By: Michael Cassidy
BSW Intern, Warner University
The Mission is a parachurch ministry located at 180 E Central Ave, Winter Haven, FL 33880. The mission of The Mission is to share Christ, meet needs, build relationships and restore purpose. They really do this, too. The executive pastor of this ministry is Pastor David Berry. David Berry became the executive pastor after Thomas Beauregard handed down the mantle and he has been carrying out the original vision of The Mission ever since.
I spent my time there helping distribute the food to the people coming in. The Holy Spirit was leaving impressions on my heart the entire time I was there. When I walked in I was greeted by the other workers and volunteers in The Mission’s kitchen. It was a very friendly environment with a hint of seriousness about food handling and the distribution of goods. They walked me through how much to serve and the proper sanitation techniques, but with the experience I gained from my time at Meals on Wheels I was no beginner. For the first portion of time Pastor David was not at The Mission, but as the day unfolded he arrived and was very happy to see the volunteers that were there, myself included. We had met one time prior to my volunteering there so when he saw me a flash of familiarity had crossed his face. He gave me a handshake and thanked me for volunteering.
When the people started coming through the lines I could feel their struggle in the atmosphere. Some people you could tell have been living in emotional and financial poverty for so long that they had lost hope. They seemed as if they had been trying so hard that there was apathetic feeling toward improvement. The Mission is a place for these people to come and rest from their daily routine and have a place to socialize and build relationships. In their mission statement The Mission says that they want to restore purpose, and the purpose that I could see being restored in them is a care for one another. We all know the power that love has in this world and The Mission is offering a Christian love to restore the broken in Winter Haven.
The mission of The Mission is clear; restore the broken through The Mission to restore a sense of mission to their hearts so that they can carry out the mission of The Mission that received their mission from the mission giver, Jesus Christ.