A Home For Those With No Home

From the Executive Director

April, 2020

How the world has changed since our last newsletter. The Coronavirus Pandemic has altered all of our lives to some degree or another. Through it all, I am thankful for the reminder from Hebrews 13:8 that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

So, no matter the changes in this world or our lives, Christ is our sure and steady anchor. Here at PRM, the last month or so has been a flurry of activity as we adjust to the rapidly changing situation. In early March, as the virus was gaining attention, we focused on prevention, increasing our vigilance on sanitation and working to “social distance” in a congregate living environment. As the pandemic spread and we faced the real possibility of mass infections and an overwhelmed medical system, we shifted to preparing for the presence of COVID-19 among us. We adjusted our community ministries, moving our Barnabas Counseling and Empower Life Center services to virtual appointments and ultimately closing our Thrift Store.
When the “Stay At Home” orders were issued, they impacted many folks dramatically as schools and businesses closed. Still, the stark reality of those orders for us was, “How can you stay at home if you don’t have a home and where can you isolate if you need to, but you don’t require hospitalization?”

How can you stay at home if you don't have
a home where you can isolate if you need to?

For the men, women, and children we serve at Peoria Rescue Ministries – WE ARE THEIR HOME. And so began the intense preparations for how we could provide isolation and care for our guests that might contract the virus but not need acute medical attention. As a result, we have established temporary isolation centers for both our men and women. It is a place where we can segregate those infected with, or dealing with symptoms of COVID-19 from other residents, yet still provide compassionate and gospel-centered interaction and care. We accomplished this undertaking with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control as well as insightful and informative consultation from our local medical professional partners. Thankfully – as of this writing – we have yet to have anyone test positive for COVID-19. Still, we are prepared if we do and will trust the Good Shepherd to provide and guide us through that eventuality as well.
In all of this, I want to express my thanks. First, to you – our friends and supporters. Without your gracious and faithful support, we couldn’t provide “shelter for the homeless and food for the hungry” (Isaiah 58:7). Your gifts make it possible for our guests to enjoy safe and clean facilities, along with nutritious, delicious meals. Most of all, it helps provide for our dedicated staff whose willingness to care for our neighbors in need places them on the front lines. Faced with the additional costs associated with this situation and the uncertain economic future, we need you now more than ever.

 I also want to thank the PRM team. My deepest gratitude goes out to those who helped plan and execute our responses to the Coronavirus pandemic, and those who put themselves at higher risk by stepping in to care for our guests. Because of them, we can continue to share the love of God with everyone who comes to our doors. These are extraordinary and unprecedented times, but I am thankful for a remarkable team that embraces that there is a precedent for followers of Jesus to move in and toward a need, not away from it. From the time of the plagues in early Church history to the Spanish Flu Pandemic, God’s people have cared for the needy and shared the gospel, and the PRM team will continue to do that.
Until next time, if you are wondering what God is doing through these difficult days, and should you find yourself questioning His goodness, remember this truth spoken by Charles Spurgeon. “God is too good to be unkind, too wise to be mistaken, and when you cannot trace His hand, trust His heart.”

Jonathan Rocke

Executive Director, Peoria Rescue Ministries

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