Last Thursday, the chapel foyer here at the Village of Hope was packed to the brim with friends, family and staff members, all gathered together for one reason: to celebrate and honor the commitment and service of two very special people. Two Orange County Rescue Mission employees, and dear friends of mine, Derrick Burton and Pamela Todd-Coles have reached the incredible milestone of 10 years of service here at the Rescue Mission!
This is no small accomplishment, and we had to make sure they were each honored, celebrated and thanked for their service to the Rescue Mission over the past decade. Both of these special people have made an incredible impact on the Rescue Mission in their own way – Pam as a gifted Grant Writer and Derrick as our wise Program Director.
Over the past 10 years I have been blessed to serve alongside them and witness firsthand the way they have impacted the Rescue Mission. Their service, commitment, and care has made the Mission what it is today. You can tell that these people are so loved and respected; you could see it in the many smiling faces that had all willingly and eagerly come to spend a night honoring these special people, you could hear it in the heartfelt words shared about both of them. In recognition of these wonderful individuals, I would like to share a little bit about both of them and their journeys with you.
“If someone ever came to me, and they were doubting that the Lord prepares for us good works in advance or that He truly does call specific people into specific ministries at specific times, I would ask them if they would like to come meet my friend, Derrick.”
This comment shared by our COO and Derrick’s supervisor, Bryan, perfectly sums up Derrick’s experience here at the Rescue Mission. He is perfectly suited for the role that God has placed him in here at the Rescue Mission. And because of that, the Rescue Mission has thrived under his care and leadership. His heart for God and for people is so evident in every one of his actions and words. He treats everyone that comes through our gates as a child of God, with dignity, self-worth and compassion that communicates the love of Christ. When he came to the Rescue Mission, the only position available was a custodian position. Despite previously being a Director of another ministry, Derrick accepted the custodian position humbly and gratefully, knowing that God had called him to be here. And over the years, this has proved true as God continues to use Derrick in the lives of both the residents and the staff here at the Rescue Mission. Thank you for 10 years of faithful service, Derrick!
“I am not an envious person by nature,” shares Anna, our Director of Development. “I don’t envy people’s houses or cars or things, but one thing I do envy, one thing I admire about you, Pam, is how intimate your relationship with God is and how deeply you love Him.”
Wow! Every Christian should strive to have this spoken of them, and it is truly an accurate representation of Pam’s loving and gracious spirit. She came to us 10 years ago, after many years of a successful career, including years spent as an Executive Director. But she too felt the Lord calling her to the Rescue Mission, and knew it was where she was meant to be. Since she joined us, she has been an instrumental part of our Grants team and is responsible for helping to keep the Rescue Mission open and running each day. At the celebration, her team all contributed to Anna’s speech by sharing their favorite “Pam memories”, a testament to how well-loved she is here. Perhaps the best example of her heart: any given day, you can walk in her office and see a list of names on her whiteboard, reminding her throughout the day to lift these people up in prayer.
I could go on and on about these two amazing individuals. The Rescue Mission truly would not be what it is today without their incredible influence, leadership, and service. I will conclude with a comment I made during my speech at the celebration: We are no ordinary Mission, because Pam is no ordinary Grant Writer and Derrick is no ordinary Program Director. The love of Jesus Christ is not ordinary. Each day I am in awe of what the Lord does here, in the hearts of people as lives are transformed, and through the staff that give of their lives each day.
I am so thankful for both Pam and Derrick and proud to have them as part of the Rescue Mission family. Congratulations on 10 years of faithful service! Here’s to many more!
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