True-Life Stories of God’s Provision Through You! September/October 2017. Soup for your Soul

Gratitude and Rekindled Dreams

All through Latiesha’s youth, she dreamed of being a pediatric nurse. She certainly had all the tools: “I had an amazing childhood, with two responsible parents who laid a very good foundation for me,” she says. “I was a good student, and I always saw myself in the medical field.”

But then things changed. She had her first child at 17 and her youthful dreams faded away into motherhood, more children and heavy responsibility. Still, it was a good life — until two years ago. Her kids’ father was put in jail. Unable to support her family on her own, Latiesha and her children ended up homeless and came to Joy House.

“I was there for six months,” she recalls. “The life-skills classes and practical help they offered were good. But then they introduced me to Christ. We did Bible studies and they taught me how to pray. I realized that without God, I can’t really get anywhere. That changed everything.”


It also changed everything for her kids when she enrolled them in Cross Trainers Academy. “The staff really care about my kids and they’re personally involved. They always make sure they have whatever they need,” she says.

“I also love the academics here. My kids are learning amazing things, including that all things are possible for them in Christ. They’re getting a strong foundation that will carry them through the rest of their lives. They love it here. In fact, they call Cross Trainers their ‘forever school.’ Watching my kids thriving here means everything to me.”

Today, Latiesha is employed and supporting her family. Watching her kids thrive has also rekindled her own dreams: “The Milwaukee Rescue Mission, Joy House, Cross Trainers Academy — they’ve all helped me get back on my feet, through faith in God and the opportunities they gave me. Now I even feel like I can reach my own dream again, to one day be a pediatric nurse. Thank you!”

Thankful to Be a Godly Man

I grew up rough on the streets. The streets and gangs taught me a warped version of what it meant to be a man. Money, women, sex, showboating, drugs, staying up all night, fighting — these are what the streets taught me a man was all about.

Some of the kids I grew up with are dead, incarcerated or still involved in illegal activities. I was shot when I was 19 and almost died. Then I went to jail for selling drugs. In jail, I came to Christ. But when I left, I didn’t know how to live for Him. I never went back to drugs and gangbanging, but I didn’t know how to make life work.

By the age of 35, I was unemployed and sleeping on my mom’s couch. When she finally kicked me out, I was homeless. Desperate, I prayed to God — and He led me to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission.

When I got here, I said, “God, I trust you. I’ll do whatever you want.” It wasn’t easy. I had to change my whole focus, my thinking, everything. But God gave me peace and used MRM to show me how to be a real man, a godly man, building my life on love and the values of Jesus Christ.

Since I left, I’ve enjoyed the best four years of my life. I have the best job I ever had, I love my church, I’m engaged to be married, and I love giving back to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. I’ve referred several men in the MRM program to my employer, and I hope to always be a part of MRM.

I am so grateful there’s a place like the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, and for people like you who support it. I’m grateful, not only for what you’ve done for my life, but because you’ve given me a chance to minister to others.

Our Guests Want to Thank YOU for All You Do!

The Milwaukee Rescue Mission serves more than 24,000 meals every month to hungry men, women and children — thanks to you!
The mothers of up to 50 precious children, between the ages of 4 weeks and 4 years, in our Child Enrichment Center thank YOU on their kids’ behalf!
Our Equip program is strengthening hundreds of families that appreciate the chance you’re giving them to thrive.
Every night, up to 400 hurting people who are homeless have safe shelter because YOU care!

“I deeply appreciate all the clothes, hot meals and warm beds. I hope one day I will be able to help someone the way you have helped me and my family.” — Tonya

For the grateful men overcoming addictions in our New Journey program, your support means hope and a future brimming with potential!
Around 300 at-risk kids attending our Cross Trainers Academy are truly grateful for the education and spiritual support they receive!
When the women and children at Joy House experience safety for the first time, they breathe a sigh of relief. Thank you!
Gratitude and hope often start with a hot, nutritious meal. This fall, as we head toward Thanksgiving, more hungry men, women and children will turn to us for help every day. Please give today!

“I want to say ‘thank you’ for all you have done. Without your contributions, my sobriety wouldn’t be possible. Thank you so much!” — Travis

Family Food Basket Wish List

To find out about our other needs, please visit or call us at (414) 344-2211.

$15.00 Pick & Save gift cards
Cans of cranberry sauce
Boxes of instant potatoes
Jars of turkey gravy
Boxed stuffing mix
Canned vegetables (corn or green beans)
Boxed macaroni and cheese
Boxed cake mix or brownie mix
Canisters of frosting
Jell-O or pudding mix
Peanut butter
Cans of soup, ravioli, SpaghettiOs, etc.
Kid-friendly snacks (fun fruits, raisins, crackers and cheese, granola bars, etc.)
Boxed cereal
Pancake mix/syrup

Every meal at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission costs only $2.04 to provide. This Thanksgiving season, your gift will provide hungry men, women and children with hot meals, safe shelter and hope.


Thanks in All Circumstances

Dear Friend,

Sometimes it’s truly overwhelming to see the physical, emotional and spiritual burdens men and women are carrying with them when they come to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. Many are sick after years of alcohol and drug abuse. Others bring emotional wounds from horrific childhoods, while others have been completely abandoned, rejected by friends and family. And on top of it all is the guilt they feel over a lifetime of bad decisions and regrets. These are heavy, heavy burdens.

When I think about these burdens, a verse like 1 Thessalonians 5:18 can be pretty jarring: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” What do many of our guests possibly have to be grateful for?

Well, on top of our building is a big cross that says “Jesus Saves.” It reminds me that Christ suffered and died for our salvation. Talk about horrific circumstances! But forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice is what we preach to our guests, and when they really grasp what He has done, ALL their circumstances begin to pale in comparison. Gratitude wells up in their hearts — and hope is reborn. Their circumstances are still terrible, but they begin to see that God is with them in their circumstances and they can trust God.

As we head into fall, and soon Thanksgiving, my heart is filled with gratitude, too. I am thankful there is a place called the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, where thousands of people who are desperately in need can find refuge and new hope in Jesus Christ. And I am grateful for our thousands of partners — generous people like you — who make this work possible. Thank you!


Patrick H. Vanderburgh

Patrick H. Vanderburgh, D.Min.