2216 S. Cedar St., Lansing MI 48910 ~ www.BEaRESCUER.org ~ 517.485.0145
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The Doors Open at the Outreach

In January of 2018, our executive director, as he always does, set goals for the Mission for the coming year. One of those goals was to contact another local non-profit, the Lansing City Outreach, to learn more about the no-barrier shelter they offered. An initial meeting led to regular discussions with Mark Bozzo, director and founder of “City Outreach,” and he shared several challenges the non-profit was facing as part of this difficult work. While the Mission executive director and board began initial discussions about what the Mission’s future role could be, Mark Bozzo passed away suddenly. His ministry had relied greatly on him, and there was no one to take his place. His loss left a gap not only in his area of ministry but in an area of great need in our community. No other agency offered services to the specific population “City Outreach” served: those men and women who live on the streets.

The Mission felt the call to stand in the gap, and we shared that calling with you, our fellow rescuers. Your support was instantaneous and overwhelming. We have been so blessed by the interest and compassion that allowed us to create a new ministry opportunity, renovate a building, and begin services in four months.

On Monday, January 21, with bitter cold temps, we were able to open our doors to welcome anyone in need of shelter for the night. Some came temporarily to warm up and use the facilities while a few chose to stay. That first night, there were 5 for shelter through the night The second night, there were 9; by the third, 15. We fully expect this number to continue to grow, and our goal, once we are fully staffed, is to open our doors during the day as well.

Our executive director, who was working that first night, shares a story of one encounter in his “Message from Mark” on page two, and we are grateful to be able to offer a safe, clean haven to those who too often struggle in a typical shelter environment. Thank you for your continued faithfulness and the role you play in impacting our community. Thank you for being a rescuer.

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A Message from Mark: an Opportunity to Forgive

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18

The first night of the Outreach enabled five individuals to have a safe place to stay in temperatures that dropped below zero. Most of these individuals were staying out in the woods before this record-breaking weather of the season came into town. Suddenly, wisely, they looked for alternative shelter. Unfortunately, all of these individuals had been banned from the homeless shelters in the area, including the City Rescue Mission, because of behavioral issues that led to dismissal. These behavioral issues are precipitated by substance abuse and mental illness.

One individual in particular came into the Outreach on the first night and was welcomed by Randy, director of men’s ministries. “Pete” recognized Randy and remembered that, because of an angry exchange directed at Randy, he had been barred permanently from the Mission just over two years ago. Seeing him at the Outreach, Pete suddenly realized that it would be a real possibility that he could be turned away into the life threatening cold weather. To his surprise, Randy confirmed that he would be able to stay. “So…we’re good? I can stay?” Randy explained that this is a “no barrier shelter” and Pete is welcome to stay as long as he “treats others the way he wants to be treated” (the golden rule, Luke 6:31). Pete expressed his appreciation and seemed to move quickly into the Outreach before someone would change their mind.

What is interesting about Pete is that he has only been to the City Rescue Mission three times over the past four years, and he has been barred each time because of behavioral issues that are instigated by mental illness. We normally invite a guest to return after 90 days and we “start over.” However, the last confrontation was so verbally offensive, and actually threatening, that he had received a “permanent bar” from the Men’s Shelter on Michigan Avenue. As I observed, within the first five minutes in the facility, Pete came back to the front desk to talk with Randy. “Hypothetically,” he began, “if I had done something wrong…I should probably apologize. I am not admitting that I stole anything but I did say some pretty inappropriate things to you. I just want to make sure that we are okay.” Randy, with warm smile and firm handshake quickly confirmed, “Hey, we are okay.” With a sigh of relief, Pete felt better about the “elephant in the room” and stayed for the entire night. As a matter of fact, he returned the next night as well. Perhaps, we have found a new way to serve Pete and to keep him safe.

Our goal is to minister to people who come to the Mission and to share the love of Jesus Christ with them. It is impossible to minister to people that you do not meet or interact with. The Outreach is a wonderful opportunity to show forgiveness, even when the apology was “wanting." It wasn’t about the quality of the apology, it was about our responsibility when it comes to forgiveness and sharing the love of God. After all, “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Thank you so much for enabling the City Rescue Mission to meet more needs in our community. Thank for enabling us to serve the least of the least of these. Thank you for being a rescuer!

To God be the Glory,
Mark Criss
Executive Director

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"Rescue" News: 2018 Service Numbers

Your gifts played an important part in making a difference in Michigan’s capital area. Each number below represents food, shelter, and hope to someone in need. Thank you for being a rescuer!

Meals Served Nights of Shelter Other Services
Breakfast: 41,970 Women: 17,331 Bibles and Tracts: 791
Lunch: 9,391 Children: 9,201 Counseling Sessions: 617
Dinner: 46,421 Men: 24,831 Case Management: 2,529
TOTAL: 97,782 TOTAL: 51,363 Hygiene Kits: 928
Food Shelter Hope
268 meals per day 141 people per night 2,150 individuals helped


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Cook's Corner: Pork Lo Mein

8 Servings (Family Size)
2 (8 ounce) packages Linguine
2/3 cup low-sodium Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
1 Tablespoon and 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
2 teaspoons White Sugar
1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
1/4 cup Canola Oil
4 cups Snap Peas
2 small Sweet Onions, chopped
2 (12 ounce) Pork Tenderloin, cut into thin strips
2 (8 ounce) packages sliced White Mushrooms
2 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, chopped (1)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Ginger, or to taste
4 cloves Garlic, chopped (2)
6 Green Onions, sliced

120-150 Servings (Mission Size)
30 (8 ounce) packages Linguine
10 cups low-sodium Soy Sauce
3-3/4 cups Rice Vinegar
1-1/4 cups Cornstarch
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons White Sugar
1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
3-3/4 cups Canola Oil
60 cups Snap Peas
30 small Sweet Onion, chopped
30 (12 oz) Pork Tenderloin, cut into thin strips
30 (8 ounce) packages sliced White Mushrooms
30 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
30 cloves Garlic, chopped (1)
1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Ginger, or to taste
60 cloves Garlic, chopped (2)
90 Green Onions, sliced

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; cook the Linguine at a boil until tender yet firm to the bite, 8 to 9 minutes; drain.
2. Whisk Soy Sauce, Rice Vinegar, Cornstarch, Sugar, and Sesame Oil together in a small bowl.
3. Heat Canola Oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; cook and stir Snap Peas and Onion in the hot oil until Onion is softened, about 2 minutes. Add Pork, Mushrooms, Red Bell Pepper, (1) chopped Garlic, and Ginger; cook until Pork is no longer pink, about 2 minutes.
4. Mix (2) chopped Garlic into the Pork mixture; cook for 1 minute. Pour Soy Sauce mixture over Pork mixture; cook and stir until sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat. Add Linguine to the mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle with Green Onion.
*(The CRM Cook prepared the Pork Loin separately before prepping everything else. These directions are a skillet version for home.)

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