April 2021 Newsletter

A Season for New Life

Dear Friend,

A group of men here were asked where they would be if not for Hope Gospel Mission. One man said,
“Dead or in prison.” Others sitting there agreed.

Life is miserable, dangerous and often short for our homeless neighbors or those trapped in addiction.
But God breaks habits that bind people when they believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, presented here at
Hope Gospel Mission.

Those who receive God’s gift of forgiveness change for the better. Their family knows it — their
neighborhood knows it — and sometimes their whole community knows it. That’s why all of our staff
rejoices every time someone turns to Jesus. We know more and more good things are coming.

I am reminded of God’s goodness often during the springtime, when He renews the world around us and
restores everything to life. Through your generosity, He also renews lives here at the Mission, every day
of the year.

I hope you enjoy knowing you are part of changing lives forever. God uses you and the Mission to save
people, and it is a joy to see.


Sandi Polzin 
Executive Director Hope Gospel Mission


You Helped Carol Feel "Totally Brand-New" 

After surviving an abusive childhood, Carol was determined that her five children would never suffer the trauma she
experienced. However, she was unable to deal with her past and turned to alcohol to “put the pain away.” By the time
her children were grown, Carol’s drinking had gotten out of control. Her marriage was over and she had lost her job of13 years. She had no car and no place to stay. Even worse, she says, “My kids told me I couldn’t see my grandkids
unless I stopped drinking.”

Carol’s daughter tempered the ultimatum with a solution: go to Hope Gospel Mission for help. “When I walked in the door,
I started crying,” Carol recalls. “I saw my daughter trying not to cry, and knew it was just as hard on her as it was on me.”

Soon, Carol found that Hope Gospel Mission was exactly what she needed. “No one was here to judge me. They treated me
like a real person with a heart and soul, not just an alcoholic. They were very caring.” Nine months into the program, Carol
says, “I’ve never felt so good in all my life! Before here, I didn’t know who I was anymore. Now I feel totally brand-new.”

Working with all the Hope Gospel Mission staff and volunteers, including her Renewal Counselor, Becky Carol came to terms
with her past and discovered the healing power of forgiveness. “I look back at my mom and I think her parents probably
weren’t good to her. She didn’t know any better, and I don’t blame her anymore.”

Forgiveness opened the door to faith. “I believed in God, but I had never turned to Him in prayer before. Now if I’m having
difficulties, I can go to Him, and He gets me through them.” Carol attends a local church every Sunday and recently
connected with a mentor there.


Carol’s children have been very supportive through her recovery. “They call me all the time. They’re very proud of me. I told one of my sons how guilty I felt for what I’d put them all through, and he said to me, ‘No matter what you think, you’ve always been a good mom.’” She also tells us her 12 grandchildren love her “with all their hearts.”

Carol is confident she will complete the program with Becky’s help and her family’s love. She keeps busy making blankets, headbands and wrist warmers, which she plans to sell at craft fairs when she leaves the Mission.

Becky's Heart for Those in Need

Becky Schalinske joined Hope Gospel Mission as a Renewal Counselor right about the time Carol came to us, and
Carol became one of the first women to join Becky's caseload. The relationships developed through HGM feel more
like family and friends. “All the people here listen to you and help you,” Carol
says, “but I love Becky. She’s been so good with me!”

Working as a mental health and addiction counselor since 2009, Becky had followed Hope Gospel Mission on
Facebook. When she saw a job posting for a Renewal Counselor, she “felt a nudge,” and with the support of her
family, applied. The job was everything she had hoped it would be. Although she deals primarily with issues of
alcohol and drug abuse, she works with her clients on renewal plans that include elements of education,
vocational training, work readiness, nutrition and fitness, mental health and spirituality. She also helps plan resident
activities that range from beauty nights for the women to movies and even kickboxing.

“I’ve always had a heart for people who are struggling and hurting,” Becky says. “The coolest part of my job is to
give someone love and support, to watch them heal and see them connect with their family, secure employment and
have a sense of pride and purpose again.”

Working at Hope Gospel Mission, Becky tells us, “transformed my views on how much healing is possible in the right
environment, backed by faith, with people who love and don’t judge our residents. It humbles me and makes me fall
more in love with Jesus.”

Volunteer Helps Resident to Success

“Fifteen years ago, if anyone had told me I would be tutoring residents at Hope Gospel Mission, I would have told them they were certifiable!” But in 2007, an elder at Bruce Acomb’s church introduced him to the Mission’s president. As Bruce puts it, “Next thing I knew, I was at Hope Gospel Mission.” And he’s still here today, with no plans to quit anytime soon!

What keeps Bruce going? “I enjoy what I’m doing,” he says simply. Two days a week, Bruce works with men and women in our Solomon Learning Center, helping them grasp the basics of reading, writing, grammar, math and Bible curriculum. “The fact that someone is here to work with them and help them over the rough spots is important,” Bruce says. “They’ve never had that. Their teachers didn’t take the time to work with them individually.” 


Though many never completed high school, Bruce says they are intelligent and “hungry to learn and improve.” With a little help from Bruce, they get to the point where they can read and write effectively. Some go on to earn their GEDs.

Even more rewarding than seeing a resident succeed academically is seeing them accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior. “When that happens,” Bruce says, “it changes the whole trajectory of their life.”

Right now, Bruce is the only tutor at Hope Gospel Mission, which means there’s room for more. If God has laid the desire on your heart to come alongside men and women and help them learn to read and write, Bruce says, “Give it a try! The residents are fun to work with. You get to know them. I wouldn’t give up what I’m doing for anything.”

For more information on volunteering or working at Hope Gospel Mission, please contact Linda Velie at 552-5566 ext. 1302 or lindav@hopegospelmission.org

Celebrating Our Residents

Every month, we throw a Celebration Dinner in honor of our residents’ accomplishments and the transforming power of Jesus.

Those who turn to Hope Gospel Mission in their time of need deserve love and respect. Our residents work hard to reach their goals and find a fresh start. We believe each and every accomplishment, big or small, is worth celebrating. Phase promotions, curriculum completions, program completions, baptisms, salvations, new jobs, birthdays ... we praise Jesus for them all.


This exciting and joyful time is perfect for reminding our residents to persevere and that hard work is worth it. This time of celebration is proof that all the time, money and prayers you give to those in need is well worth it. You are making a way for true transformation and life-change in our community.

"Here, I'm lifted up."

After a long, brutal winter, spring in Wisconsin is always a time for hope, renewal and joy. Nothing embodies that better than a newborn baby, and Hope Gospel Mission is blessed to be housing one right now.

Kara came to the Mission last November when she was seven months pregnant. A single mom, she already had two older children living in Kansas and had recently given her two-year old daughter up for an open adoption. “I see her almost every weekend.” The child she was carrying when she arrived, she told us, was her chance to be “the best mom I need to be.”

In coming to the Mission, Kara hoped for “a fresh start in a good place.” She also wanted to make sure her baby had a chance to grow up with more stability than she had experienced. Shuttled between her parents when they divorced, Kara began acting out and was thrust into the foster care system at 14. “I felt abandoned, like I didn’t fit in anywhere,” she says. At 18, Kara aged out of foster care and found herself adrift: nowhere to go, and no faith or hope to hold onto. She ended up on the streets and fell prey to addiction.

“Coming to Hope Gospel Mission really opened my eyes,” Kara says. “If I were still on the street, doing what I was doing, I would have continued being dragged down. Here, I’m lifted up. I’m not judged or treated badly. And my faith is starting to come back.”

Kara admits that it takes “a lot of determination and willpower” to get through the program, but she is determined to make it work for her and her little boy. “I’m here for the long haul. If it takes two years, it takes two years. I don’t want to be in the same mess I was in before. I couldn’t deal with the heartbreak of losing another kid.”

With your help, the future looks bright for Kara and her son, Austin.



Gifts Given in Memory

(Persons being honored are listed first)

Marilyn Donnelly

Nancy O'Neill

Carol Porn

Richard Porn

Larry and LaVerne Baril

Lee and Pamela Baril

Howie and Dorothy Sturtz

Steve and Susan Reusser

Gordon Hong, Sr

Angie Hong

Ronald H Tucker

Jeff and Wendy Tucker


Colleen Dewitz

Anita Kothlow

Clarence and Anita Kothlow

Richard David Sullivan             

Michelle Bloome

Ruth Blake

Kelly and Michael Blake

Victor Ursin

Martin Ursin

Hugh Curry

Bunny Curry

George and Merna

Bill and Jennie Stewart

Lenny Drescher

James and Valerie Fedie

Judith E Tarr

Robert Becker

Millard and Shirley Sivertson

Robyn Sivertson

Lyle Pritchard Family

Kathleen Pritchard

Bradley Gurath

Craig and Amy Bogan


Karen Anderson

Wilfred G. Burlingame

LaVonne Burlingame

Sister Shirley

David and Roxanne Cieszynski

B.J. Michalek

William and Nancy Meyer

Ruth Blake

Kelly and Michael Blake

Katherine Catting

Emily Bowe

Our sweet angels
in heaven

Aymee and Chad Weston

Sonia Jean Ostrander

Peters Real Estate/Peters Rental

Don Thorson

Marge Thorson

Ross Gjerning

Patrice Gjerning

Judi Slagle and
Jared Zibolski

Betty Zibolski

My Parents

James and Rita Sendelbach

My grandchildren

Mary Gustafson

Javerna Fjelsted

Javerna Fjelsted Trust

Jerry, Jack, George,
Lori, Jerry, Leo, Jim

Lynn Delvaux  

Rodney Buenger

Judie Blandin

Barb Niva

Dennis Reno

Vila Irene Nygaard

James and Dorothea Higgins

Bruce Stovern

Beverly Schultz

Fritz Geske

Richard Ziemann

Dorothy Walters

John Walters

Dr. Adam Bors

Katherine Bors

Anna Leja

Richard and Colleen

John Dorsey, Mike Brzezinski,       
Jack Stromwall, Carol Jevne

Richard and Teresa Van Gelder

Owen Peterson

Gary and Kathy Hanson

Sonia Jean Ostrander

Calvary Baptist Church

Douglas McManus

Marge McManus

Sonia Jean Ostrander

Brian and Julie Lopez

James Lutz

Barbara Lutz

Don Pardun

Marge Pardun

Charlene Newhouse

Shawn and Tracy Newhouse         

Sonia Jean Ostrander

Terrence and Patricia Tarras

My Parents

Linda Skoug

Sonia Jean Ostrander

Paul and Janice Ostrander

Michael Blaeser

Roberta Blaeser

Sonia Jean Ostrander

Lee Christensen

Jan Guldan

Ingrid Bender

Sonia Jean Ostrander

Wade Ostrander

Caroline and Louis

Donald and Caroline Schulze

Laura L King

Mason Companies Inc

Christopher Hedlund,
my son

Susan Hedlund

Judith E Tarr

Robert Becker

Beverly Abrahamson

Michael and Ann Buchholz

Ruth Blake

Kelly and Michael Blake

Penny Werner

Carol and Jerry Way

Penny Modder

Terry and Linda Geboy

Justin Biesecker

Wayne and Susan Seichter

Sonia Jean Ostrander

Jeanine and Jeff Odenbreit

William Brehm

Sheri Hall

Sonia Jean Ostrander

Rick and Rhonda Roesch

Erva Lundgaad

Florence Gullickson

Sonia Jean Ostrander

Constance Pierce

Warren Wangen

Karen E. Metzgar

Sonia Jean Ostrander

Travis Roberts

Yeshua Ben Joseph

Andrew and Lydia Floren

Sonia Jean Ostrander

Laura Johnson

Our Parents

James and Rita Sendelbach

Sonia Jean Ostrander

Dr. Cecil and Debbie Berlie

Gregory John Bredlau

Dennis Bredlau

Sonia Jean Ostrander

Galen and Shirley Anklam

Ida Bergman

Ronald Bergman

Tom and Joan Schwartz

Sarah Schwartz

David J Elbert

Marian Elbert


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