True-Life Stories of God's Provision Through You! November/December 2018. Soup for your Soul

A Survivor Starts Over

Alicia needed a new beginning, a chance to start over. She’d already been knocked down several times in her life, but she always found a way to get back up before. Now, at the age of 56, her past was catching up to her. “My childhood was really messed up,” she says. “There was violence and alcoholism. I went through a lot of emotional, physical and sexual abuse from family members. Then I had a nervous breakdown when I was 17.”

But Alicia got back on her feet. She survived two painful marriages, and after each one, she was able to rebound. In 1996, she married again. “I thought Rob was my savior,” she says. Then he died of a heart attack in 2006. “Those were the best 10 years of my life. I still wear my wedding ring. It took me two years to recover, but I finally did.”

Alicia got knocked down again in 2012, when someone close to her took everything she owned. She even lost her home.

Worsening physical problems made it more difficult for her to work, and she ended up homeless, living in cheap motels. She just couldn’t get back up this time. She needed help—and that’s when she discovered our Door of Hope program in Joy House for single women like her who have no place to call home. “The meals and a bed have been great,” she says. “But for me, the most important part is the spiritual, emotional help. They hug me every day here. It’s been a long time since I’ve been hugged. And they brought me closer to God. I get goosebumps when I think about it. Now they’re even helping me go back to college.

“In one of the darkest spots of my life, the Milwaukee Rescue Mission’s donors brought me back into the light. I don’t know where I’d be without this place. They gave me a reason to get up and move on. They really did give me the chance to start over.”

Please Give Warm, Safe Shelter and Life-Transforming Help This Winter

For most of us, it’s impossible to imagine what it’s like to be homeless any time of the year. But in winter, the stress and fear that vulnerable men, women and children must feel in the face of life-threatening cold must be unbearable. Today, you can help save someone’s life!

Your donation will help provide them with warm, safe shelter, hot food and clothing. Even more, you will give them access to education, counseling, help in overcoming substance abuse, job training and the love of God, who can transform their lives forever.

Save the Date!

The Milwaukee Rescue Mission will host our annual banquet on Thursday, May 9, 2019, at the Discovery World Museum. An evening of fun, food, fellowship, dining and inspiration will be on the menu! Proceeds from the event will help homeless men, women and children start over and rebuild their lives on a firm foundation. For more information, contact or call 414-935-0205

Work at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission!

Have you ever thought of joining the team at MRM? Check out our employment opportunities at

A New Year of God’s Mercies

Dear Friend,

I love celebrating a brand-new year. I know it’s just another calendar day, but there’s something about it that feels like a fresh start. No matter what’s happened the year before, it’s a new beginning, filled with possibilities.

It also reminds me of those great verses in Lamentations 3:22-23: “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (NIV). On January 1 and every day after, God’s love will never fail. Every day is a new day to experience God’s mercy.

I’m thankful that we can rest in that truth. But what about people in crisis? What about men and women struggling with addictions, shame, past abuse or years of failure and hardships? For many of them, New Year’s Day just feels like another day of misery, followed by another year of suffering.

But then they come to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. When they arrive, they often feel alone, vulnerable and even hopeless. Then they eat a hot meal. They feel relief, knowing they have a safe bed for the night. Someone smiles at him or hugs her. Maybe for the first time in a long time, they feel like someone cares. God’s mercy in action. That’s where hope starts. That’s when many will open themselves up to everything the Milwaukee Rescue Mission has to offer. Many like Alicia, whose story you’ll read on page 3. That’s where lives start to change—thanks to God’s mercy through you!

I wish you knew how many people have found a new beginning and new life here because of you. New lives that started because of the meals, shelter and long-term care you helped provide. God’s mercy is new every morning, and your help is the tangible expression of His mercy. Happy New Year!

I thank God for you,

Patrick H. Vanderburgh, D.Min.