Spring 2022 Newsletter
Ben spent most of his adult life on and off drugs and in and out of jail. The last time he was arrested, he had been sober for several months but relapsed. “I was in a bad frame of mind,” he recalls. “I was sick of my life and I wanted a change.” That change came when Ben picked up a Bible in his cell block and began reading Hebrews 12. “When it mentioned that God disciplines the ones He loves, it really rang true for me. I’d always known about Jesus, but I’d never considered myself a Christian. That day, I gave myself to Christ.”
Fortunately, Ben had a friend in jail who encouraged him in his new-found faith. He also told Ben about Hope Gospel Mission and how it could help him achieve the life change he wanted so badly. When he was released nearly two years ago, Ben came to the Mission and joined the Renewed Hope program. “Taking that first step was scary,” he admits. “I was out of my comfort zone, but I knew it was something I needed. Everybody told me it would get easier, and it did.”
Before long, Ben flourished with others at the Mission. “In the life I had before, I was around selfish, unhealthy people — and I was the same. Now I was around people I could trust, who loved me and cared for me. It was something I’d never really experienced, and it was amazing. It still is!”
Today, Ben is ready to experience what it feels like to be “a stable, normal adult.” He works full-time and plans to enter our Discipleship Transitions program when he graduates — which is very soon! Best of all, though, Ben now enjoys a close, loving relationship with his family, including his seven year-old son.
“I’m forever grateful,” Ben says when asked about friends who donate to Hope Gospel Mission. “You might not see the direct impact of your gifts, butthey’re life changers. My family can attest to that.” Because you cared, he tells us, “There’s one happy little boy who’s glad to have his dad back in his life. And my mom’s happy to have her son back.”
Our residents work extremely hard to overcome troubles, fulfill goals and successfully start a better life. For many at Hope Gospel Mission, addiction, past abuse, mental health and education barriers kept them in a place of darkness. Now, they have a new life and can celebrate each of their great successes.
Each month, Hope Gospel Mission hosts a Celebration Dinner for our residents where we celebrate all of their “wins.” Everyone hears stories of phase promotions in the program, course completions from the local technical college, salvations, baptisms, obtaining driver’s licenses, finding employment and, of course, programcompletions.
And when we say “celebration,” we mean it. Each milestone is met with cheers, applause, tears and hugs. And we know that Heaven is rejoicing as well because these beautiful victories are through Jesus.
Your support makes all of these great successes possible. Your loving-kindness offers an opportunity for those in need to come to Hope Gospel Mission, learn about Christ’s love for them and find a new purpose in life.
This is an open invitation for you. Celebration Dinners take place at 6:00 PM on the last Friday of every month. All are welcome!
Thank you, friend, for making a way and rejoicing with us. Lives are truly changing at Hope Gospel Mission.
When things get difficult, it’s easy to believe miracles don’t happen anymore. But at Hope Gospel Mission, we see miracles happening every day. God is at work in the lives of those here, and we would love to share some of what we’ve seen. We pray this encourages you and gives you hope.
Once at the Mission, a woman shared that she had wanted to take her life for as long as she could remember. She said, “If I could just have one hour of not thinking about taking my life, I would consider that success.” A Sunday morning came and she got up to pray and read her Bible. She went to church where she worshiped God and heard the Word preached, and came back to the Women’s Center for lunch. She realized that God had given her seven hours free from suicidal thoughts. This was the first time freedom had come for many, many years.
He was a quiet man and only had one prayer he was focused on — to see his daughter again. The mother of his child ran off to another state, and he hadn’t seen his baby girl since she was a year old. She was now five. Week after week, this man sought God for the opportunity to have a relationship with his daughter. A breakthrough came when he found out the mother would be moving back to Wisconsin. This quiet, faith-filled man is looking forward to the restoration of this relationship, and the opportunity to be the dad God intended him to be.
We offered one woman a bowl of soup after her intake interview, and while eating she shared about living in her car for several months. She started crying and we began to pray. Within the next four months, she contracted COVID, had severe intestinal issues, found out she had cancer, had her remaining teeth removed and got hearing aids. If she’d been living in her car, she would have never known about the cancer or other health issues. She is now cancer free! What the enemy meant for evil, God used for His good and glory.
I was ready to give up,” says Debra. For 10 years, she had been smoking marijuana and then used crack cocaine for three years to quiet the voices in her head, what she today calls “a spiritual battle with Satan.” Debra knew she could no longer live with her addiction, and she needed to get right with God. When Debra’s sister told her about Hope Gospel Mission, she realized she didn’t have to give up … she just needed to give everything over to the Lord.
Debra arrived at Hope Gospel and found that following the program and taking the classes gave her exactly what was missing from her life: structure. “I didn’t have a routine before,” she admits. “Everything the Mission planned for me has worked out really well.”
One thing Hope Gospel gave Debra was time to look back on her early years and understand why she turned to drugs for comfort. “My parents divorced when I was very young, and my dad died when I was 12.” Debra, her two sisters and her mother lived with her grandmother. Then her mother left them, and Debra felt abandoned for years. Since coming to the Mission, Debra recognizes that her mother had been abused. “I can’t really blame her for abandoning me,” Debra says, “and she’s making up for it today.”
In fact, Debra enjoys good relations with all her family, including her adult daughter and teen-age sons. “They all know I’m staying focused,” she says proudly. “They’re happy I’m here.”
Debra will graduate very soon, and she plans to enter our Discipleship Transitions Program. She is sober and stable … and the voices that troubled her are now silent. Right now, she says she is taking life one day at a time but looks forward to living with her family again.
“God brought me here to get help,” Debra says of Hope Gospel Mission. She is thankful to you for “showing me love and kindness without even knowing me. Without your help, I wouldn’t be able to get better. I’m getting healthier, and I know I’m going to be okay.”
Gifts Given in Memory
(Persons being honored are listed first)
|Our Parents||James and Rita Sendelbach||Bernie Klimek
||Mark and Roxy Campbell
||Jane Bergerson||Jared P Zibolski||Betty Zibolski|
|Grandma Ecco||John and Jean Neira||Ernest & Mable Bekkum||John and Lori Bekkum|
|Kyle Christian||David and Carolyn Christian||Ray Wahl||James and Laura Wahl|
|Children, Grand Children and
|Ronald Farmer||Clarence Fitzsimmons||Richard and
Teresa Van Gelder
|Gary Anderson||Ellen Anderson||Russ Minnich||Lois Minnich|
||Marijo Ann Rader||Carla Miller|
|Jean Tremain||Donald and Caroline Schulze||Ronald H Tucker||Jeff and Wendy Tucker|
|Steven||Julie Gullikson||Douglas Mason||Wanda Lambert|
|John Johnson||Linda Johnson||Rosemary Olson||Arnold and Beverly Haugen|
|Anna Schultz||Phyllis Ede-Hovey||Judi Slagle||Betty Zibolski|
|Fred Turk||Jerry and Pamela Johnson||Douglas Mason||Christopher and Rebecca Bast|
|Judi Slagle||Betty Zibolski||Gerald Drehmel
|Steven Curry||Betsy Spahiu||Douglas Mason||Cheryl Mason|
|Lois A Peterson||Louise Koxlien||Douglas Mason||Bill Larson|
|Robert Rongstad||Marceil Gunderson||Laura L King||Bret King|
|St Jude and Clemens Roter||Annette Roter||Gerald Drehmel||Marjory Shong|
|Richard David Sullivan||Allen and Wanda Skroch||Douglas Mason
||Sandra and James Casetta
||Larry and Maria Schuh
||Ronald H Tucker||Jeff and Wendy Tucker|
|Judi Slagle||Betty Zibolski||Richard David Sullivan
||Bob and Jan Sloan
|Ellis Stearns and Bob Pickhardt||Richard and
Teresa Van Gelder
|Lenny Drescher, Margaret Hudson,
Lori Olson, and Bob Krumenauer.
|Richard and Teresa Van Gelder|
|Jean Tremain||Donald and Caroline Schulze||Gerald Drehmel||Dr. Sunday Olatunji|
|Ronald H Tucker||Jeff and Wendy Tucker||Richard David Sullivan||Rita Veitch|
|Joan Weider||Mary Weider||Roderick S Stenzel
|Max Reidt||Bill and Jane
|Edward G Gamroth, My Dad
||Lynn and Jeff Ruhland|
|Charles Vollendorf||Curtis and Kathryn
|Gail Schulner||Imogene Christopherson|