From the Executive Director

From the Executive Director

An Open Letter from Ukraine

Sergiy Timchenko offers an update on Realis and the situation in Ukraine.

Dear Friends,
Thank you for your many notes and warm messages. Even though I often didn't answer they all mean a lot to us. I am sorry I was not keeping in touch with you during the last week. It was a very busy and emotional time.

Prayer Request For Aid
Prayer Request for People

Irina continues to work very hard helping others who arrive from Ukraine to Wroclaw. She is a great encouragement for me and many others here. I am so thankful and proud that she is my wife!

Big thanks to all of you for your generous financial help and for supporting us with your prayers!

Yours in His mercy and grace,

Sergiy (and for Irina too)

Did you know that the root of the word gratitude is “gratia,” the Latin word for grace? And that when we think about gratitude here at PRM and how thankful we are for all that God is doing through you, we realize it’s all about grace. You see, grace is undeserved favor or kindness given at someone else’s expense, and that’s what defines your support for us. Your gifts, prayers, and “neighboring” are gracious gifts of your time, treasure, and talents, and we are so very grateful that you have lavished them on us and those we serve at PRM. Those gracious gifts are changing lives. THANK YOU so very much.

Of course, the supreme example of grace is the highlight of this season, as the God of all creation gave His son to be part of His creation to bring peace and joy to us and the world. That act of grace changed everything which leads us to eternal gratitude.

So, in this season of grace and giving, allow us to simply yet sincerely give our thanks to you for your gracious support of Peoria Rescue Ministries and our neighbors in need. 

Jonathan Rocke

Executive Director, Peoria Rescue Ministries

A Hope Realized and a Hope Rising

After much prayer and waiting, we are incredibly excited to announce that 1212 Community House is becoming a reality. As many of you know, we postponed the project as we worked through some challenging zoning issues. But on July 27th, we were given the final approvals, we received our building permit, and within a week, we restarted renovations ahead of an early 2022 occupation goal. Redesign efforts transformed the project from a group-living design to residential apartments to overcome the zoning difficulties. While it will be more expensive, it will be a much better living situation than previously designed.

Thankfully, within the redesign, we retained the critical community spaces where the men can gather to hang out together and break both physical and spiritual bread. We want to thank each of you who have supported 1212 either financially and/or prayerfully. As I mentioned, the new design changes will mean a significant increase in overall costs, but we are applying for several grants that we hope will make up most if not all of that difference.

For those of you who might be asking, “What in the world is 1212?” 1212 Community House (Apartments) will be an affordable residential living opportunity for qualified graduates of our Men’s Renewal Programs located at 1212 SW Adams St. in Peoria.

The men who elect to reside at 1212 Community House will be able to live there for up to three years. There they will grow their roots deep into Christ and their new life commitments while they work, go to school, serve others, and spread their branches into local churches and the community. It’s the next step along the pathway out of poverty through Jesus that begins in crisis, travels through transformation, and now can solidify within transition as men prepare for sustainable living within the community. We hope to provide the same opportunity for our Women’s Renewal Program graduates as God provides. 

I also want to invite you to watch our HOPE-RISING 2021 BONUS personally.

This is our follow up to a “Taste of PRM,” where we enjoyed great food from local restaurants and fun fellowship together as we heard what God is up to at PRM. Whether you joined us or not in person, don’t miss this bonus. We will be expanding on our announcement at the event, as we hear more from Peter Greer, President of HOPE INTERNATIONAL.

There will be much more on the exciting possibilities of our Enterprise vision for 2022.

Finally, please know how very much we appreciate you. God is working through your support, changing lives, making our community more substantial, and creating pathways for our neighbors out of poverty through Jesus – all for His glory and our good.

By His Grace,

Jonathan Rocke

Executive Director, Peoria Rescue Ministries

From the Executive Director

October 10, 2021

Take Action During World Homeless Day!

Join Us to Celebrate Lives Restored!

Homelessness continues to rise in our country. Recent reports show that in January of last year, more than half a million people – including individuals, families, veterans and youth – experienced homelessness. On World Homeless Day, October 10, Ministry Name invites the community to help bring awareness to the plight of our homeless neighbors and commit to joining with us to be part of the solution to end homelessness.

“There are many myths regarding homelessness,” said Jon Rocke, Executive Director of Peoria Rescue Ministries. “It’s important that we, as a community, educate ourselves and understand the real truth of who the homeless are, the causes of homelessness and the many challenges they face. Empowered with that knowledge, we can better respond to their needs and alleviate their burdens.”

Since 1955, PRM has striven to help local people overcome homelessness and transform their lives. Today, the Mission serves many individuals each day through the Downtown Mission and Esther House emergency shelter facilities. In addition, they provide about more than one hundred meals daily to hungry men, women and children in the community. The ministry also offers assistance to the homeless and hungry in the community through clothing and food outreach programs.

“World Homeless Day is the perfect opportunity to discover how you can make an impact that empowers individuals.” - PRM Executive Director Jon Rocke

“Community awareness and support is vital in helping our neighbors overcome homelessness,” said Rocke. “World Homeless Day is the perfect opportunity to find your place at the Mission and discover how you can make an impact that empowers individuals to build stable lives for themselves and their families. Take action today, along with thousands of other compassionate people around the globe, to make a better tomorrow for those struggling with homelessness.”

To find out more about how you can engage with the Mission, visit our volunteer page. Contact us to learn more about the homeless in our community at (309) 676-6416 or invite a Mission representative to speak to your group or at your next function about issues related to homelessness.

To make a donation to support our efforts to provide food, shelter, recovery programs and vital resources to the homeless, visit donation page. All donations are tax deductible. 

Jonathan Rocke

Executive Director, Peoria Rescue Ministries

From the Executive Director

September, 2021

1212 - Beautiful Weather And Opportunities

1212 Community House Apartments in the process of receiving a new roof.

As we step into the first days of autumn, most of the buzz around the PRM offices has been about HOPEWALK  and our recently announced HOPE•RISING event. And for certain, you'll be hearing more about the great ways God has shown up in those events over the weeks and months to come. But I wanted to give everyone a brief update on what God has been doing at our building project up the street from the Downtown Mission. 1212 Community House Apartments is coming along quickly and the buzz among the renewal program guys has been exciting. 

As you may know, we announced that we were finally able to continue with the renovations after a resolution to the zoning challenge. The apartments are now being framed in, plumbing, electrical and HVAC work is speedily coming along, and we also decided to put a new roof on the building, as the previous roof was presenting us with a very real possibility of being an unwelcome expense. While this might be a stumbling block for some, we look at it as an opportunity to move forward so we can see the work of Jesus continue in our community. We are putting our faith into action doing God's work and we firmly believe He is strong enough to overcome any challenge we might face.

While this might be a stumbling block for some, we see it as an opportunity to move forward

1212 Community House Apartments roofing work goes on as good weather allows the continued progress to happen on the external portions of the building.

During all of this time, we have not asked for extra donations, nor do we plan to currently. We've been blessed to be made aware of certain grants that we believe will allow us to absorb the increased costs created by the zoning resolution, as well as the necessary updates that wisdom has led us to initiate.

What we really need now is prayer for God's will to be done and Christ to be uplifted through the completion of 1212 Community House Apartments. In the weeks to come we'll know more about whether our grant application was successfully received and what the funding situation will look like. As soon as we hear about that outcome, we will be sure to pass that along to everyone who has been praying so hard for the transitional facility we have needed for so long. 

Jonathan Rocke

Executive Director, Peoria Rescue Ministries

Phase 5 Opening

While we're not out of the woods yet, our facility
update is following State of Illinois guidelines. 

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High. - Psalm 9:1-2 

June 2021
COVID-19 Update

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High. - Psalm 9:1-2 

In conjunction with the state of Illinois entering into Phase 5 of the Restore IL plan, Peoria Rescue Ministries is suspending our remaining COVID-19 related restrictions and opening up all aspects of our ministries, including all volunteer activities.

Throughout the past 15 months of dealing with the Pandemic, God has been faithful and gracious, providing for PRM in several ways. Like many organizations and families, we did lose a dear staff member due to COVID-19 related complications and several of our staff and residents suffered through various degrees of symptoms, yet we are thankful for how God brought us through and protected us through this challenging time. Because of God’s provision, our staff’s dedication and our generous supporters, we never suspended our residential services and were able to care for our neighbors in need throughout the entire pandemic, sharing the good news of God’s love in word and deed.

Within our congregate residential facilities, we will continue to be vigilant with our sanitizing and symptom monitoring activities, but as of Friday, June 11th we are suspending all COVID-19 restrictions and fully opening all ministry activities.

Thank you for your prayers and your support during this time. We hope to see you soon at one of our events or at our ministry facilities.

Grace and Peace,
Jon Rocke

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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