Imagine your hunger if you had just walked from Canoga Park to Oxnard. That is roughly 40 miles! It would take you about 14 grueling hours over several long days.
For Ralph, it consumed three and a half days. Having his world ruined by alcohol and living off only what he could glean from fruit trees along his path, Ralph made it to the Oxnard Transportation Center.
There he met a person who had a great impact on him. A person Ralph had never seen before asked him a simple question and pointed him in a simple direction.
The man said to Ralph, “Are you going to the mission for dinner?” That was like cool water on the parched ground of Ralph’s dry soul. He was hungry; and in more ways than one. Ralph went to the mission for a meal and the rest is history.
You see, at the mission, it all starts with a meal. Many receive more than they expect. They are given hospitality, a hot shower, a good night’s rest, and experience the love of Christ.
Ralph says, “The first thing I noticed when I walked through those double doors was the words “Jesus Saves” and I knew I was where I needed to be. I put my name on a list and had a chicken dinner. Two days later I was accepted into the program. I started to read the Bible and learned what it means to be a Christian. I couldn’t get enough, I was hungry.”
Ralph’s relationship with his family is restored. He feels reconciled to God and has hope for the future. He says, “I am not sure what God’s plans are for me, but I am not worried about it. When I wake up in the morning, I ask God what He wants from me for the day. I am glad I came here, because I know if I didn’t then I would still be lost.”
As you plan your giving, please remember Ralph and the road to rescue that often starts with a meal at the mission.