True-Life Stories of God’s Provision Through You! January/February 2020

Your Love Transforms Lives

by Patrick H. Vanderburgh, D.Min. President

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”—John 13:34

Over the past couple of months, COVID-19 has unleashed unprecedented trauma and hardship on the entire city of Milwaukee. In many ways, the hardest hit have been those who are most vulnerable—those devastated by hunger and homelessness, seniors and the elderly, and struggling communities like Lindsay Heights.

But in painful times like these, I’m reminded that the real antidote is not fear and panic. It’s unconditional love—God’s love for broken people like you and me. This love is the very heart of the Gospel. And our own love for God and one another is the essence of what family and community are all about. It’s this Gospel love that transforms lives at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission and throughout our community.

I’ve seen this kind of love shine brightly in the past several weeks, not just inside the walls of the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, but throughout our community. Against nation-wide shortages of face masks and hand sanitizer, friends like you stepped up and helped provide those things. When we were facing emergency needs of crucial items like men’s boxers, thermometers and groceries, again kind folks like you responded with life-saving donations. And I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the love you’ve shown us through your online donations, encouraging emails and prayers. An anonymous friend even posted a sign at our front door: “Heroes Work Here”!

It’s that kind love that inspires hope, turns eyes toward God, and even transforms lives. That’s why I’m so grateful for caring folks like you who do not hesitate in sharing not only your financial support, but also your unconditional love. Your love, compassion and commitment to vulnerable men, women and children truly make this work possible—especially in challenging times like these.

Thank you for providing the love and hope that helps our struggling neighbors not only survive their circumstances, but thrive in spite of them!


Patrick H. Vanderburgh, D.Min.

In light of the Coronavirus situation, our virtual Faces of Hope event will now be streaming on May 20, 2020 at 7pm CST at All are welcome! There is no cost to attend this event, but donations and sponsorships are still welcome.

Please go to for details and streaming instructions, or call 414-935-0253 for more information.

You Heard My Cry—Thank You!

When Shaquonna came to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, she was crying out for help. In some ways, she’d been crying for help her whole life. It was in Joy House, our shelter for women and children, that she finally found a loving community eager to listen—and she was determined to use the help she received here to turn her life around. Not just for herself, but for her sons.

“When I got here, I was so lost and depressed, and I couldn’t see a way out,” she says. “But I had to find a way. I wanted my two boys to see that, yeah, life is hard sometimes, but their mom made it. And I want them to see that when life gets hard for them, they can make it, too.”

As a child, Shaquonna endured years of emotional and physical abuse. Her family often struggled with homelessness, bouncing from house to house, even living in abandoned homes when they had to. When she turned 13, however, the abuse turned so severe that Child Protective Services placed her in foster care. Feeling hurt and angry, she rebelled.

“I figured, if my own family didn’t love me, nobody loved me,” she says. “No one cared, so I started running away. I wasn’t going to listen to anyone.”

She had her first son at 18 and her second when she was 21. But the men she dated abused her, too. She started to fall into a crippling depression and even suffered a nervous breakdown. Eventually, she lost her job and her home.

“I was becoming my mom,” she says. “And I couldn’t do that to my boys. I needed help, so I finally came to Joy House. Joy House showed me that someone cares. They showed me I’m worth being loved. They supported me, helped me with my kids and helped me get close to God. They’re showing me how to be the kind of mom I long to be.”

“I want the donors to know that I’m so grateful for their support when I needed it most. I don’t know where I’d be without Joy House!”

How You’re Building Hope at Our North Campus

Zip code 53206—Lindsay Heights—is one of the poorest and most troubled communities in Milwaukee. Sitting just north of downtown Milwaukee, nearly 74% of adult males living there are unemployed, two-thirds of the children live in poverty and 96% of school-aged children come from economically disadvantaged households. Yet today, thanks to caring and generous friends like you, Lindsay Heights is also becoming an epicenter of hope through the Milwaukee Rescue Mission’s North Campus.

Transforming a Community Though Your Support

We work to strengthen families in the community through our school, Cross Trainers Academy, and other resources and outreach opportunities. Here’s what you help do every day:

  • Education: Cross Trainers Academy provides Christ-centered education for at-risk students, from K4 through high school. We help students reach their full potential by emphasizing strong academics, character development and preparing them to enter a vocational program or college.
  • Resource Distribution: Our Equip program provides stability to at-risk families in the community through the distribution of clothing, nutritious meals, hygiene items, school supplies and more.
  • Community Engagement: Equip also supports the community by hosting block parties, a neighborhood association, adult education for career and personal growth, parenting classes, budgeting guidance and family support groups.
  • Support for Seniors: Senior men and women in Lindsay Heights are among the most vulnerable. We offer valuable support by hosting special events for these elderly friends, and also by delivering critical supplies and food baskets directly to their homes.

Matching Challenge— Your Gift Will DOUBLE in Impact This Month!

Thanks to a generous group of friends who recently contributed a $228,771 Matching Challenge Gift, every donation we receive in May will be combined with the Match. Any gift you send will be DOUBLED in impact—automatically—to help even more of our struggling neighbors, and to remind them that someone really does care. This extraordinary opportunity is only available for a short time—please give by May 31!

Please send a generous gift to DOUBLE your impact!

Attention Golfers: New Location for “18 Holes for the Homeless” — Save the Date!

Calling all golfers! Doesn’t matter if you’re a golf pro or a weekend hacker, we’d love to see you at our annual golf outing, “18 Holes for the Homeless,” on August 31, 2020 at Westmoor Country Club, a new location. Your participation will help the Milwaukee Rescue Mission provide hope and care to struggling people in our community by raising awareness and funds to help those who come through our doors for sanctuary.

For more information, contact, call 414-935-0253 or visit

A Whole New Future

When Ambrose was growing up in Lindsay Heights, the community had its challenges. But his dad was a good man who stressed education, church and hard work. Ambrose has carried those values throughout his entire life.

“Lindsay Heights lost some of those values over the years,” Ambrose says. “Drugs, gangs, violence, unemployment, immorality, disintegration of families...the whole community just seemed to break down. Kids were just falling though the cracks.”

When Ambrose’s youngest daughter, Ambrielle, was born eight years ago, he says she was the “greatest blessing” of his life. “There was no way I was going to let her get caught up in all that mess,” he says. “So when I first heard about Cross Trainers Academy, MRM’s K4-12th grade school, I knew that’s where she was going to go to school when it came time.”

Ambrielle is in the 2nd grade now, and Ambrose says Cross Trainers Academy is making a big difference in her life. “The quality of education is top notch. The teachers love the kids, they’re Christian role models, and they teach real moral values. They also provide a strong structure and discipline when it’s needed. Ambrielle might be only an 8-year-old child, but she’s a strong, amazing child of God.”

Ambrose says Cross Trainers Academy is having that same impact on the entire community of Lindsay Heights. “Cross Trainers Academy is helping educate a new generation of kids, and their community meetings are bringing people together. Cross Trainers Academy is giving Lindsay Heights a future again.”

It’s one more way donors like you, who support the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, are making a difference. And Ambrose is one father who couldn’t be more grateful!