“You never know what someone is going through.”
A Long History
Serving at the Mission is like coming home for Victoria. In the late 70s, she spent two years working in the building the Mission now occupies. “I was working in Florida at the time,” recalled Victoria. “But wanted to move back home when Sears transferred me to their store in downtown Nashville.”
On her drive to work, she recalls seeing many homeless men lining up on Demonbreun waiting for a meal at the Mission. “I would also see homeless men come up to the candy counter in Sears. They would want some popcorn or those maple nut goodies. I would sometimes give them some change if I had it. Many times the store manager would make them leave out of fear of them shoplifting. I tried not to judge because you never know what someone is going through.”
“I find it interesting that back then the store management would run them out, but God would take that building and allow it to become the very place they can run to for help. Only God can do that. He is in the business of blessing.”
When I Was Hungry, You Fed Me
As long as Victoria can remember, she’s had a heart for feeding people. Even in the midst of her struggles, their door was always open to anyone who was in need of a meal. In 2003, Victoria started a community service project at the school where she worked called Feed Friends. Their goal was to collect food and give it to those in need.
“I always go back to the verse that says, ‘When I was hungry, you fed me.’ We have no idea when we are entertaining angels unaware. And just like God multiplied the bread and the fish, He is always provided for my family and me. Today, I have three grown daughters, and even they are known to feed people all the time.”
“It’s not about us. It’s about Jesus. It’s about glorifying God. this is Kingdom building!”
An Inspiration to Others
“The first time I volunteered at the Mission in 2015, I was so moved I cried like a baby. I came with a few friends, and we served breakfast. I was hugged and thanked many times. When you can look past a person’s condition and see them as a child of God, just like you or me, well then the love of Christ is on display for all to see. I have been blessed many times over.”
After that experience, Victoria was inspired to volunteer on a more frequent basis and invited friends and family to join her. Her group that started with just five has grown to over 15 and includes family members, friends from work and church, and people who are near and dear to her.
“I’ll never forget serving at the Mission the day before Thanksgiving. It’s an extraordinary day as the women and children come over to the main campus, and everyone participates in the chapel service and enjoys a special Thanksgiving meal afterward. Seeing these ladies express such heartfelt gratitude blew me away. No one complained. Everyone was respectful. They kept thanking us like we did something. It is the Lord’s work.”
“I hope that when others see the joy I get from volunteering at the Mission that it will inspire them also to get involved.”