A few years ago I had the opportunity to perform a concert at a church for those who had recently donated to Nashville Rescue Mission. Joining those who were being thanked for their gift to the Mission were some of the men and women who call the Mission their home. It was through this experience I was introduced to the fantastic 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.
A few years back, my record label decided to forgo an employee Christmas party and instead bring the party to the Mission. I had a chance to meet a lot of the men who are taking advantage of this incredible 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 clearly 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 across the country. But, there is definitely something different about Nashville Rescue Mission—it’s not just a homeless shelter—it is a place of hope and healing for the broken.
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 four-time GRAMMY® nominee, multiple-ASCAP Christian Music Songwriter/Artist of the Year winner, Dove Award recipient, American Music Award winner (‘13), Billboard Music Award (Top Christian Artist, ‘14), K-LOVE Fan Award (‘16), and named Billboard’s Hot Christian Songwriter of the Year (‘16).