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April 2024 Annual Report

When it comes to gardening, a variety of tasks must be undertaken to achieve a fruitful harvest. Since the ground is not naturally soft, it requires tilling to loosen the soil and facilitate the flow of oxygen, nitrogen, and other nutrients. The presence of weeds inhibits new growth, necessitating their tilling, pulling, and removal. Similarly, without water, seeds cannot germinate and develop into the plants we intend to cultivate. However, when a seed begins to germinate, what must happen to allow there to be growth? For the plant to grow to its full potential, the seed’s structure must die. To embrace new life, the old must first fade away. In other words, and to bring it all into focus – for something to give new life, there must be the death of another. When Christ died for our sins, He put a literal and gruesome death to death, and through His resurrection, He brought new life.


For the month of March, we explored the significance of the death of Christ and what in us needs to die so we can be resurrected. This month, we will celebrate the old things that have gone and the new that has come. By the life, death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, everything was fulfilled by Him and through Him to the point where John 10:7-10 comes in full circle, 


Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.


The enemy has come to seek us out, find us, kill us, and destroy everything within us, but Christ came so that we can live and live fully without fear. Through His life, death, and resurrection, we find courage and freedom from fear of death. This idea is beautifully expressed in a quote from C.S. Lewis’ third novel in his Space Trilogy, That Hideous Strength, “Be thou glad sleeper and thy sorrow offcast. I am the gate to all good adventure.” Due to our sinful nature, we are powerless to overcome the certainty of death through our own efforts. Nevertheless, by Christ’s victory over death, He took His full strength to overcome the complete fallen nature of man and brought life to everyone who believes in Him. Take two of our dear friends and employees of TRM into consideration. Marcus and Miranda Molinar are now happily married and while both came from a background of sin and death, they both are now new creations in Jesus Christ.

Marcus’ new life began in 2016 amidst a life marked by drug abuse and violence. Despite surviving multiple life-threatening situations, he found himself at the Topeka Rescue Mission. Marcus remembers a chapel service where the message was about “making old things new.” During the sermon, he felt a profound sense of security, peace, and comfort as the speaker discussed a new life in Christ. It was at that moment that Marcus heard a voice tell him, If you keep living like this, you will die. In Marcus’ words, he says, “I knew it was the Holy Spirit getting a hold of me. I knew then and there that in my brokenness I realized I wanted to become new. I had to let the old man die and let something new be born. That was it for me.” When asked if it still is a struggle to fall back in his past, Marcus replied, “No way. When I look at pictures of me from the past, it’s crazy. That stuff is crazy! I look at who I was in the past and I say, ‘No! That right there is death. I can’t look at myself without wanting to walk away. There was a heart change and it’s way better than those ugly, ugly times.” Marcus attributes his new life to the work of the Holy Spirit leading him to repentance, and in his affliction, he “felt something like a shroud of praise come over him” and nothing has been the same since. 

Miranda’s new life began in 2018. One morning, she woke up on the floor, having slept in a dog bed. A relative had called, urgently trying to reach her. They expressed deep concern, warning that if Miranda didn’t stop her drug abuse, she might not be alive much longer. Like the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32, Miranda said, “No. I don’t want to live like this anymore. So, I did whatever I could to get myself out of that lifestyle. After trying to get treatment, I found myself at TRM.” For her, she needed to learn how to trust again, she had felt dead and empty for so long, she said, “I was so tired. I couldn’t sleep because I believed my surroundings weren’t safe. But it was through my experience that I grew to trust. I gave my life to Christ and He made me new. I am constantly growing in Him, and it is something I strive for every day.” Miranda continued to share her life verse, 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” She said as being a new creation, she has found her purpose in life, she is now a mother to two boys and a stepmom to Marcus’ two older children.

Just as Christ loves and pursues the Church, laying down His life for her, Marcus does the same for Miranda every day, and Miranda follows Marcus. Amidst the brokenness, filth, and death, they found not only Christ but also each other. Their marriage became a vow to break the cycle of death and addiction for themselves and their children. The new life of Marcus and Miranda Molinar is cherished by all who know them as father, mother, coworker, friend, and most importantly, brother and sister in Christ. They bravely faced death and declared, “No. You have no hold on me. I live for Christ and Christ alone.” This is the story they both steadfastly hold dear. The old has passed away, and the new has come. 

The support and encouragement from fellow believers are essential in recognizing our identity in Christ. For Marcus and Miranda, this support enabled them to understand who they were in Him and how they could grow in their faith. This month, we’re faced with a thought-provoking question: If we’re truly alive in Christ, are we making it difficult for people to choose Hell? While Marcus and Miranda found it easy to follow Him, are we inadvertently making it hard for others to do the same? Come back next month for more.†

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