Spring Newsletter 2023
If you’ve ever planted tulip bulbs, you know they’re not pretty. In fact, they look dead. But come spring, they burst forth, fulfilling the promise of new life.
In a similar way, when our hurting neighbors come to Hope Gospel Mission, they seem to have barely any life left in them. You can see how deeply they’re wounded by life. Most times they look ragged on the outside and feel empty on the inside.
But no matter how rough they look, God is ready to make them beautiful inside. They just have to cry out to Him for help, and He will hold them in His arms like a shepherd who loves His sheep. He will carry them all the way home with great celebration. Jesus promises, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
It’s easy to see many here have accepted God’s invitation just by looking at them. It’s more than clean clothes. It’s the light in their eyes that wasn’t there before. It’s the confident set of their shoulders and the purposeful way they walk. It’s the smile that comes from knowing, “I’m worth something because God knows me, loves me and forgives me.”
These people truly grow and bloom with the warmth of God’s love and the kindness you provide. They find strength in believing the Gospel to overcome all the troubles of this world. No matter how far a person has fallen or how unworthy they feel, Jesus offers His forgiveness and friendship to all.
Thank you for sharing the good news of eternal life at Hope Gospel Mission this spring and always!Sincerely,
At Hope Gospel Mission, it’s easy to give someone a meal and a bed for the night. However, the heart of our mission — the Renewed Hope recovery program — is a different matter. Intake Chaplain Kim Jensen says, “The work here is messy, but it’s so beautiful and it’s so needed. This is where the real change happens.”
Our program allows more time for Hope Gospel Mission staff to connect with clients and help them work on the root issues in their lives. While some other programs only allow for 30 days, we have the ability to offer a full year.
“I knew Hope Gospel was different,” Kim tells us. “The secular world is very fast-paced. Building a relationship is far more important.” Kim also notes that hard work, dedication and a relationship with Christ lead to a much higher success rate among residents. “I think we do a good job of showing kindness and Christ’s love. We are God’s hands and feet here.”
Success, according to Kim, is not always defined by graduation. “For some, success can mean they were sober for 30 days, something they’d never been able to do before. Or if they didn’t finish the program, they’re still doing well. We give them the tools for success.”
One woman, in particular, left an impression on Kim. Although she did not graduate, this resident is overcoming a lifetime of abuse, has earned a degree and started a new career — in her 60s!
There is never any judgment for those who do not graduate. “They feel cared for,” says Kim. “And our door is open for those who desire to return and try again.”
Still, Kim and all the staff are greatly encouraged by every resident who makes it through the program and establishes an independent life outside the Mission. “Many learn to advocate for themselves,” she says. “One lady couldn’t qualify for Section 8 housing because she was a felon. She was encouraged to write and let the agency know what she had accomplished in 18 months here. They reversed the decision! She had a voice. She tried and was rewarded and she felt so good about that.”
The Renewed Hope program does more than guide men and women through the recovery process. It builds their confidence and helps them see how God looks at them. It affirms the fact that they are created by God to live in His love. “Some people don’t realize there are people who love them and want to come alongside them. We’re here to show them that,” Kim says.
“It’s remarkable to see the difference from when they first come to the Mission and when they leave — seeing how they feel loved and accepted,” she continues.
Kim knows there will always be a need for Hope Gospel Mission and the Renewed Hope program. “Homelessness and addictions continue to increase, and it’s not too far away from any one of us. If we’re honest, there’s someone we know who is deeply affected by the hardship of addiction.”
Fortunately, as Kim tells us, there are no barriers to recovery at Hope Gospel Mission. A secular program may cost thousands of dollars for a 30-day stay, but Hope offers its programs completely free of cost, with the support of caring people like you.
Thank you for providing a place of hope and healing for our hurting neighbors!
If Blair and his wife, Ann, hadn’t had too much furniture for their new home in Eau Claire, he might never have heard of Hope Gospel Mission. But friends who helped with the move told them to donate the extra goods to Hope Bargain Center. It was there that Blair learned about the ministry. He asked for a tour of the Mission and signed up to volunteer at the Hope Renewal Center for Men.
“It was a wonderful experience meeting these guys,” Blair says. “They had all recognized their need and made an extraordinary commitment to get things straightened out.”
Since last September, Blair has spent four hours every Thursday evening at the Men’s Renewal Center, helping out and just talking or playing cards with the residents.
Blair also facilitates small groups for the Celebrate Recovery class. “It’s opened up more opportunities to talk with more of the guys, especially in the discussion sessions after the class. It’s impressive to see how God is at work in this place and in these individuals’ lives. I’m excited about that,” he tells us.
“There’s a real opportunity for doing good here,” Blair continues. “When guys go through an experience like this, they need support. They need a community that can be there to help them when their commitment falters.”
Blair says another element is crucial to the success of men in the program. “What Hope has gotten right about this whole thing is putting Jesus Christ at the center of it. As the guys go through the program, it dawns on them how beneficial a relationship with Him is to their healing. For me, it’s always a privilege to watch that light come on.”
To anyone thinking about lending a hand at Hope, Blair says, “It’s a great opportunity to just connect and share and be supportive. You can be of significant help to people who really need it. Hope Gospel Mission is really changing lives and it’s a beautiful thing. It’s humbling to me to be a part of that.”
Armed with a gun, Bethanne marched into the woods, determined to put an end to her torturous life. She had been miserable and abused for as long as she could remember. As a child she watched her mother pass away and witnessed a suicide. By age 9 she was smoking marijuana to numb the pain.
One bright light came from her father, who taught her about God and how He was always with her. She clung to that knowledge, even when she left her family behind at the age of thirteen and went out into the world on her own.
She was a child living in an adult world, surviving with help from caring families here and there. But abuse showed up all too quickly in her relationships with men. Drinking alcohol gave her some peace, but not enough. She tried to kill herself many times. And then came the day when she walked into the woods with a gun in her hand, ready to take her life.
As she walked, God spoke to her. “What if a child finds you?” He asked.
That stopped her in her tracks. There was no way she would traumatize a child by having them find her like that. She then realized she needed help urgently and immediately went to a local mission. They gave her a safe place to stay and help to become sober. But she couldn’t shake off the pain from her past.
One of her doctors suggested Hope Gospel Mission, thinking that Christian counseling would help her. And it did.
“Finding Hope Gospel Mission was the brightest day of my life!” she said with tears. “I knew God never left me, and I feel like I have come home!” Bethanne found strength and stability in the programs. “Having a Christian-based Mission allows me to have faith in the One who will never let me down!”
Reading the Bible and attending church eases Bethanne’s pain and dark thoughts. She is now looking forward to graduation and joining the choir in her muchloved church. She is excited to see which direction God will lead her in life, knowing it will be to glorify Him.
Thank you for your continued support of Hope Gospel Mission. Your donations keep the doors open and help people like Bethanne begin a new life!
Gifts Given in Memory
(Persons being honored are listed first)
|Our grandmother||Cole and Emily Parkins||Judy and Dick Fulmer, Richard Tetzlaff, Neal Larsen, Jennifer Hanson and Jane Hasslinger||James and Cathy Larsen|
|Cindy Buzby and Stacy Buzby-Knowlton||Robert Buzby||Tara and Tracy Ternberg||Anthony Nied|
|Henry Bosman, Jr.||Carl and Jean Cronquest||Andres Chaparro, Sr||Zaida and Jose Ortiz|
|Henry Bosman, Jr.||Terri Aaron||Frank Keeler, Jr||Jeffrey Heinzen|
|Sharon Braunberg||Mr and Mrs Howard Hanson||Vicky Spalding||John Spalding|
|Erma and Edna Hazel||Andy McGrane||Jan Bradison||Louise Koxlien|
|Lois Djock||Charles Djock||Carl and Mary Thompson||Debra Abbott|
|Philip Manor||Perry and Vranna Manor||Raymond and Marcella Westphal||Bruce and Marilyn Westphal|
|My granddaughters, Sierra, Rachel, Amelia, and Avery||Arlene Wood||Scott L Harris||Pam Harris|
|James Meyers||David Meyers and Catherine O'link Meyers||Rachel Richardson||Nathan Spate|
|Tyler Robinson||Brett and Becky Geboy||Roy W Mayberry||Toni Mayberry|
|Kim and Julie Koepl||Terra Loiselle||Our Parents||James and Valerie Fedie|
|Tyler Robinson||Terry and Linda Geboy||Danne Sivertson||Robyn Sivertson|
|Rollo Tabura||Donald and Caroline Schulze||Kyle H||Michael and Barbara Helgeson|
|Tyler Robinson||Linda Rojas||Vicky Spalding||John Spalding|
|Tyler Robinson||Eliazar and Tami Alfaro||Pat Kolar||Joseph Baiocco|
|CJ Robinson and Lynne Farmer||Justin and Heather Knutesen||Jeanne Farmer||Ronald Farmer|
|Joyce Larson and Verne Monson||Vern and Becky Larson||Joe Lokrantz||Becky Lokrantz|
|Duane Kilde||Dale and Janice Albricht||Rich James and MIke Walker||Richard and Teresa Van Gelder|
|Clarence Fitzsimmons||Mary Fitzsimmons||Dean Decker||Ronald Decker|
|Maddy Butterworth||Matthew and Jennifer Bittner||Jordan Lee Tucker||Jeff and Wendy Tucker|
|Gordon and Lorraine||Gary Hillestad||Sue Robinson Harmes||Keel Harmes|
|Janet Halvorson||Gregory and Dorothy Plantz||John David Schreindl||Rachel Bredl-Hryndej|
|Bernice Gessner||Allen Gessner||Donald R Burns||Sharree Burns|
|Richard Sahm||Joyce Sahm||Kayla C||Linda Skoug|
|Debbie Konkel||Carolyn Hathaway||Tim Johnson||David and Marilynn Johnson|
|Arlen Wisemiller - My husband||Betty Wisemiller||Elizabeth - Chetek||Christene Thompson|
|Ronald H Tucker||Jeff and Wendy Tucker||LeRoy Week, Sr.||Kathy Week|
|George Szotkowski||Thrivent Financial||Neil Olson||Dale and Janice Albricht|
|Faith Thoele||Norbert Thoele||Dale R Fizel||Robert Fizel|
|Thomas Zimmerman||Doris Zimmerman||Kyle Laramy||Ann Laramy|
|James Sendelbach||Rita Sendelbach||Dawn Larson||Harold and Brenda Larson|
|Jim Coleman||Neil Hemenway||Al Ross||Nanette and Ivar Lunde|
|Larry Gilmartin||Kevin Gilmartin||Frank Maes family||Anonymous|
|Ross Gjerning||Patrice Gjerning||Cindy Buzby and Stacy Buzby-Knowlton||Robert Buzby|