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Celebrating 15 Years of Service
Part One: The Birth of Hope Gospel Mission (1993-2000)
I had the privilege of growing up in a Christian home but didn’t come to trust the Lord as my Savior until I was about 30 years old. At that time I was a successful businessman trying to live the American dream which had left me empty inside. This caused me to start seeking for answers to the meaning of life and God gracefully drew me to himself and saved me in the summer of 1987. Instead of wanting to live my life for myself, I now wanted to live for Him!
In the fall of 1993 my former pastor challenged me about what I wanted to do for the Lord. I shared with him my desire to help those less fortunate then myself. Since he had served in several different rescue missions over the years, he gave me the book, “The Romance of Rescue,” which details the history of the rescue mission movement in America. I felt this was something that God wanted me to pursue.
Not long after this, I was given a tour of the L.E. Phillips Senior Center building. I thought that it would make a great rescue mission. I started looking into what would be involved in starting a rescue mission in 1994, but it seemed overwhelming at that time. I was running our family business and my wife and I had just started our family. Every time that I would drive by the building, I would come under conviction about using the building for a rescue mission. When God calls you to do something, he doesn’t give up!
Then in the summer of 1998, I happened to talk to one of the owners of the building. He said that things hadn’t worked out as planned and asked me if I knew of anyone that might want to buy the building! God had opened the door again for me and this time I decided to step through it by faith! Since I was a businessman, I thought I should do some research to see what the need was in our community. I met with several local organizations that helped the homeless and they all agreed that the biggest need in our community was for single men. Next, I started looking at rescue missions around the Midwest.
The owner of the building I was interested in was an architect and worked with me on the plans to remodel the building into a shelter. By late fall of 1998 I formed a board of directors. My wife Cindy came up with the name Hope Gospel Mission, since God offers hope to all through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God provided the funds and we purchased the building. We now had an empty building and a grand vision!
In January of 1999, Gary Steward was hired to assist with the remodeling and fundraising for the Men’s shelter. The remodeling and fundraising took us longer than expected, but God worked through many faithful donors and volunteers to make the Men’s shelter a reality. We finally opened our doors in October of 2000. When God calls someone to do a task, He sees it through to completion.
As part of our 15 year anniversary, we encourage you to share what Hope Gospel Mission means to you or how it has affected you as a shopper at our stores, donor, or volunteer. We might even share your story in our next newsletter! To share your story click here, tell us on Facebook, write us, or email us at email@example.com!
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Fill the Fridge
Get a raffle ticket when you donate!
Hope Gospel Mission needs perishable food items, so Gateway Chiropractic and Acupuncture for Wellness are holding Fill the Fridge, a special food drive to provide for Hope’s food needs. Drop off any perishable food item from 8 AM to 6 PM Monday through Friday at Gateway Chiropractic Center & Acupuncture for Wellness, 3420 Mall Drive in Eau Claire (Next to Coffee Grounds).
You can also donate food Saturday April 27 from 11 AM to 2 PM at Festival Foods. A fridge will be on site to accept donations.
Raffle, Open House, and final day of food drive are Thursday, May 2 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Gateway Chiropractic Center & Acupuncture for Wellness. There will be food, a raffle for prizes from local businesses, and Laura Berndt of Body N Soul will be doing chair massages for $1 per minute with all proceeds going to Hope Gospel Mission.
House Needed for Program Graduates
In order to enhance our programs for our residents who have completed our long-term program, we are looking to rent a house for two to four residents in a safe neighborhood. These residents would share the house and we would have a staff person living on site also. Hope Gospel Mission would be responsible for the lease. If you have a house to offer, please contact Chris Hedlund at Hope Gospel Mission at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-514-4291.
Please drop off any items on this list at 8 South Farwell Street in Eau Claire at any time. Thank you!
- 15 passenger van (Call Craig at 715-271-4673 for more info)
- Body wash (men's, women's)
- Shampoo/conditioner (men's, women's)
- Extra strength Tylenol
- Phone cards
- AAA batteries
- D batteries
- Light bulbs
- Hair dye brown / light brown
- Black mascara
- Vitamin C
- Men’s boxers, small to medium
- Men’s undershirts, small to medium
- Men's deodorant
- Post it notes
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Women’s X Large Underwear
- Various types of vitamins such as B12, Echinecea, Vitamin D, Fish Oil, B complex, Women’s Multi, etc.
- Women’s facial cleanser and moisturizers
- Liquid Pepto
Hope StoriesThe following residents’ names have been changed to initials for anonymity.
A Broken Heart, Mending
M arrived at the Mission in the winter of 2013. He arrived broken-hearted, addicted to marijuana, and in trouble with the law. At the age of 23, M knew he needed a new life and a fresh start. He was hoping the Mission would put him on the right track. M had been heavily influenced by his Muslim-born brother-in-law, so when M arrived at the Mission he asked for a Koran. Since his arrival M has asked a lot of questions about Christianity, specifically the role of Jesus. M became aware of his need for Jesus as his savior and, despite his brother-in-law’s influence and possible rejection, M accepted Jesus as his savior.
Rekindling the Fire
Six year ago A was on fire for the Lord. She attended a Bible college and was one credit short from completing her degree when Satan took hold of her and she fell into a life of alcohol and sin. A remained in a downward spiral in the following years. Broken, A came to the Mission. She knew that if she was ever going to get her Christian life back it would be at Hope Gospel Mission. A is remembering scriptures and is seeking guidance for change through the Holy Spirit. Just the other day A wanted $23 for a vase and flowers. After obtaining the check for her purchase she was overcome with an uneasy, restless feeling. She sought after the Lord and He revealed the real reason why she wanted the money, so she returned it. Afterwards A felt peaceful. A is determined to follow the Lord’s prompting because she wants to have the relationship she once had with God. She wants to be on fire for the Lord again.
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