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

“I See a Future for Myself”

“As a teenager, I was angry, confused, afraid and full of self-doubt,” says Dakara, a 22-year-old single mother with three children at Joy House. “There was no love in my family. You couldn’t call it a home. I didn’t have a father in my life, and I experienced a lot of abuse. There were a lot of dark secrets that left me feeling like I was nothing.”

After having her first child at 15, Dakara dropped out of high school. Feeling hopeless and unloved, she spent the next seven years jumping from place to place. She felt her life growing more and more out of control—and she feared she was going to repeat the cycle of dysfunction she experienced in her own family.

“I didn’t know what to do,” she says. “I was just this lost girl who needed to be found. But I had three kids to think of, and I knew I needed to get my life together. So I came to Joy House.”

At Joy House, Dakara found the solid ground she needed. “The staff is so nurturing and loving. They support us with food and clothes and everything we need. I’m learning to be a better mom, how to save money and how to nurture my kids in ways I never got at home. Joy House is full of the moms and aunties I never had before. I’ve never felt like this.”

Most important, Dakara is seeking the Lord with all her heart and soul. “I dedicated my life to Jesus, and every day I’m seeing how real He is. For the first time, I see a future for myself. “I want the donors to know that someday, thanks to their support, my kids are going to look back at this and know their mom made it.”

Please Pray for MRM

Please pray for...

• Safety, nourishment and hope for homeless men, women and children seeking help at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission.

• Wisdom and strength as we minister to our hurting guests in Christ’s name.

• All our donors and volunteers, as they seek to compassionately help those who otherwise might be living on the streets.

• Peace in Milwaukee’s disadvantaged neighborhoods from where many of our guests come.

• Protection for Milwaukee’s emergency personnel as they protect the most vulnerable in our community.

• God’s guidance and resources as we look to expand programs at our North Campus in the Lindsay Heights neighborhood.

• Students and staff at our North Campus as they experience godly and strong academic instruction. Especially remember our first graduating class of seniors at Cross Trainers Academy.

Your Support Means Love and Healing for Hurting People this Easter

The Milwaukee Rescue Mission is committed to loving and supporting struggling men, women and children in our community right where they are—all thanks to you. Last year, your compassionate gifts provided our hurting neighbors with nearly 290,000 nutritious meals and 54,000 items of much-needed clothing. And you helped provide our homeless friends with almost 86,000 nights of shelter.

More important, your generosity transforms lives by offering them short- and long-term support, including education, counseling, recovery classes, job training and much more, equipping them to escape the streets for good.

But most important of all, your gifts ensure that every precious man, woman and child at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission and Cross Trainers Academy hears about the life-changing love and grace of Jesus Christ—the one true hope that will transform their lives forever.

Please give today to provide the chance for new life in Jesus Christ to more of our struggling neighbors this Easter.

Give Now

The Impact Friends Like YOU Made in 2018

55.3% Contributions $11,238,404
1% Child Enrichment Center $269,408
3.7% Wills & Estates $1,497,860
26.9% In-Kind Contributions $4,994,056
9.9% Choice Income $2,311,655
1.2% Investments $90,888
1.4% Events $286,145
0.6% Misc $143,068
100% Total Income $20,831,484

Programs 85%
Administration 7%
Development 8%

An audited financial statement is available upon request.

Cleansed at the Cross

Mike will never forget the day his youngest daughter called him and said, “Dad, you love drugs more than you love us. You've got to get help.”

“That just ripped me up,” he recalls. So in March 2018, he came to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission to get the help he needed. But it would not be easy. He would have to confront a lifetime of hopelessness, disappointment, brutal memories and shame.

Once a star football player in high school, a devastating knee injury crushed his dreams of a college scholarship. That’s when he discovered painkillers. “They made me feel good about myself again. But it was just a mask, a false sense of hope.”

Later, feeling lost and directionless, Mike joined an outlaw biker club. “I rode with them for 10 years,” he says. “We did a lot of stuff that’s hard to live with. I became somebody I really don’t like. Somehow, I had to find a way to live with myself. But I never did. I just hoped the memories would go away—and got high.”

By his mid-30s, Mike finally quit drugs, married and raised a family. “They were the love of my life,” he says. But he could never escape the guilt of his secrets. At 40, he relapsed and ended up losing his family and everything he cared about. He spent the next 14 years lost in a haze of drugs, hoping to forget his mistakes— until he arrived at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission to face his shameful past.

But instead of judgment, he found Jesus. “I’d been in rehabs before, but Jesus was never involved. I carried so many sins for so long. Then, when I came here, I saw Jesus on that cross and realized He died for me, for everything I ever did. He loved me that much. It was mind-blowing. It still is, because Christ is right here with me now. I’m a totally different person.

“I have my daughters and my ex-wife back in my life. I have my self-respect. As a donor, that’s what you did for me. You gave me my life back. Thank you!”

The Milwaukee Rescue Mission’s Annual Banquet

The Milwaukee Rescue Mission will host its annual banquet on Thursday, May 9, 2019, at Discovery World. An evening of fun, food, fellowship and inspiration will be on the menu! Proceeds from the event will help homeless men, women and children rebuild their lives on a firm foundation—and find their way home.

For more information, contact or call 414-935-0205.

President’s Letter

Dear Friend,

This might surprise some people, but I can’t imagine working anywhere more exciting and life-affirming than a rescue mission—especially the Milwaukee Rescue Mission! Why? For me, it’s all about Easter...that first resurrection Sunday when Jesus rose from the dead, promising hope and new life for everyone who believes.

All year round, more hurting men, women and children come to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission struggling with homelessness, addictions, abuse, hunger and despair.

But thanks to Easter morning, every day I get to witness God’s power transform the lives of these same broken men, women and children. Each precious person who finds Jesus here is one more miraculous story of transformation and resurrected life. And that’s what the Milwaukee Rescue Mission is all about.

As one of our caring partners, I believe it’s also what you are about. Your generosity provides far more than food, beds and warm shelter. Your support transforms lives and helps bring redemption to those in need. The work we do together, then, is bigger than any one of us. All because of an empty tomb.

In these weeks leading up to Easter, I pray you remember the true significance of your gifts and partnership with the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. And I pray you keep in mind people like Mike and Dakara in this issue of Soup for Your Soul. Their stories of resurrection and new life in Christ are extraordinary—all because you care.

So please, enjoy our latest newsletter. I trust you will be encouraged by the stories of transformation you make possible.

Thank you for all you do!

May God grant you a blessed Easter,

Patrick H. Vanderburgh, D.Min.