By: Chrissy Cifuentes
David Bottner guides the New Orleans Mission team
According to David Bottner, the New Orleans Mission is a place where lives are meant to be continually transformed and changed by the power of God. He is the Chief Executive Director of the mission and has dedicated his life to seeing healing take place within the city of New Orleans for over seven years. Since 1989, the mission has been providing food, shelter and spiritual guidance to those who are broken and hurting within the city’s busy streets. It is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Christian Humanitarian Organization which is dedicated to relieving human suffering. The mission combats poverty, hunger, homelessness, exploitation and oppression. Necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, medical care and more are provided in order for those who are hurting to be restored and given a better quality of life.
It was not until 2012 that Bottner discovered his purpose was to take over the mission and bring it to new heights. “My friend called me and told me that the mission was going to close,” said Bottner. “I felt led to call them up and offer to run the place for free. God had been doing so much in my life already, why wouldn’t He provide for this?” What Bottner thought would be a temporary position to get the mission back on its feet grew into something much greater. “I thought I was going to just go in and get it back up and running,” he said. “I had no idea what God was going to do was so much bigger than I would expect.”
Initially, Bottner had his own plans on how the mission would grow within the city; however, God had much bigger and better in store for those in need throughout southeast, Louisiana. According to Bottner, it was day by day faith that propelled them into their current position “The way that God has strategically given us campuses that are not in the city so that we are away from noise and confusion is perfect,” he said. “When we got to the mission, it was broken and in debt. God provided everything we needed and more.” Bottner and his team stepped out on faith, and soon the New Orleans Mission was miraculously thriving. Divine monetary donations were being made in order for the mission to be taken to new levels. Through prayer, fasting, and fellowship with God, Bottner witnessed the positive changes take place again and again. “I told God that our current building was not representing him well at all,” he said. “God told me to love the people, and He would fix the building.”
Following the directions given to Him by the Lord, Bottner started to envision new and exciting ways the mission could fulfill many purposes. By meditating on God’s will for the building, it was quickly restored back to its initial state. “I prayed around the building and got a vision of what I wanted it to look like,” said Bottner. “God did exactly what my vision was. Within the community, many people would not even know that it was a homeless shelter.” And the vision is continuing to grow. The mission currently serves over 400 people, but Bottner believes that thousands will be fed within years to come.
While thinking about the New Orleans Mission, many only imagine the central hub which is located in the heart of New Orleans. However, the organization is so much more than one homeless shelter. There are multiple campuses across the southeast that are geared to spiritual guidance and renewal. The team also helps facilitate the healing and development of healthy, vibrant and self-sustaining individuals by addressing issues of addiction, abuse and human trafficking through their Christian Discipleship and Recovery Programs.
Each campus is strategically designed to assist men and women on their way to recovery. They are places where the broken and afflicted can come to not only get help from man, but also to seek and receive a new life in Jesus Christ. For men who are looking for a fresh, new beginning, Giving Hope Retreat is ideal. The 58-acre center residential retreat is located in LaCombe, Louisiana and offers a 1-year Christian discipleship training program for men battling addiction. At Giving Hope, the men are taught a specific curriculum which is meant to foster their growth in Christianity and point them into positive directions so that they can become men of God. The campus is located away from the city so that reflection and peace can be easily obtained. Instead of battling temptations that can be found around every corner of a huge city, the men can quickly fix their eyes on God’s word and hold fast onto His promises for a better tomorrow.
One of the newest campuses, Lynhaven, is located in Hammond, Louisiana. This beautiful 18-acre retreat center focuses on the restoration of women who are battling addiction, abusive circumstances, and human trafficking. The Women’s Discipleship program offers hurting ladies a safe drug and alcohol-free environment where they can focus on their recovery and how they use everyday choices to take charge of their health and well-being. The New Orleans Mission team along with Lynhaven’s Director of Woman’s Ministry Ginger Jones, work tirelessly in order to help bring the hope of Jesus Christ into the ladies’ lives. According to their website, the team is continually seeing growth and restoration within the hearts of those hurting. Many beautiful testimonies have been uncovered throughout this program, and women are being touched and changed by God on the grounds of Lynhaven. “We have 4, 6-bedroom houses for the girls here. The goal is to add a vision center in New Orleans that will serve as transitional housing. As the women graduate, they can move on,” said Bottner. “We have transitional housing now, but it is full already. So, we want it to be a place where the women can take their kids and be mothers to their children.” Other exciting plans on the horizon include a coffee shop which is run solely by the women so that they can learn life skills that can assist them in their future careers. “God keeps putting new things in front of us in order to expand and grow,” he said. “We never thought we would have a catering and events center for women, but now we are providing that as well on the grounds of Lynhaven.”
For David Bottner and the staff of the New Orleans Mission, one thing is for certain, God’s visions and purposes within the city of New Orleans are being fulfilled on a daily basis. Through obedience to God’s word and by surrendering to His will, countless lives are being transformed and renewed so that glory and honor can be given to where it belongs- God our Father.
For more information about the New Orleans Mission or how to become a volunteer, visit their website at neworleansmission.org
New Orleans Mission
1134 Baronne St., New Orleans, LA 70113