On Taylor Street in Columbia, SC, is a mission that serves not only the physical needs of the homeless but feeds them spiritually as well. Jim Hudson, of Hudson Automotive, in the recent publication, “The Messenger” shares his heart for that mission. Jim is a Board Member, but he wasn’t always so connected to The Oliver Gospel Mission. In fact, he had not ever heard about it. He did, however, see this same type of mission work expressed in the life of his grandfather. He grew up watching his grandfather serve and minister to the tenant farmers who lived on his North Carolina farm. Mr. Hudson states, “My grandfather fed them when they were hungry, took them to the doctor when they were sick and gave to them when they were in need.” Seeing that mission “fleshed out” as a boy, developed, in Jim’s heart, a real caring for the homeless and downtrodden. So when he found out about The Oliver Gospel Mission in his, now, hometown of Columbia, S.C., it seemed only natural to want to be a part of it. Jim had been through hard times of his own. He had narrowly escaped death twice and knew that, “God had saved him for a reason-to give back and do more to further the kingdom of God.’ Through board membership, Mr. Hudson knew his life could be used at The Oliver Gospel Mission.
Another life was changed in connection with The Oliver Gospel Mission, but not by being a board member. Phillip, a once gainfully employed individual without “a care in the world,” became unemployed and homeless in less than a year. He suffered in pain from a dislocated hip and damaged lower back while trying to work during that time and eventually his life was in shambles with no job and no insurance. He learned about The Oliver Gospel Mission and took the initiative to seek it out. The intake Chaplin had an answer for him about what was wrong and what was missing that could help him. He states, “What was missing was my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” With guidance from the staff there Phillip says, “I found that giving back and helping others is not only a gift and a blessing, but a joy. I am a better person than I was before.” He has discovered that without Christ “nothing really matters.”
Phillip is in the final phase of the Christ-Centered Leadership Development Recovery Program at The Oliver Gospel Mission in Columbia, S.C.and is attending Midlands technical College, pursuing a degree in communications management. The Oliver Gospel Mission has helped Phillip find God’s will for his life and has learned that the homeless have real friends there. Homelessness does not have to be a way of life but it can be a stepping stone to a better life as The Oliver Gospel Mission stretches out a helping hand in Columbia, S.C..
“The Messenger” The Oliver Gospel Mission, Columbia, S.C. February 2009