Hello Friends,

As we head into March, we officially hit the one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic bullying its way into our lives. I personally am so touched by the love and support that you poured into this ministry these last 12 months. The Mission cannot function without your willingness to co-labor with us to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those experiencing homelessness, battling addiction, and suffering from mental health issues. For us, COVID-19 has brought a season of ups and downs. We have seen God’s faithful hand on our employees and guests, but we have also suffered loss. On Christmas 2020, God called home our longtime donations pick-up driver, Mark Selditch. Mark had contracted COVID-19 in early December and was never able to recover. I wanted to share his story with you.

“Mark came to the Mission over 16 years ago and changed his life. Mark battled addiction for most of his life and found himself on the streets of Modesto with no place to go. It is when someone reached out to Mark and shared about the Modesto Gospel Mission that he discovered his calling in Christ. After completing the 18-month New Life Program, Mark transitioned to join the staff here and was a part of the team for over 15 years. In this time Mark eventually found his own special purpose driving our donations van. He was such a blessing to the Mission and the people that he crossed paths with each day as he drove to local grocery stores and restaurants to pick up food donations. He knew everyone by name, and always had an encouraging word. If you ran into Mark, I could guarantee he would have met you with a big smile and his trademark salutation “God Bless You!” One of the first people to greet me when I came to the Mission was Mark, and it was such an honor to call him a friend and fellow servant in Christ. Though Mark has changed his address to his new celestial home, he will always be remembered in the hearts of those that experienced his generosity and love for Christ.”

When tragedy such as sickness and death occur, we are comforted by what lies in store, as recounted in the Bible in Isaiah 25:8, “He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, and He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth.” (See also Revelation 21:1-4)

This reminds us of the One who conquered death, Jesus, as we are coming upon Easter in early April. This is a joyful time around the Mission, as the resurrection of Jesus is a source of great hope and encouragement to those who are trying to resurrect their lives. Jesus can redeem any life from pain, addiction, sin, and hopelessness. The foundation and heart of the Mission is to spread the gospel, the good news, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Despite this tough last year, the Mission continued this purpose, to share this good news with all those who seek refuge, recovery, and restoration within our doors. Yet we still need your generosity to continue this ministry. Please consider blessing us in any way you can. Please pray for the Mission, the guests, the NLP disciples, the staff, and its operations. Please consider donating food or clothing items, or including the Mission in your financial giving plans this month. And we would love to have you volunteer your time by serving our guests and residents. All of these are important to the ongoing functioning of the Mission, and we would love to have you continue your partnership with us in serving the desperate and broken men, women, and children in our local community.

Jason Conway, Executive Director
New Life Program Graduate 2008

UPCOMING:
We know you may have been expecting an invite to our annual Heart of a Donor breakfast that typically takes place in March. Due to the ongoing pandemic, and our hopes and prayers that it is in the process of subsiding, we have decided to move the event out several months to May 22nd, 2021 in the Mission Chapel! In typical fashion the event will begin that Saturday morning with breakfast, and we promise that you won’t want to miss it! So, mark your calendars, and we will see you then.