Silent Night

Dearest Friend and Supporter,

Without people like you standing up for the poor, abused and homeless, this Christmas will be just another hungry, empty day.

Christmas will be like all the other days. The lights won't twinkle and warm hearts. The food will be the same, at best. The hope of heaven will belong to someone else. Just one more day will come and go.

But Christmas is a very big deal around here. Christ came to save sinners. He came to save the sick and those who hunger for a better life. He came for the poor and hungry of this world, who know they are not making it. His grace shines in this place because God is the friend of sinners who call on Him for help.

That gives everyone here something to sing about at Christmas. Our residents are tasting the new life Jesus gives. They know, with His help, they can overcome the addictions, the abuse and the poverty that drove them here.

They know life will get better.

Thank you for providing this place for homeless men and women to stay and receive the help they need, and with your help, free of charge. Before long, women with children will be staying here too! We are growing to meet the needs of people in our community. We have to.

Many families are in trouble. Many more are on the brink. They will need a safe place to turn when life falls apart.

I hope you become more and more a part of God's work in this place, so we can open our arms wide to catch people who are falling. You have already blessed us and helped us get this far. I hope we grow together to give more people the blessings of heaven in 2019.

May God bless you with His presence, now and forever, and give you a Merry Christmas!


Sandi Polzin
Executive Director

P.S. God is doing great things in our city. We have much to celebrate this Christmas. Thank you for your faithful partnership.


His words were screaming in her head, "If you ever leave me, I'm going to find you and kill you!" Somehow, deep down within herself, Kate had found the courage and will to run. She took her son, got to the bus station and boarded the bus for Eau Claire. She had endured 12 years of abuse. He was manipulative and controlling. Kate wasn't allowed to have any friends or even go outside on her own. Now on the bus, shaking, she could hardly take in what just happened. How many times had she thought about this very moment? So often she had rehearsed in her mind the possibility of leaving him.

Many years ago, she lost her faith because she thought God was punishing her for leaving a good man. That mistake hung over like a trap, telling her that staying with this abusive man was what she deserved. All through these years, she felt God wasn't listening to her. Her selfesteem was so low she didn't think she could accomplish anything.

The bus ride to Hope Gospel Mission gave her time to wonder about the life ahead for her and her son. She was scared and in much pain, but she knew she had to do this to protect herself and her son. She had to take the risk and go into the unknown.

That was just over a year ago.

Kate is a now a new creation. "...The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" (2 Cor 5:17, ESV). She is receiving the Christ-centered, life-changing help she needs to become the woman and mother God always intended her to be.

"I love God so much," she said.

Now, through daily devotions in the Bible, her self-worth is being restored. The lies she once believed are being replaced by God's Truth. His Word is silencing all the wrong voices in her head she once believed, and Kate is being transformed by the renewing of her mind.

"For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Heb 4:12, ESV) She is in the vocational phase of the recovery program at Hope and looking for a job. "I want to do personal care work for the elderly. I have a heart for that."

Kate feels the love of God here.

She said, "I was lost and needed to be found." Hope Gospel Mission is a place of hope for her — a safe and healthy environment where she can heal physically and emotionally and rebuild her life.

She is learning to embrace everything good coming her way and is overwhelmed with the joy of it all.

Thank you for providing a refuge for hurting people to be safe and find a new life through Jesus Christ.

Names and photos in stories may have been changed for privacy.

For this final 20 Years of Hope article, we spoke with the leadership team to hear their perspective on the past, present and future of Hope Gospel Mission. God has blessed this ministry for two decades, and we will continue to trust Him to carry us into the future.

Hope Gospel Mission opened 20 years ago as a homeless shelter. We quickly added basic job skills training and helped residents find jobs. Today, we are more than a shelter. We provide programs to rescue, rebuild and renew lives.

We learned a few important things in the beginning. Providing housing without recovery made it easier to be homeless. Without addressing the root issues that caused homelessness, cycles repeated. Residents were getting jobs too quickly, giving them the money they needed to relapse and stay stuck in their situation.

Now we know healing to overcome the root causes of homelessness and addiction is often found in strong and healthy relationships. Today, through the Mission's holistic programs, residents receive a personalized plan focusing on eight areas of wellness to address the root causes of their homelessness. With guidance from their renewal counselor, residents overcome barriers, reach their goals and practice using healthy thoughts, behaviors and coping skills that will help them continue with their success after they leave.

For those who have a new found job, and complete the Renewed Hope Program, we offer the Discipleship Transitions program. This is a uniquely designed transitional living program that provides additional assistance and accountability for those who want to receive more help from the Mission. All of this is built on the foundation that relationships matter — a relationship with God and with others.

To expand that sense of community and meet the growing needs of our region, we are building a new Hope Renewal Center for Men allowing us to more than double the number of men we serve and provide transitional housing. We will also be opening the Hope Renewal Center for Women and Children. Families break apart quickly today, and children are hurt in lasting ways. This is the first time we will serve children, an ever-growing need in our community.

Looking at the challenges our community faces today, we see a great need for those who love Jesus to step forward and partner with agencies like Hope Gospel Mission to work on the front lines and become part of the solution.

Through the years, God has blessed us with your friendship. Thank you!

  • Please keep praying and volunteering. Your loving service in the healing process is important.
  • Please encourage others to get involved by spreading the word about the life-changing impact Hope Gospel Mission is making in the Chippewa Valley and throughout western Wisconsin.
  • Your donations and purchases at Hope Bargain Centers and Building Hope provide a significant portion of the funding the Mission needs to operate. We have locations in Eau Claire, Mondovi and the newest in Menomonie.
  • Your generous financial support provides the additional funding needs of the Mission. Your faithful support is helping us serve more men and women than ever before and will allow us to increase services to include women with children right here in our community.

Since 1998, over 4,000 men and women have come to the Mission seeking help and finding hope. We're excited to be expanding our services to help more men, women and children to become everything God created them to be.

Your Hope Gospel Mission Leadership Team,

One of the greatest barriers to stable employment is a lack of reliable transportation.

Upon completion of the Renewed Hope Program, each resident receives a good, reliable vehicle. These vehicles provide vital transportation for residents once they return to being an independent member of the community.

Every car received through our Auto Donation Program is thoroughly inspected and repaired so every resident has transportation they can trust.

As we continue to grow and expand, our need for quality vehicles increases. If you have a car you would like to donate, just give us a call, and we will come pick it up! All donated vehicles are given to residents, used for transportation by the Mission or sold to provide funds for the programs.

For more information, call Ryan Barfknecht at
(715) 450-6957.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2018 • 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

8 S. Farwell Street, Eau Claire

Our joyful Christmas Community Dinner is fast approaching! Please join us as we celebrate the birth of our Savior with delicious, free food and wonderful company. It truly is a joyful time for residents and community guests. We hope you will join us. All are welcome!

If you would like to volunteer or see a full list of ways to serve, visit the "Get Involved" page on our website Your presence will lift the spirits of residents and guests coming to the Mission this Christmas.

In Memory

Persons being honored are listed first:

  • My Daughter - Andrews, Janet Andrews
  • Adline Ardnt, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Hanson
  • All Those in Need at Thanksgiving, Gladys W Young
  • Bob Byrne, Bob and Debbie Byrne
  • Evelyn Smith and Chad Corbin, Susan Corbin
  • Duane Michael Fern, Dawn Fern
  • Gerald Fox, Susan Fox
  • Greg Gilbertson, Numerous Donors
  • Charlie Huck, Susan E Huck
  • Deborah Konkel, Carolyn Hathaway
  • Christopher Martens, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Hanson
  • Anita Neuheisel, Lorraine Treinen
  • Anita Neuheisel, Phil Neuheisel
  • Anita Neuheisel, Jon Luikart
  • Anita Neuheisel, Amy and Joseph Korbel
  • Anita Neuheisel, Kathy and James Klees
  • Anita Neuheisel, Mary L Dorrance
  • Anita Neuheisel, Susan Cramer
  • Donald L Noll, Keith Noll
  • Bill Poirier, Carol A Rediger
  • Bridget Quimby, Gregory and Dorothy Plantz
  • Gary Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Hanson
  • Dorothy Sturtz, Ronald Decker
  • Edward P Wiersgalla, Christina Wiersgalla
  • Earl, Ina, LeRoy Kostman and Fred & Arla Butler Kostman, Elene Stainer

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