Greetings from sunny Arizona! Our first few days here have been such a blessing. On Sunday we were able to worship with Vineyard Community Church here in Tucson; everyone has been so welcoming and extremely kind! Throughout the afternoon and evening we spent time as a team exploring and getting acclimated to the area and culture.
Monday was full of great opportunities! We were able to tour two of the facilities that Gospel Rescue Mission (GRM) operates within – the women’s shelter and the men’s shelter. The wonderful staff and volunteers painted a picture for us of all the services they provide for individuals seeking assistance as well as how they operate systematically. After touring with GRM, we were also given the opportunity to tour Casa Alitas of Catholic Community Services. This is a project committed to providing services and aid to families from Central America released from ICE and Border Patrol detention in the Arizona community. They offer support by providing hospitality via food, shelter, advocacy, and travel assistance.
Today we finally got to work at GRM’s new Center for Opportunity! This is an old hotel that they are remodeling into a new men’s shelter and facility for individuals to seek out a variety of services ranging from emergency shelter, health and wellness, case management, recovery services, job training and professional development, etc. They are planning to have the place finished here in the next few weeks and fully operational by the beginning of June! Today our team worked on disassembling old chairs in the an old theater that will be the future home of a new chapel and painting some of the rooms that will be used for the shelter housing!
So far we have been blown away by the kindness and altruism of the individuals we’ve been working alongside. Our hosts serve others and give of themselves so willingly, and it is truly a humbling thing to see how God is using them so evidently here in the Tucson community. We are loving our time here and are eager to continue to serve throughout the week!
Missing our friends and family, and we ask for your continued prayers as we look for opportunities to serve this week!