Samaritans Circle Graduation Banquet 2009

Yesterday was a great event in the life of Helping Up Mission. We graduated 131 men with over 1400 people in attendance. As usual, the undergraduate choir and band stole the show! And those desserts were just kicking! 

Everywhere I turned I saw folks representing churches and ministries who stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us in ministry – and they looked so proud of our guys. As I looked around the room, I kept seeing people who work with our strategic partnering organizations that offer so many wonderful services to our men here. They were beaming. The room was filled with so many donors and volunteers that I see regularly at the Mission – some standing with us for years and some just joining us this year – and they had tears in their eyes. 

My wife and I had 5 tables of friends from Frederick County and Montgomery General Hospital with us. Many are veterans of our Graduation Banquet, while it was a first for others. I cried as I watched MGH staff hugging (and crying) over the change they saw in former patients. For all I know there were even some police officers and judges in the room who also recognized somebody they knew!

My responsibilities yesterday allowed to be on all 3 stages in the front and I saw the love and support in the faces of folks from one end of the room to the other. In my class at the Mission this morning, the undergraduates in our Program – who sang in the choir, played in the band, ushered, greeted and did the behind-the-scene program directing – were so fired up (and even teared up) as they shared their feeling about the event.

It is my privilege to serve as an “assistant innkeeper” (see Luke 10:30-37) to the men at Helping Up Mission. It is my honor to be that “assistant innkeeper” and work with so many wonderful Good Samaritans (see Luke 10:30-37). Thank you to all our Helping Up Mission family.


Pastor Gary Byers

Spiritual Life Director