Special from the Adams Rescue Mission

By Lex McMillan

The Adams Rescue Mission “may be the safest place in the county,” said Executive Director Bruce Dietrick. Due to the pandemic, the Mission closed its doors to the public on Monday, March 16, but the work of the Mission continues.

There are 19 men living at the shelter on York Road, down from the capacity of 30.  Dietrick regards this as a blessing since it gives the residents more space for “social distancing.”  ARM’s shelter for families, Agape House, is full, with 11 women and 10 children, including a newborn.  The rule now for both facilities is that no one leaves the premises unless they don’t plan to return.  Exceptions are a medical emergency or essential work.  Three Agape House residents have essential jobs.  They are taking extreme precautions as they return from work.

Only four members of the Mission staff are allowed into the York Road shelter: Dietrick; Jim, director of Men’s Ministries; Ron, the cook; and Connie, the bookkeeper, who is also the manager of Agape House.  All others are working from home and still receiving their salaries.

The men are staying busy, catching up on a backlog of recycling and other deferred tasks, cleaning, and re-organizing the big attic.  They have put the finishing touches on the new “high tunnel” greenhouse, now loaded with plants, flowers, and vegetables.  It’s a new initiative to serve the public, provide meaningful work for the residents, and be a new revenue source to offset some of the loss from falling recycling prices.  “Keeping routine is important,” Jim noted.

The families at Agape House are also doing well, Connie says.  She recalls a favorite Bible verse: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). Although there is anxiety, there is also a spirit of hope, trust, and mutual support. She and her staff are meeting twice a week with each of their residents for counseling and encouragement.

Dietrick and Connie said that the quieter time is an opportunity for all of them to deepen their relationship with Christ, especially as Easter was approaching.  Dietrick and Jim lead chapel three days a week. “Respect and affection” are the norm, Dietrick says.

The Thrift Shop and the recycling center generate about half of the Mission’s income, so their closure will hurt.  Spring fund-raising projects have been postponed, another hit to income.  At present, the annual golf tournament (Sept. 19) and the spaghetti dinner and auction (Nov. 20) are still planned.  Gifts are still coming by mail and online.

With help from ACNB, Dietrick has applied for the Federal Payroll Protection Program for small businesses.  He is praying for approval soon.

The work of the Mission continues.

The Adams Rescue Mission exists to proclaim the passion of Jesus toward the hungry, homeless, abused, and addicted; to accelerate recovery and restoration to the least, last, lonely, and lost.  Lex McMillan is an ARM board member.

To support the Mission: http://www.adamsrescuemission.org/donate-now.

Rev. 4/10/20