to us. We even had the Colorado Rockies send us massive amounts of toilet paper they were going to use for opening day when we were almost down to none. There are people from all walks of life sending in words of encouragement and support on a daily basis to our frontline workers. This chain reaction of love goes on and on.
It is a truly beautiful sight to see people, who are all dealing with their own challenges right now, support us. I wish I could share this feeling of hope with each and every one of you, for I’ve found extreme comfort in these everyday miracles.
During this incredibly difficult time, I encourage you all to turn towards our faith and through that see the good stuff— the blessings. So, I ask, will you join me in seeing the blessings in the hard stuff?