Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mission Update: Out of the Mothballs and Into the Frying Pan

Out of the Mothballs and Into the Frying Pan


     Tom Edwards discovered that retirement was not what he had hoped it would be.  Tom had longed for the day when he could idyllically pursue his interests in oil painting and golf, but he quickly discovered that too much time in the studio or on the golf course left him feeling empty and unsatisfied.  After prayerful deliberation, he came to the conclusion that God had other ideas for his retirement.  At seventy-two, Tom is an urban missionary.  He carries the Gospel of Jesus Christ to homeless people living on the streets.  Recently, Tom and his volunteers set up a breakfast ministry at Wayside Christian Mission.  Once a week, Tom and his crew serve breakfast—a real roadhouse breakfast of eggs, sausage, pork tenderloin, biscuits and gravy to those in our emergency shelter on East Jefferson Street.  He feeds the body and he feeds the soul with God's message of love and redemption.  While many of us think of missionaries as ministers who travel around the globe, Tom is convinced that there is a great mission field here in downtown Louisville.  It may well be that the most important work that Tom will ever do in his life is taking place during retirement.  

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mission Update: Getting to Know You

Getting to Know You

Tom, Tam, and Brandon are students from St. Meinrad Seminary.  Though the rigors of study keep them well occupied, their school's field education program exists so that theology students are able to apply the lessons learned in the classroom to real world settings.  We are delighted that Tom, Tam, and Brandon chose Wayside Christian Mission as the site for serving as student interns.   Recently, the three seminarians hosted a root beer float party as a means of getting to know some of the women, men, and children whom God has placed in our care.  As one is never likely to meet a boy or girl who does not like ice cream, it goes without saying that the students' root beer float party attracted a legion of kids.  Of course, older kids love ice cream and soda, too, so the turnout was good!  God calls His servants to love those who are in need.  Jesus said our neighbors are those who suffer from want.   And with the help of ice cream and soda pop, Tom, Tam, and Brandon were given an opportunity to serve their homeless neighbors. 

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Taking A Bite Out Of Poor Oral Health Care

     Stepping away from the confines of a college classroom, University of Louisville School of Dentistry students Jessikka Suazo and Nimet Altairi took their education and experience to Wayside Christian Mission and to a population that, as a whole, suffers from poor oral health care.  As many dental problems can be slowed or even reversed by a proper regimen of oral hygiene and professional care, these enthusiastic students gave a lively and engaging presentation that held their audience’s undivided attention.  Admitting a bit of apprehension and the proverbial fluttering of stomach butterflies prior to their presentation, our guest speakers quickly connected with the women in our recovery program and what followed was a lively hour of oral health care dialogue and education.  Many thanks to University of Louisville students Jessikka and Nimet who did a masterful job in leading this much needed presentation!  

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Student Intern Says, “I Love Working Here!”

Elaina (Lanie) Smart is a 22-year-old in her first year as a Master of Divinity student at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Her hometown is Chillicothe, Ohio and she is a 2013 graduate from Wright State University, where she received her B.A. in International Studies and double-minor in Music and International Business. Lanie is blessed to have loving and supportive family and friends, who, in numerous ways, have had a huge impact on her life and formation as a Christian. She enjoys singing, dancing, writing, acting, reading, laughing, taking walks, and eating ice cream. However, Lanie’s favorite pastime is getting to know others, engaging with them in conversations about life and religion, and learning more about Jesus in the process. During this school term, Lanie is serving at Wayside Christian Mission. When asked about her experience, Lanie replied, “I love working here! Wayside has already provided and will continue to provide me with a vast array of experiences that will be valuable in my future ministry. It is also very enriching to get to know those who are under care of the mission; I have already gained a deeper understanding of Jesus from the conversations that I have had!”

Saturday, October 05, 2013

U of L Nursing Students Gain Greater Insight Into Homelessness

U of L Nursing Students Gain Greater Insight Into Homelessness
    Stephanie and Natalie are bright, energetic students from the University of Louisville School of Nursing.  In order to understand how extreme poverty affects Louisville’s homeless population, the students spent time at Wayside Christian Mission interviewing staff members, meeting resident clients, and observing the mission’s recovery program in operation.  Stephanie, a native of Louisville, explained, “Upon visiting Hotel Louisville for my Community Health class, I was exposed to the multiple benefits Wayside has for those needing assistance.  From their Work Therapy Program to their recovery program (Sober Living Program), the resident clients expressed their immense gratitude for the programs they are involved in and the personal benefits they have had since coming to the mission.  I am thankful for my experience here and gaining a deeper look into the programs and their resident clients.”
     Natalie, a transplant from northern Kentucky, eagerly expressed her views on this learning experience, too.  “Today was my first visit to Hotel Louisville and I learned a lot about what was offered here.  They offer programs such work therapy and the recovery program.  A resident client that I talked to showed much appreciation for all that the staff and volunteers have helped her to do.  I am very excited and thankful for the experience I had and hope to come back soon!”
     Wayside Christian Mission is actively involved with fourteen colleges, universities, and seminaries.  Our educational partners are working side by side with us in tackling homelessness in our community.  We are truly grateful to our student volunteers for the compassion they demonstrate as well as the work they do. 

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

OT Student Project Aimed at Relapse Prevention

OT Student Project Aimed at Relapse Prevention
      Never under-estimate the creativity college students.  Recently, Katie Flanagan and Sarah Spears, Occupational Therapy students from Spalding University, and Chris Walsh, an Occupational Therapy Assistant student from Jefferson Community and Technical College, chose Wayside Christian Mission as the site for an extensive student service project.  After weeks of research, client interviews, and first-hand observation of the mission’s recovery program, the students completed a detailed manual covering a host of relevant topics ranging from stress management to recreation on a budget.  During interviews with men and women in Wayside Christian Mission’s Sober Living Program, several of the participants expressed a desire in learning healthy ways of relieving stress and tension.  In the past, these men and women turned to drugs and alcohol as a means of managing their problems.  By learning new coping techniques, those in the mission’s recovery program now have positive tools for dealing with life’s daily pressures—and this equates to fewer incidents of relapses.  During the course of their field education project, Katie, Sarah, and Chris made proper use of their time.  They remained on task, conducted themselves as professionals, and worked with a goal in mind.  It is hardly surprising that their field education supervisor awarded each student with a well-deserved A plus. Wayside Christian Mission is truly a learning laboratory that enjoys a working relationship with fourteen colleges, universities, and seminaries; truly, the mission’s resident clients are the real beneficiaries of this amazing creative talent.