Director’s Letter – February 2015

Dear Friend,

It is a tremendous privilege to see the hand of God at work through the ministries of Brother Bryan Mission. For 75 years BBM has reached and served the economically, emotionally, and spiritually impoverished in the Birmingham area.

Last year one hundred sixty seven different men were enrolled in one of our two residential programs. Seventy-nine took part in our 9-month New Life Fellowship, a Christ-centered addictions recovery program. In the NLF as defeated lives are discipled to follow Christ and they overcome barriers that have stifled their life, many for first time experience a new abundant life that they didn’t know was possible.

One NLF Program participant writes,

“At 45 years of age I found myself underneath a viaduct in downtown Birmingham with just the clothes on my back. When I walked through the door of BBM I was broken and without hope. Two weeks into this program I dedicated my life to Jesus Christ – and I found peace and happiness that I had long been seeking”.

Truly … hope has found a home at Brother Bryan Mission.

For some who have come here from years of dysfunction, the discipline to progress through months of classes, personal study, mentor-counseling, Bible study and worktherapy, is especially challenging. But when they in-earnest begin new life, one priority of ours is to equip them to succeed in the workforce. In 2014 because some no longer had State ID, Social Security card, or birth certificate, BBM we able to help twenty seven get Social Security Cards; twenty-five get birth certificates; and twenty-two to get Alabama ID.

Throughout 2014 another eighty-eight men took part in BBM’s back-to-work, “Exodus Program”. In the alcohol and drug-free environment of Exodus, while working they can remain two years. An employer that has an Exodus participant on his staff recently asked, “Do y’all have any other men like him? I’d like to hire another”. Such requests are no longer unusual.

Beyond those in our NLF and Exodus programs, the compassionate aspects of helping other less fortunate “community residents”, and those still on the streets, are not forgotten. In 2014 in addition to those in our program – BBM served over 3,500 meals, gave over 4,000 clothing articles, and 2,500 personal hygiene items.

The Board of Directors of BBM was wise to foresee we would need more space to carry out life changing ministries. I am happy to report that the first phase of the remodeling of the building purchased in 2012 is now complete. With your help we can now turn our attention to the task of creating a much needed larger dining hall, kitchen, and chapel.

The hand of God was truly apparent in the ministries of BBM in 2014. There is still much work to do, and we will keep our hand to the plow – but I must pause to say “Thank you” to everyone who helped make 2014 a year of great promise and hope in the lives of so many. Like I said earlier, “Hope has found a home at Brother Bryan Mission” – and we thank God that we can offer this hope to so many because of you.

With many thanks,
Jim Etheredge,
Executive Director