Mission Southside
Thursday, September 24, 2020

Impact and Transformation

It is not difficult to look around and see the impact that Mission Southside has made - even in the short time of its ministry and programming.
Having a “neighbor’s heart,” one that is genuinely and authentically caring for those who are not always easily impacted can be a challenge, but one that Mission Southside is in a prime position to help. The stories that come to light as the months progress look something like this story of transformation:

From a Salvation Army staff member:
I referred a young family to Mission Southside that had just that day been released from the Homeless Shelter with the Salvation Army - the family had literally nothing - no beds, furniture, housewares, etc. - I stopped by later that week to see just what kind of help Mission Southside would provide - When I stepped into their little apartment they were already beaming with joy to show me their entire apartment that was completely furnished and stocked - The sofa (hide-a-bed) looked brand new and the day bed for the little daughter was as cute as could be - I was impressed with Mission Southside and I will continue to refer families their direction.
“I'm 25, pregnant, and I have no refrigerator - can you help me?”  “Yes, we can!”  
That simple answer began a relationship with a Mission Southside “Neighbor's Heart” Mentors who visited with this dear young mother and brought her immediate help (a refrigerator).  For nearly 8 months since the initial contact, this mentor has invested in time and love with this mom and has discovered more of her story; this young woman has two other children who stay with a Grandma, an ugly divorce, an underpaying job, no car, health issues, fear, despair, and lack of hope.  Jesus was brought into this young mother's life through the help and hope offered through Mission Southside. Without meeting her initial need there wouldn’t have been the opportunity to reach her deeper spiritual need for Christ.
That is beyond what we could ask for, a life transforming!  Being embraced, through a Neighbor’s Heart Mentor, by a loving God who has done immeasurably more for her than she ever expected or believed she was worthy of. That is the story of transformed life through simply being a “neighbor” to one of the “least of these;” one that would be overlooked and, in all likelihood, ignored and discarded by the community around her. Because Mission Southside stood alongside of her, she is now living a transformation that wouldn’t have been possible without the power of God and Mission Southside taking seriously the call to “finish the task” that Christ began here on earth.

Jesus talks about using influence and action to share the Gospel with those around us. Mission Southside takes every opportunity whether through mentoring a recovering drug addict, giving a backpack of food to a child, feeding a meal to a hungry family, providing J-train programs in a neighborhood, or praying for someone in need, to share the love and life-changing message of Jesus to those they serve. The programs are simply tools to use to reach these neighbors for Christ. Our prayer has been “Lord, help us join in your work in our community.” We hear God answering our prayer when we hear reports from ministry work such as:
  • One mother said she didn’t know how she would provide clothes for her children for the winter, and the garage sale came at the perfect time.
  • At another garage sale, a lady came in with bare feet, and she walked away with a pair of shoes.
  • “My daughter loves the J-train groups and looks forward to going every time. She is always asking what day it is and how many more till Wednesday. I remember one time she woke up early in the morning crying because she thought we had missed J-train. My heart was filled with joy as I tried to explain to her that is was at three in the afternoon not three in the morning. ‘Go back to bed J-train will be here before you know it.’”
  • One family, displaced by a house fire and losing everything, came to Mission Southside and came away with a house-full of furniture, food, clothing and gas for their vehicle. They have said of their encounter with Mission Southside volunteers: “I have never met more caring or devoted people than the staff and volunteers of Mission Southside.”
Recognizing that God is already at work in our community and that we simply have to choose to join in what He is doing, we then can partner with others, churches, organizations that have a desire to make an impact and multiply our influence bringing Jesus to the needy and forgotten of our own community.

One of our partner’s says of the partnership with Mission Southside:
Olathe has a growing Hispanic population of about 12,000 people. Most of them are first generation immigrants. As our church has strived to build bridges of understanding between the English-speaking and Spanish-speaking populations living in our community, we praise God for the existence of Mission Southside and are grateful for the partnership that we have developed.

There have been multiple occasions when we have found needs in the community that Mission Southside has been able to meet. Mission Southside has provided clothes for a family with four young children; bunk beds for two young brothers that had to move to live with another family; bags with groceries for families that lost a job; mattresses for a family with a teenage paralyzed boy; furniture for a family escaping from the violence in Cd. Juarez, and the list could go on and on.

I have also been able to see how Mission Southside’s immersion in the community allows them to have multiple contacts with the same families and develop  growing relationships. I think of a Mexican family of four: a single mother with her three children.   They have attended several of Mission Southside’s Free Garage Sales. They have interacted with Mission Southside’s staff during our ESL/Spanish classes.
Mission Southside help them move heavy items to their new home. Last week, their teenager served as a leader in a Mission Southside “J-Train” that served the children of his community!

Our vision is to bring together the Anglo and Hispanic communities, Mission Southside has been a perfect partner. They provide both a place to serve and a place to receive help and hope. It is exciting to see the diversity in the teams of volunteers that are working sorting out clothes, moving furniture, loading boxes, teaching songs and Bible stories to children or preparing and serving a meal for the community. Just as it is exciting to see that diversity in the people that are being served by Mission Southside’s ministries. It truly is a glimpse of Heaven.”

We have been faithful to join God in the community to serve the people who need Him the very most. Every ministry that we engage in, no matter the total numbers, has been more than we could ever ask or imagine. We celebrate each life touched as victory…and that is “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine!”
We have mentors who are prepared to walk with those who need them through many challenges, providing a strong spiritual support- more than all we ask or imagine!

We provide donated furniture, clothing, and household items in order to bring hope to the under-resourced in our community- more than all we ask or imagine!

The results of the efforts of our leaders and volunteers demonstrates that God is being glorified, that His power is at work among our outreaches and that He is able to do even more through Mission Southside.