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For many people, Easter is a time of new church outfits, family gatherings, home-cooked meals, and fun activities that generate fond memories. But no one thinks of choosing to be homeless—especially at a time like Easter. Discouragement can set in and Easter merely becomes another day for the homeless person to feel sad and down because of the circumstances in which they find themselves in.
However, the simple message of Easter is one of hope. There is new life because Jesus Christ has risen from the dead. He conquered sin, death, and Hell.
“Easter is a time of new hope for anyone who is homeless, because a person’s past does not have to dictate his or her future,” said Glenn Cranfield, president and CEO. “Even someone who thinks they’ve made a mess of their life can see a new life filled with victory through Jesus Christ. This is a promise to anyone—not only to someone living in a homeless shelter—because Christ lives, there is hope for anyone who is willing to seek Him.”
Michael made a point to come serve during the Easter holiday because he wanted to offer this same hope and hospitality to those who were still homeless and hungry. So much has changed in his life since he came to Nashville Rescue Mission. He was able to get into his own apartment. His hope was restored. The transformation that happened on the inside is finding its way out.
Regardless of the fact that Michael lost his legs and is wheelchair-bound, he still rides the bus from his apartment, five miles away from the Mission to come and serve others in need on a weekly basis. Most people recognize him at the end of the serving line handing guests their napkin and eating utensils. Michael is on a new path, one filled with grace, hope, and opportunity. He’s chosen to share that hope with those at the Mission because other’s shared it with him.
“Sometimes hope is found in a meal served by a compassionate volunteer,” says Cranfield. “Or it might be in having access to a hot shower or a good night’s sleep that is somewhere safer than the streets. It could easily be getting a new coat to replace the one that is falling apart. Whatever it is, we want those in need to know they can choose hope! Easter serves as a reminder that there is always hope for a better tomorrow.
This year, the Mission will serve a special Easter meal on Good Friday, as well as Easter Sunday. “Easter is the most important holiday we celebrate at the Mission,” said Billy Eldridge, senior director of operations. “Guests are seated by volunteers and served a big, traditional Easter meal that includes ham, green beans, mashed potatoes and a delicious desert. Our prayer is that in meeting a hurting person with a smile and a delicious meal served by a kind stranger, we can show them just how much God loves them and wants to change their life. Hope is available to all who enter here.”
With your help, those who are most in need of hope can celebrate Easter surrounded by people who genuinely care about them.
 

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