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Would God tell an untrained layman with four daughters and an infant son to move into the worst slum in town and minister to drunk men? The whole idea sounds preposterous to Jim Resh as God begins dealing with him about such a radical proposal. Surely God would want a trained minister--one without so many children to put at risk in such a setting, Jim argues. But God indeed has called Jim, his wife Ellen, and their five children to leave their beautiful mountain home and start a rescue mission on squalid Jail Alley in Hagerstown, Maryland. Forty years later, this once-tiny mission has expanded to include many branch missions in a four-state area, radio and TV programs, and numerous other ministries. This engaging story of God's work in and through one family is a testament to His unpredictability and power. Until Jim follows God's plan, he uproots his family many times due to a restlessnesss he cannot shake. Then his infant son becomes critically ill, and Jim realizes that his family is safe only in God's will. Following God's plan for their lives is far from easy for the Reshes. Although God does supply their needs (from baby formula to $24,000 for bills), often the need is met at the very last minute and with nothing to spare. The family's spartan living conditions were difficult. Illnesses of their children place the ministry in jeopardy. Jim's older daughters rebel against the sacrifices forced on them and lie to avoid the shame of revealing where they live. Government regulations place a stranglehold of paperwork on the mission and even threaten to shut it down. Most discouraging of all, men who respond to the message of Jesus Christ return to alcohol time and time again. Yet four decades later, Union Rescue Mission today remains open to all who want help of any kind. Thousands have received hope from the sign at the door: "If you haven't a friend in the world, you have one here." Friendship, love, and acceptance continue to flow from the Reshes-a family of "just plain folks" who is willing to rely on God's leadership.
Bidding farewell to their beautiful home on Pen Mar Mountain for the last time, Jim and Ellen Resh and their five children had no idea they were embarking on an adventure that would span four decades and four generations. They did know that God had called their family to start a rescue mission on Jail Alley-the worst slum section in Hagerstown, Maryland. Many friends said they were crazy as they moved into a dingy apartment and began taking in homeless, alcoholic men. Today the once-tiny mission has expanded into a complex of ministries reaching into four states, wth a TV outreach across the United States and into the former Soviet Union. At a time when when many families are falling apart, this family has grown strong by service to others. The metamorphosis that has taken place in the Union Rescue Mission since the time it first opened its doors is nothing short of miraculous. Some things, however, remain the same. There is always love, nourishing food, a hot shower and a clean bed for any man in need. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is still proclaimed without reservation or hesitation. The sign-that blessed sign- is still there: "If you haven't a friend in the world, you have one here." Hagerstown Mayor Steve Sager said, of the Resh family's ministry: "They're here to help the least, the last, and the lost."
Buy Just for Jesus by Marti Hefley from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780929292472 & 0929292472
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