Mission serves food for the body and the soul

Published 9:37 am Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Temperatures were toasty in the kitchen at the River City Rescue Mission on Monday.

The sun was out and the July heat was stifling outside. It was only a little better inside the “chow hall” since the air conditioning was not working to full capacity, but this did not keep those preparing the meal from doing their job.

Marcus Jackson, who is the lead cook for the River City Rescue Mission was stirring a big pot of lentil pea soup, while Sean Condell was helping those in the line serve their plates.

The River City Rescue Mission has been offering lunchtime meals to those that are hungry and nourishment for the soul is also available.

“I want to feed them more than food,” River City Rescue Mission program director Earnie Hall said.

Beginning at 12:30 p.m. lunch is served to anyone needing a square meal, and the mission is in the process of also offering a prayer space for those seeking spiritual solace.

“Our goal is to have someone in the prayer room 24/7,” Hall said, adding that volunteers from the community are welcome.

Hall said offering a space for prayer is not a new concept and referenced IHop, the International House of Prayer, which is an evangelical missions organization that is committed to praying for the release of the fullness of God’s power and purpose.

At the River City Rescue Mission, Hall said, the space provided for prayer is designed to offer a location for those wanting to pray, and he is hoping to have it manned with volunteers who would be on hand to offer a listening ear if requested.

The River City Rescue Mission began as a homeless shelter for men and has grown to include a thrift store with two locations while also offering three meals a day to individuals that would otherwise go hungry. 

Jackson came to the mission seeking refuge, and during his time there, he said his experiences have been life changing.

“I have been homeless, myself, for 16 years and now to feed someone and to know it may be the only meal they get  — that’s the ministry of God,” he said, adding “to feed and love people — this may be the only Bible they get to see.”

Jackson said he grew up cooking as a child and went through the job corps and got a diploma in cooking. He said he enjoys baking and brownies are his favorite thing to make.

Condell, who manages the kitchen  and is in charge of preparing the menus and shopping, said it is rewarding to know that she, along with the other volunteers, are helping people.

“It really makes me happy,” she said, to know that some people do not have to return on a daily basis because we have provided the jump start they needed to get their lives back on track.

For more information or to volunteer in the prayer room, call 601-636-6602.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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