Friday, 23 August 2019

C Columns

Pennies from Heaven: Boise Rescue Mission needs our help

By Sandy Jones

Rev. Bill Roscoe of the Boise Rescue Mission and Kevin Miller of Miller's Mission and KIDO Radio each hold a copper penny. Miller's Mission, set for May 20-25 at the Nampa Garrity Walmart, has chosen the theme “Pennies from Heaven” and hopes to raise money for the work of the Mission from people in the community. The Mission is currently experiencing a deficit over previous years. (Photo courtesy of Michael Carbone of Boise Rescue Mission Ministries) 

As a number cruncher, stats always interest me, and when I sat down with Rev. Bill, of the Boise Rescue Mission, and Kevin Miller, of KIDO Radio, earlier this year I was surprised to learn how many people are affected by homelessness in Ada and Canyon counties alone. Surprised to hear how the shelters in Boise and Nampa are serving an average of 1,000 meals a day, while supplying a warm, safe bed for 500 men, women and children every single night. 

A few years ago, I was at a supporter lunch for the Rescue Mission and met Kevin Miller who, to my surprise, invited me to lunch, saying what we do here at CLM intrigued him. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. Of course I agreed to the lunch, and that was the beginning of a great friendship. I was also intrigued by this man who hosts a rather polarizing political talk show on a secular radio station, not so much by his show but rather the work I’d watched him do for the Boise Rescue Mission.   

Kevin’s project, Miller’s Mission, is where Kevin literally camps 24 hours a day for a full week at the Nampa Garrity Walmart to raise awareness and help fulfill the physical and financial needs of the Boise Rescue Mission, a Christian-based group that takes no government funding, none at all, thereby relying on our community to help meet 100 percent of its needs. 

Why, many people ask, not accept government funding? Wouldn’t that make funding much easier? It would, but then they couldn’t preach the Gospel; they couldn’t tell people about Jesus  and how much He loves them. 

That morning while we sat with the two of them reminiscing about past Miller’s Mission projects, I got a front row seat to the special bond these two men share. That all started one Saturday morning when Kevin caught KTVB’s 7 Cares live on air. He shared how he saw the passion Rev. Bill has for the Mission and the people it serves, as Bill was literally “hauling chickens.” Kevin chided that, “Rev. Bill’s in good shape, but he’s no spring chicken, and anyone who does that deserves the support that we can give him and I asked to stay at the mission.” And so it began. 

The first Miller’s Mission started with 20 turkeys and has grown to over 11,000 donated turkeys, along with gifts of clothing, necessities and cash during this past November’s event. 

Over the years they’ve added side-drives to fulfill needed items, with days like Undie Undie Sunday, and have seen terrific community support. From private individuals to businesses of ALL sizes stepping up to help out in whatever ways possible — sometimes it’s a few pair of socks to shopping carts full of them! 

One of Bill and Kevin’s favorite stories is about a lady who was homeless five years ago, who now owns her own business and was delighted to donate a check to help people that are at the Mission now. 

Folks who can give, do give — too many stories to share them all. And yet, stories similar to the Bible’s tale of the Widow’s Mite always linger with these two big-hearted men — like the nearly blind man, who had no money, so he sold “stuff” on eBay to raise money to donate. 

Looking back, Kevin shared that when he presented the idea of Miller’s Mission to Rev. Bill, he emphasized that it’s “awareness, awareness, awareness and the people will come,” and he was right. 

Rev. Bill often speaks throughout the state and is frequently asked about Kevin’s beliefs, as secular talk show hosts aren’t often known for their faith. Rev. Bill is quick to assure them that Kevin is a fellow Christian and how anytime he’s on the air with Kevin, they always talk about the Lord. Rev. Bill grins as he adds, “The fact that I used to be a hopeless dope addict and now I’m a dopeless hope addict is because Christ changed my life.” 

For the first time in Rev. Bill’s 22 total years (17 years at the Boise Rescue Mission and 5 years at the Mission in Redding, Calif.) as the Executive Director/CEO, holiday season/year-end giving was down. Down a full 10 percent, while the influx in population and rise in cost of living has caused more people to need Mission services. Feeding 1,000 meals every day, and with 500 men, women and children in beds every night, is a huge undertaking, but that’s not all the Rescue Mission does. It offers programs for in-house mental health care, programs to help men and women become gainfully employed, and year over year for the last several years has helped between 500 and 600 people each year graduate from these programs and leave homelessness behind.   

Miller’s Mission happens twice a year: in May and in November. This year’s spring event is slated to run May 20-25 at the Nampa Garrity Walmart, with this year’s theme “Pennies from Heaven.” Pennies from Heaven because the Rescue Mission needs the help our community can give and never losing sight that every penny given is truly a Penny from Heaven. 

Would you please pray about joining us in supporting the Boise Rescue Mission? I can tell you from personal experience that every bit helps! 

Kevin shared his own story about why he’s so passionate about the Boise Rescue Mission in our July/August 2016 issue. Go to https://issuu.com/christian-living-magazine/docs/christian_living_july_august. 

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