APRIL 2023 NEWSLETTER
70 years ago this month, a man named Max Manning had a vision for starting a shelter for those experiencing homelessness and hunger in Topeka. Max had been in the marines throughout World War II and the Korean War, and he was no stranger to bravely going where others feared to go - he was even one of the first Kansans to be called overseas during the Korean War.
He gave his life to Christ while in the marines and became filled with a desire to share the love of Jesus with others. On returning to Kansas he began witnessing to people on the streets of Topeka, and during one of these times he met a businessman named George Eutsler. Also a Christian, George and Max began talking about the needs of the people they encountered on the streets and how Topeka needed a shelter for people to go when they had no where else to turn.
Soon their shared vision had taken root and, in 1953, they rented a building in North Topeka and turned it into a makeshift homeless shelter. Max paid for the first month of rent himself and emptied out his own kitchen - bringing his own pots, pans and kitchenware to TRM so they could begin serving meals in addition to providing shelter. He had no idea where his vision to start a shelter in Topeka would go, but he knew his mission: to serve the people in front of him as best as he could and to share the love of Jesus Christ with everyone he encountered.
Today, Max is 95 years old and the last living founder of TRM, and his vision - along with the other founders of TRM - has become a reality for tens of thousands of people who have come to TRM to receive help, hope and healing over the last 70 years. Max could have made many different decisions in his life, but he decided to serve God above all, and we at TRM and all those we serve still benefit from his faithfulness today!
La Manda Broyles, Executive Director of TRM, said on meeting Max:
“I think there are moments in our lives that stand out so clearly, and this is one for me. It’s one thing to hear about Max’s heart, and to hear about his legacy, but to be able to see him, hug him, shake his hand and hear his stories is so empowering. It’s a reminder to me that this is a calling and a very purposeful assignment that the Lord has me on. It’s a great responsibility to ensure that the love of Christ is still the foundational root at TRM.”
Over the past year La Manda has been at the forefront of an incredibly successful transition into new leadership at TRM, and now serves as the seventh executive director. She shares this passionate calling to lead the ministry of TRM, standing on the foundations of those who came before her and seeking God for the foundations she will establish as our leader. As we look ahead to the future, she knows that the needs of those who experience homelessness, hunger, and the difficulties of life will be met with the same conviction and dedication to loving those in front of us that has been shared by many over the past 70 years.
While the future of the next 70 years is unknown, the assignment of TRM will not change - to seek God, to be available to meet the needs of the community as they arise, and to do whatever is required to serve God and love our neighbors. We thank you for standing with us on this journey, recognizing those who have been with us in the past, the present, and those who will join with us in the future!
“God’s mighty power comes when God’s people learn to walk with God.”