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August 2023 NEWSLETTER

Members of the Topeka Rescue Mission attended this year’s Citygate Network Conference along with 1,200 attendees representing 300 missions from all regions of the United States and abroad. All said the energy from their brothers and sisters in Christ enveloped them and gave them the feeling they were surrounded and held up. They felt supported and each shared the opportunity to be supportive of other missions. The comradery and connections established will not be forgotten.


La Manda Broyles, TRM Executive Director said, “You have to be there to have the feeling and to see. There are some people there that you can tell are on the mountaintops, they’re having successes in their missions or their ministries or they’ve had breakthroughs and things like that. And then you can see some are just tired, worn out but are refusing to grow weary of doing good. It’s just neat to be able to sit next to people that are different from you, they’re from different parts of the world with different experiences but the same heart for serving those in need. You might be talking to someone to your right who is an executive director, and you might be talking to someone to your left who is a back-office support and you might be in front of someone who’s doing programming or shelter work, and it’s just incredible to see the different perspectives.”


Miriam Krehbiel, Deputy Director of Supportive Services said, “I think that sometimes we can feel like we’re in this work alone. We always have the Lord, but it’s tough work. It’s hard work. We see a lot of things that are difficult to see. Every day we see brokenness, but then when you go to the conference and you are with 1200 more people that are experiencing the same thing, that see the same things we do, and you have the opportunity to learn together and worship together and just lean on each other in different ways, there is just a feeling there that is almost indescribable, because you do feel very much surrounded and held up, because you know people know. They know what we’re experiencing, they know what we face every single day, and so we can learn so much. We can be supportive as well as getting support. It’s just an amazing, amazing experience, and I think that in every one of the situations, especially in the general sessions, the Holy Spirit just shows up. He just shows up and you see people reacting to the Spirit in very different ways. Some people are filled with joy, some people are taken to their knees, you know. You just see all of it and you feel a comradery that I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced in any other venue.”


Attending was Kim Turley, Executive Assistant, Kourtney Barr, Director of Trauma Education and Development, Rachel Flenniken, Director of Hope Center, Haleigh Hipsher, Outreach Advocate, Daniel Dobson, Outreach Advocate, Mike Schoettle, Assistant Director of Distribution Services, Krehbiel, and Broyles.


The team recounted some of their experiences on two TRM podcasts and noted the conference showed they can have joy alongside seriousness. Joy helps to weather the daily storms faced as part of the difficult and serious work at TRM. The team said the conference made them want to serve better and more.


Krehbiel, Schoettle, and Broyles pointed to a key moment in the conference where attendees were challenged to be more aggressive. Schoettle noted of one speaker, “He said never underestimate what you can do when you are in step with the Holy Spirit and charging in the right direction. Be dangerous. He’s like you have a rhino. They’re one of the most dangerous animals because they can only see 35 feet in front of them, but they charge 30 miles an hour. If you are in the path of the rhino, you better get out of the way or else you’re getting bowled over. He’s like that’s how we need to be with the Holy Spirit, being in step with him. There’s nothing more dangerous than that. So it’s like okay, that was the challenge for me, I need to stop doubting what God is leading me to do and I just need to fully give it to Him and be like, you know what? I trust you, what you want to do with me, let’s go charge and do it. Just an amazing time of growth. It has to dangerous. I’ve got to be dangerous.


Krehbiel echoed, “There was power for me in hearing we need to be bold, and we need to be dangerous. I have pondered on that dangerous comment a lot, like what exactly does that mean to be dangerous? And in my head, I keep saying I need to be dangerous for the Lord.”


Dangerous means we are going at it with full determination, meaning unless the Lord corrects us, nothing’s going to stop us. There are so many things in this world that try to keep us from being dangerous for the Lord. It is important as believers that we seek the Lord for help and how He wants us to be dangerous for Him. The revelation several of us got from this concept is going to be something that is a foundation for us moving forward, because we don’t know what all challenges are yet to come, we know the Lord wants us to keep doing the work, serving our community in major ways and does not want us to worry because He’s going to take care of it all.


Moving forward, the group intends to use the knowledge gained at the conference to help grow the talents of the TRM team and to improve the ways guests and unsheltered neighbors are served. Broyles said, “We know that God uses the Citygate Network annual conference for either watering the seed that He’s already planted in us regarding an idea or next steps for our ministry or He plants a new seed inside of us and it will grow overtime according to His timing. This experience enhances our ministry and God’s work.” 

Broyles has been blessed with the opportunity to co-lead an Emerging Leaders group of individuals under 40 years of age for the past year and looks forward to the networking and learning that will occur this year as well. The nationwide group meets virtually to discuss topics and grow leadership skills.

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