“The idea of helping those experiencing homelessness and addiction came as a result of reading the book, Barefoot Church, by Brandon Hatmaker,” shared Rachel. She joins her husband Zach as Community Pastors at The River.
“Our leadership team read the book together. It opened our eyes to the need around us and inspired us to seek ways our church could help our community.” According to Rachel, they wanted to focus on feeding the hungry and helping the unhoused in the community, which led them to Nashville Rescue Mission.
“Some people on our team had volunteered at the Mission before. Once we took a look at the Mission’s vision, we were hooked.”
“Our group has been on a journey over the past year because of this book,” shared Rachel. “God has redirected us to live out our faith. Not just a one-off volunteer opportunity to check off our good deed box. For us, that looks like a lifestyle of loving and serving our neighbors. We have chosen to partner with the Mission as part of that lifestyle.”
“God has redirected us to live out our faith. Not just a one-off volunteer opportunity to check off our good deed box. For us, that looks like a lifestyle of loving and serving our neighbors. We have chosen to partner with the Mission as part of that lifestyle.”
Rachel vividly recalls their first experience volunteering as part of The River’s Sunday Serving project. “We walked away that day, knowing we could never ‘walk away’ again. We felt as though we saw our brothers, fathers, and cousins come through the line to eat, which changed our hearts.”
Before the temporary suspension of volunteering at the Mission due to COVID-19, the team from The River looked forward to regularly volunteering in the kitchen assisting with food preparation and serving lunch. They are genuinely looking forward to the day when they may return to volunteering on a regular basis.
For those looking for a place to serve and give back, Rachel had this to say: “Dive in! Get ready to see your neighbors in a new way. Prepare to make new friends and really lean into the experience. You have no idea how much of a difference you can make if you get involved at the Mission!”