Mona Bates

Victory Mission + Ministry
Springfield, Missouri

I poked my head inside my father’s bedroom door. “Can I come in,”  I asked. He gestured for me to sit beside him. Retired for the evening, he was reclined on his bed, reading a book. I entered, sat down, and began. 

words + photographs MONA BATES

“Daddy, I know what I want to do when I grow up.” He nodded; I continued. 

“I’m going to build a big house for people to come and live in if they don’t have a home.” 

“Go on,” he urged. 

“It’s going to have a big living room, a large dining room — with lots of tables and chairs, a huge kitchen, a library, quiet rooms, classrooms, a Chapel, and lots of bedrooms and bathrooms.” 

>> Stand in awe of God <<

Perhaps, as my father listened, his thoughts were on the scripture in Ecclesiastes, which says, “Much dreaming and many words are meaningless.  Therefore, stand in awe of God.” However, I do not remember how he responded, for my head was in the clouds and my heart was in the heavenlies. I was 10 years old.

I soon realized this vast project would need counselors, cooks, housekeepers, preachers, teachers, administrative workers, financers, social workers, and others. And who was I anyway? Just a nobody. 

From the book, A Man’s Value to Society, author Newell Dwight Hillis, states, “A great picture is a beautiful conception rushing into visible expression upon the canvas.” Yes, I had a beautiful conception, but I would not be the one to paint its actual living presence onto the canvas of time and space. My envisioned arena necessitated the hand of God appointing a chosen few to come together, to unite in their willingness, resources, gifts, talents, and skills to create and build what is now Victory Mission + Ministry, a place for the homeless, where they are cared for, guided, and taught that “God’s divine power has given them everything they need for life and godliness.” Through the expanding growth of Victory Mission and its godly purposes, the contributions of these anointed giants are mighty.

>> To love and help the hopeless <<

My contributions to Victory Mission are meager; yet, God-propelled. No, I did not build a big house for the homeless nor was I involved in the beginnings of Victory Mission; instead, God molded a well within me and filled it with a mighty desire to love and help the hopeless.

In 1964, a tragic event early in my life took me from a playful, secure little girl to the saddest person on earth. A thick melancholy ordered my steps for the next eight years. I discovered alcohol and drugs eased my pain. I became a raging mad, cold-hearted, horrible young woman.

Because I have walked in tattered shoes, aimlessly wandered down city streets, known hunger, weariness, loneliness, survived the bitter cold, was penniless, and friendless, I understand — firsthand — the sorrows of people. It took only 10 years as a young adult to experience homelessness, suicide attempts, a kidnapping off the street, rapes, jail stays, beatings, alcoholism, heroin houses, strangulations, abortions, overdoses, thieving, mental hospitals, and prostituting. 

But God. He saved and restored me.

>> He restoreth my soul <<

In 2006, my husband, Steve, and I received our salvation from God. We were baptized, discipled, and taught how to disciple. God changed our DNA.         

To not share how God has radically changed my life would violate the mission He has bestowed upon me — His Calling. And that would be a tragedy.

Through the seasons of my life, the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon me a precious treasure: the knowing and living in the incalculable joy and value of standing in Awe of God. To place this gift of hope into the hands of those I meet at Victory Mission is my offering to this big house of truth and grace. Victory Mission is an open door right now to show others that they, too, can move out of grief, depression, hate, and fear into a freed life. To not share how God has radically changed my life would violate the mission He has bestowed upon me —His Calling. And that would be a tragedy. MB

Victory Mission + Ministry shares God’s love through intentional relationships for the restoration of a brokenhearted world. Its goal is to teach those who are facing homelessness how to be independent and to give them the tools they need to rebuild their lives. For more information how you can be involved, click this space. If you or someone you know would like to speak with someone about the programs at Victory Mission, click this space.

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