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Albany Mission serves 1,400 Easter meals

Albany Mission serves 1,400 Easter meals

More than 1,000 people with nowhere to go Easter found home cooking and companionship at the Capital
Albany Mission serves 1,400 Easter meals
Jim Kostrubanic, of Burnt Hils, serves food during an Easter banquet at the Capital City Rescue Mission in Albany on Sunday, March 31, 2013.
Photographer: Patrick Dodson

More than 1,000 people with nowhere to go Easter found home cooking and companionship at the Capital City Rescue Mission on Sunday.

“We were packed from one end to the other,” said executive director and mission pastor Perry Jones. “We served 1,400 meals and they weren’t just crusts of bread either. It was a real celebration.”

Ham was served with fresh baked yams, mashed potatoes, dressing and slabs of pie, “if you can imagine all that on one plate,” he said.

Most of those meals were dished out to the local homeless and needy population, as well as a few who were just lonely.

After the meal, people hung out in a cafe area with unlimited coffee and cookies.

“I call it grandma’s living room, though my wife said that’s corny,” he said. “It gives them a chance to relax and let the kids run around and just experience a home.”

The mission serves 600 meals on an average day, provides medical attention and beds to the homeless, and helps drug addicts get clean over nine-month programs.

There are banquets on Christmas, Thanksgiving and Independence Day as well as Easter, but according to Jones, Sunday’s event was one of the most meaningful.

Message of hope

“The Easter season defines rescue mission work,” he said. “Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is the message of hope we preach every day.”

The mission is an organization designed around the concept of new beginnings. Testimony of such second chances were given in a pre-meal worship service. Jones told of one man who shared his story.

Chris came to the mission back in July to get over a heroin addiction. Now he’s doing well, thinking about joining the mission staff and helping his 19-year-old son, also a heroin addict, through the same nine-month program that brought him around.

“It’s stuff like that which made today something special,” Jones said. “You know, I talked to hundreds of people today, people coming through major trials and not one of them had a bad word to say to me.”

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