Fall Newsletter 2023

Dear Friend,

Thankfulness seems to come easily to most of the men and women at Hope Gospel Mission. It’s a natural
reaction to having food, shelter and care after being without. Trust, however, can be a little harder to come
by. Trust takes time. It’s not hard to see why.

Some of our residents were out on the streets or living in the woods before coming to us, always on their guard,
fearful of harm. Many suffered abuse at the hands of people who should have offered only love. They feel rejected
and betrayed by employers, friends, family … even by God.

Here, you faithfully provide for their needs. You also give them time to know and trust our God who loves them
and cares for them. They come to know He will walk with them every step of the way — and carry them when
the road gets rough. That is truly something to be thankful for!

This Thanksgiving at Hope Gospel Mission, our tables will be laden with food as we look back on our blessings
and give thanks to God. It is a beautiful moment when we join with our residents in gratitude for God’s great

And when we look back with thanks, we also look ahead with trust. Trust that next year, we will still have much
— maybe even more — to give thanks for.

Thank you for giving Andrew, Jennifer and so many others the gifts of time, thankfulness and trust. I am
thankful for you and trust in your continued partnership in the months and years ahead. May God bless you and yours this Thanksgiving!


Sandi Polzin 
Executive Director
Hope Gospel Mission


In our 25 years of ministry, the Lord has blessed Hope Gospel Mission with many success stories. Nothing speaks to God’s glory more than having former residents come back to share their testimony and mentor others. Andrew has done that many times, and he has even brought his youth group with him to serve!

When Andrew first arrived at Hope Gospel Mission, he never dreamed he would be inspiring young people. He had just been released from jail and needed a place to stay. Even more, he needed deliverance from the drug addiction that had nearly taken his life not once, but three times.

“Everything I owned was in a small suitcase and a backpack,” Andrew recalls. “And I was in a homeless shelter. This is where my choices had brought me.”

Although he had only committed to the Short Stay program, a powerful encounter with God persuaded him to join the Renewed Hope program. “It was time to surrender,” he says. 

“I was doing what I needed to do, but it was hard,” Andrew tells us. “You’re really confronting yourself while you’re building your character and growing closer to the Lord.”

Andrew graduated from the program in 2016. He initially started his new life studying to become a nurse, but soon realized that was not what God meant him to do. He worked at Hope Gospel for a time as a Resident Advisor and knew he wanted to continue serving the Lord in some capacity.

After consulting with his pastors, Andrew switched his area of study to Christian Ministry and Leadership. One day, he asked the Lord how he could best serve Him. He immediately got a text from his pastors, asking for help with their youth program! “This is what I was made for!” Andrew enthuses.

Andrew believes God brought him to this fruitful period of his life to share his experiences not only with the young people in his youth group, but everyone, including you. He likens himself to the man possessed by demons in the Gospel of Mark. “That story defines what the Lord did for me, and I want to tell everybody who Jesus is and what He can do!”

I believe you know our son, Andrew.

He spent many years with a drug and alcohol problem — had failed a few rehabs, had at least three overdoses. I never thought our son would live through his 20’s.

I had called Hope a few times over the years, getting information, but Andrew was very against going. A series of circumstances left him without any other options. He was just going to do the Short Stay, til he was able to get a place of his own and a job. But God met Andrew in a very real way — he graduated from the program, and is now a youth pastor with a beautiful, loving wife. My husband and I will forever be grateful to Hope and the people who donate to keep this going. We are so grateful to the staff and those churches that support Hope!

Our son is now the Godly man that God had planned and Satan was so fearful of him becoming.

Thank you so much!

I remember when Andrew had his interview, and I sat in the waiting room and read some of the Hope newsletters and I thought, could I dare hope Andrew will be in one of these and tell his story — and he was!

God is good always, and always God is good!

Thanksgiving is always a big day at Hope Gospel Mission — especially the dinner!

All our residents and guests from the community gather to give thanks and enjoy a delicious feast of turkey, dressing and all the other traditional fixings that make it so special.

Because we have so many plates to fill, we start getting ready the week before and continue until Thanksgiving Day.It’s a lot of work, but so rewarding. And we’re so grateful for all the volunteers who make it all go according to plan!

We’re also grateful for you. Your gifts, support, encouraging words and prayers make it possible to provide food, shelter and compassionate care throughout the year — not just during the holidays. We wish you all the best this Thanksgiving and every day!

“I felt pretty lonely,” Jennifer says of her childhood. From the age of 10, she stayed in group homes or with foster parents, often running away and hanging out on the streets. “I always seemed to be attracted to bad people. I did what they did — smoking weed and drinking. They felt like a family to me, because I was accepted.”

At 18, Jennifer started a family of her own. She gave birth to a daughter, now 22, and later had another daughter, now 17, and a son, who is five. “I was not the best mom,” she admits. “I had trouble connecting with my kids. I was in and out of treatment centers for my drug addiction. But I did the best I could, given how I grew up myself.”

Jennifer’s best, though, wasn’t enough to keep her family together. Every cent she had went toward her drugaddiction. Eventually, she was homeless, camping out in a tent in the woods.

After three years of rough living, Jennifer finally had enough. It was time for real change. She looked for a long-term treatment center and found Hope Gospel Mission. 

Her first day in the program, she says, was scary. “I didn’t know what kind of feelings were going to come up, not being sober for so many years. I didn’t know if I would be accepted.” But she soon made friends among her fellow residents and found the staff to be warm and caring … like a real family.

Jennifer also rekindled her relationship with God. “When I was 17, I was really into the Bible,” she tells us. “Once I started using meth, I didn’t care anymore. But when I came into the program, I realized God had never left me.” Today, Jennifer has a home church and was recently baptized.

Looking beyond graduation, Jennifer plans to enter our Discipleship Program. She is also mending her relationship with her daughters and seeking custody of her five-year-old son.

Jennifer offers “a big thank you” to everyone who supports Hope Gospel Mission — including you! “I’m thankful there are people who care about what happens to me!”

Gifts Given in Memory

(Persons being honored are listed first)

Anna Schultz

Phyllis Ede-Hovey

Melissa Beth DeGolier

Bob and Carolyn Lee

Barbara Trepczyk

Al Trepczyk

Melissa Beth DeGolier

Mae Lippincott

Carl and Mary Thompson

Debra Abbott

Melissa Beth DeGolier

Janet Drevlow

Caroline and Louis Schulze

Donald and Caroline Schulze

Melissa Beth DeGolier

Mr and Mrs Howard Hanson

Charlene Romfoe

Cliff Romfoe

Melissa Beth DeGolier

Tom and Sue Ingham

Darrell Peterson

Mr and Mrs Howard Hanson

Melissa Beth DeGolier

Ron and Julie Westphal

Dick Berger

Luke and Danielle Johnson

Melissa Beth DeGolier

Jamie Mills

Eugene Erickson

Florence Erickson

Melissa Beth DeGolier

Tom and Margith Meis


Rita Sendelbach

Melissa Beth DeGolier

Joan Tonn

Fritz Geske

Nancy Geske

Melissa Beth DeGolier

Karen Hanson

Gene Kraemer

Gloria Kraemer

Melissa Beth DeGolier

Lois Hulberg

Gerald Naiberg


Melissa Beth DeGolier

Gerard and Corinne Hanson

Gerald Naiberg

Bob and Ellen Wing

Melissa Beth DeGolier

Thomas and Gloria Wagener

Gerald Naiberg

Randy and Jan Bechel

Michael Longsdorf

Cheri Longsdorf

Gerald Naiberg

Cheryl Jensen

Millard, Shirley and Danne Sivertson

Robyn Sivertson

Greg Gruman

Kathryn Lee

Odilion Romero

Bart and Mandy Cheney

James Sendelbach

Rita Sendelbach

Our Parents

Gary Hillestad

Jeffrey Kohlbeck

Paula Kohlbeck

Pat Kolar and Walt Keiser

Joseph Baiocco

Jeremy Knudtson

Lori Grossell

Patsy Ann Backus

Family of Pat Backus

Jim Syverson

Ginger Dierksen

Patsy Ann Backus

Scott Backus

Joe Johnson

Mary Jane Fenner

Patsy Ann Backus

Donna Backus

Joe Johnson

Bill and Jennie Stewart

Patsy Ann Backus

Bronwen Morgan

Joe Lokrantz

Becky Lokrantz

Philip Manor

Perry and Vranna Manor

Johnny Sawicki

Joseph and Tracy Jiskra

Rita Schumacher

Dale and Janice Albricht

Jordan Lee Tucker

Jeff and Wendy Tucker

Robert Hays

Angie Braaten

Kim Link and Tina Ott

Beverly Larrabee

Ronald H Tucker

Jeff and Wendy Tucker

Laverne M Miller


Russell Spencer, Larrie & Bev Olson

Chuck and Kim Olson

Les Smaglik

Beverly Smaglik

Sheree Nelson Hartman

Jeremy Deters

Linda Geboy

Natalie and Brian Bell

Sheree Nelson Hartman

Eugene Kolar Family

Lorraine Gee

Louise Koxlien

Sheree Nelson Hartman

Darrell and Janet Quarderer

Lynn Bleskachek

Bill and Jennie Stewart

Suzie Coons

Frances Thurston

Mark Erickson

Vonnie and Charles Bathke

Trudy Martinson

Ethel Morse

Matt and Leen Geske

Jerome and Gladys Geske

Willard (Bill) Johnson

Barbara Larson

Megan DeHate

Kelly Kiggins

Melissa Beth DeGolier

David and Colleen Berge

Melissa Beth DeGolier

Gerry and Rosie Hoepner


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