Matthew West – Mission in My Words
A couple of years ago I performed a concert at a church for those who had recently made a donation to the Nashville Rescue Mission. In the audience there were not just donors, but there were some of the men and women who call the Mission their home. It was through this experience I was introduced to the amazing work and transformation that is taking place in the lives of so many men and women at the Mission.
The first thing that took me by surprise was to see the joy on their faces. I thought that to be out of place for someone living at a homeless shelter until I started hearing some of their stories. I was truly inspired as I heard men sharing how God had shown them a new way of life through the Mission’s life-recovery program.
In December my record label decided to forgo an employee Christmas party and instead bring the party to the Nashville Rescue Mission. I had a chance to meet a lot of the men who are taking advantage of this amazing opportunity to change their life. Clay, one of the men in the program, shared with me that he’d struggled with addiction for a long time and had made some pretty bad choices along the way. He said he came to the Mission to change his life. He wanted to learn how to be a better dad and try to repair the broken relationship with his wife. After being at the Mission for just a month, Clay told me God was definitely showing him the way.
The light in this man’s eyes moved me. I was floored when he told me he was coming through this seven month-long program voluntarily. He had pretty much lost everything, but now was choosing to rebuild his life.
I’ve performed and volunteered at a lot of shelters, prisons and recovery homes. But, there is definitely something different about the Nashville Rescue Mission. It’s not just a homeless shelter. It is a place of hope and healing for the broken.
I wrote a song called “The Healing Has Begun.” It talks about what healing awaits all of us and instead of living in the brokenness, we need to put our life in the healing hands of God. We need to step out of the darkness and into the light.
The Mission is a place of healing. They are showing men and women what it means to put their regrets and feelings of shame at the feet of a healing God. The Mission is helping these hurting men and women see that hope for tomorrow looks a lot better than the pain of their past.
Matthew West is a multi-Dove Award nominee and much sought-after songwriter. He can also add Grammy-nominated recording artist, author and actor to his growing list of accomplishments. His songs have graced projects by many artists including Natalie Grant, Mandisa, Mark Schultz, Billy Ray Cyrus and Rascal Flatts.