Author Archives: Whosoever Gospel Mission

Thanksgiving Day 2018

Here at the Whosoever Gospel Mission, we have so much to be thankful for. Every day we experience the Lord’s blessing as He works to free men from their addictions and open doors of opportunity. We have the privilege of watching as He breathes new life into men who are weary and homeless, those who have been battered by the world.
We’re also thankful that God continues to provide our daily bread. He used you, our friends, to pull us out of a HUGE deficit. We never skipped a meal; our doors never shut. We give thanks.

It’s easy to be thankful for these things. But sometimes, when we’re in the midst of hard things, giving thanks is more of a sacrifice.

When we’re in the midst of great adversity and our hearts are overwhelmed with fear, anxiety, loneliness, anger or self-pity, we don’t feel like giving thanks. But the Lord invites us to call on Him while we make a sacrifice of thanksgiving – while we choose to thank Him in spite of what we’re feeling. Then our hearts find the freedom to truly sing songs of thanksgiving.

This would be impossible if not for Jesus, our Great Sacrifice, who gave Himself up for us. Emmanuel – God with us – the One who conquers sin and death by rising again – proves that He can be trusted with our lives, families, dreams and futures. He walks with us through the good times as well as the hard times.

Here at the Mission, we have the joy of seeing God do just that as He works in the hearts and lives of men, producing sacrifices of thanksgiving in the midst of life’s joys and adversities.

This Thanksgiving, may the same be true of us all! God’s richest blessings to you and your family as you give Him thanks!

Posted in Photos & Videos, Real Stories | Comments Off on Thanksgiving Day 2018

From the Director ~ Thanksgiving 2018

Rev. Bob making his homemade stuffing for our Thanksgiving feast

Rev. Bob making his homemade stuffing for our Thanksgiving feast

Dear Friend of the Mission,

As we come to this season of Thanksgiving, we have much to give thanks for! At the top of our list, our $90,000 deficit was wiped out, and we finished our fiscal year on September 30th in the black with all of our bills paid. Your wonderfully kind and generous gifts were used by the Lord to make this happen. We thank the Lord, and we also thank you for opening up your hearts and wallets to bless the Mission and the homeless men who live here with your financial support.

We also thank the Lord for the 6 men who recently graduated from the Mission’s New Life Program. This means that they are now working, living in their own place and staying clean and sober from drugs and alcohol. We also hope that they are walking with the Lord day-by-day. We obviously need money to pay our bills each and every day, but at the end of the day, the heart of the Mission is sharing God’s love in word and deed with the broken and hurting homeless men who come to the Mission desperately looking for help. Your gifts are really an investment in the lives of our men. And it is an investment that keeps on producing dividends in and through the lives of our men for years to come. As our men become productive, contributing members of our society, their lives in turn touch and impact for good the lives of hundreds and even thousands of people with whom they come into contact. This positive impact begins with their families as our men become responsible dads, husbands, granddads, brothers and sons.

At this special time of year, we also thank the Lord for YOU. You are a great friend of the Mission. You are on our mailing list because you have blessed the Mission in some way – by donating used items for our thrift store ministry, by volunteering at the Mission, by bringing your youth group or another group to the Mission, by signing up for our mail list when we visited your church, by praying for us and telling us that you are doing so, by supporting the Mission financially and with new donations, or by inviting us to preach and minister at your church in some way. We cannot do what we do apart from good friends such as you. Blessings to you!

As we begin our new fiscal year (which began October 1st), we continue to need your support. Homelessness is increasing in Philadelphia, our beds are full, and our waiting list is growing. Thank you for keeping us going strong as a place of hope and new beginnings.

Thanking God for you,
Bob signature
Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

Posted in From the Staff, Uncategorized | Comments Off on From the Director ~ Thanksgiving 2018

4 Ways You Can Help!

IMG_7468New Unwrapped Toys & Gifts

Each year, homeless dads living at the Mission give over a thousand gifts to hundreds of their kids & grandkids. For many men, lovingly selecting & wrapping each gift is a first step toward reconnecting with family.

Here’s how you can help:
Buy new, unwrapped toys & gifts for ages 0-18 (main gifts & stocking-stuffers).

Deadline: Wednesday, December 19th
Call Heather at 215 438 3094 ext 103 to arrange for drop-off or pick-up.

IMG_7635Food & Gift Cards

We feast well at the Mission (and not just at Thanksgiving)! As relatives and friends of residents and staff join together as one family around warmly decorated tables on Thanksgiving Day, we enjoy amazing food, hearty laughter, sweet fellowship, and a shared sense of gratitude to the Lord.

Here’s how you can help:
Donate non-perishable food (canned goods, coffee, tea, etc.). Gift cards to supermarkets are also great for perishable items (especially Aldi and Walmart).

Call Heather at 215 438 3094 ext 103 to arrange for drop-off or pick-up.

AmazonSmile & PayPal Giving Fund

AmazonSmile: Donate at NO EXTRA COST to you! Make your online Amazon purchases through AmazonSmile & designate the Whosoever Gospel Mission as your charity of choice – you’ll pay the same price but a percentage of your purchase will be donated to us! To register, go to: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/23-1352579

PayPal Giving Fund: Search “Donate with Paypal Giving Fund” or go to PayPal Giving Fund’s website: https://www.paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/70047. We get the FULL value of your donation – PayPal doesn’t charge us any fees.

IMG_7796Gifts or Gift Bags for 55 Homeless Men

Homeless men are typically isolated from friends & family, and often, they don’t receive any gifts at the holidays. For many of our men, the gifts they receive at the Mission are the only Christmas presents they’ll get.

Here’s how you can help: Make gift bags for the men. Fill them with things like snacks, pocket calendars, pens, socks, or personal care items like tissues, lip balm, lotion, etc. (please don’t put soap in the same bag as food). Be creative!

Deadline: Friday, December 21st
Call Heather at 215 438 3094 ext 103 to arrange for drop-off or pick-up.

Posted in From the Staff | Comments Off on 4 Ways You Can Help!

From the Director ~ October 2018

Executive Director Bob Emberger with the peppers he just harvested from our garden

Executive Director Bob Emberger with the peppers he just harvested from our garden

Dear Friend of the Mission,

Your support of the Mission is an investment in the lives of our men. And as our men move from being unemployed and homeless to working and living independently in their own place, they in turn become productive, contributing members of our community who strengthen the very fabric of our society. We need your financial support because our men are destitute and come to the Mission with no resources, no money and no safety net of support from friends and family.

We are always grateful for your much needed financial support, but at this time of year, there are additional ways you can support us. Click here for a few of those ways that will bless and make a difference in the lives of our men.

The fall also marks the beginning of workplace giving campaigns. Many companies and government agencies ask their employees to contribute to their workplace giving campaigns. The happy news is that you can designate your gift to the Whosoever Gospel Mission through your workplace giving campaign:

  • The United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey – donate to the Mission through United Way’s Donor Choice Program. Our Code Number is 1045.
  • The Combined Federal Campaign – federal employees can choose the Mission to receive their gift through the CFC. Our Code Number is 69784.
  • The City of Philadelphia Employees’ Combined Campaign – the Whosoever Gospel Mission is listed in the Contributor’s Guide under the category: Independent Charities Vetted by America’s Charities. Our Code Number is 30-0047.
  • United Campaigns in other states and regions – you can still designate your gift to the Whosoever Gospel Mission if you live and work in another state or region of the country. Check your campaign booklet or ask your workplace United Way coordinator.
  • America’s Charities and Network for Good provide administrative services for several workplace giving campaigns throughout the country – check with your company’s workplace giving coordinator to find out how you can designate your gift to the Mission if your workplace uses one of these organizations to conduct their giving campaign.

Your gifts are being used every day by the Lord to change lives! Thanks so much!

With joy and thanksgiving,

Bob signature

Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

Posted in From the Staff, Uncategorized | Comments Off on From the Director ~ October 2018

Building Bridges to Family

New Life Program resident Alton enjoys a visit with his family this summer

New Life Program resident Alton enjoys a visit with his family this summer

The men who come to the Whosoever Gospel Mission looking for help and a way forward are sons and fathers, brothers and cousins, husbands, nephews, uncles, grandfathers and grandsons. Addiction and homelessness can eat away at these relationships leaving both the men and their families grieving the loss.

But there is hope! Jesus is the great Reconciler. Here at the Mission we get to see God at work restoring relationships and rebuilding families as men work hard by God’s grace to rebuild trust, make themselves vulnerable, and repair broken relationships.

Alton hasn’t had much to do with his family for ten years – not since he moved out when he was 18 years old. Over the years, his dad has tried to reach out to him, but Alton would never respond. He spent the next ten years living mostly in the streets until coming to the Mission.

Alton & his dad ride a roller coaster during Alton's recent trip home to spend time with family in NY

Alton & his dad ride a roller coaster during Alton’s recent trip home to spend time with family in NY

Alton shares that he’s thankful for the counseling he receives here at the Mission. It’s given him a chance to talk with someone who loves him and is willing to listen. He found himself able to trust his counselor and open up about hurts he had been holding on to for a long time.

With counsel, Alton was able to begin seeing things from a new perspective. Since coming to the Mission, Alton has made two trips home to New York to spend time with family, and both were a blessing!

Posted in Real Stories | Comments Off on Building Bridges to Family

From the Director ~ September 2018

IMG_8339-001Dear Friend of the Mission,

Each of our men comes from a family. When we deal with homeless individuals, it is easy to forget that our men are not islands unto themselves, but rather they are in fact sons and fathers, brothers and cousins, husbands, nephews, uncles, grandfathers and grandsons.

This month’s true-story highlight tells a wonderful story of reconciliation and a restored relationship between one of our men and his father.

One of the benefits of serving at the Mission for almost 30 years is that I have the joy of seeing the Lord do wonderful things in healing, building, restoring and strengthening the relationships between our men and their families. Here are a few stories that especially warm my heart – these men are either graduates of the Mission or current residents:

  • The Mission’s staff teachers and volunteer tutors taught George how to read, and for the first time in his life he was able to read a story to his 9-year old daughter.
  • Robert is a single parent father who has raised from birth his daughter Helen. Helen is a delightful young lady doing well in school and is quite active in her church.
  • Greg is a great dad to his birth children and step-children. He has put one daughter through college and currently has two other children in college. Apart from Greg, these children perhaps never would have made it to college.
  • After years of suffering from her husband’s criminal activity and imprisonment, Norma divorced her husband, Tyrone. While incarcerated in Graterford Prison for multiple felonies, Tyrone turned his life over to the Lord through a prison ministry. Tyrone came to the Mission after prison, and we had the joy of helping him to reenter society as a good and godly man. The changes that Norma saw in Tyrone’s life were so great that she remarried him. Tyrone met grandchildren at his wedding that were born while he was in prison. There wasn’t a dry eye in the church!

Your gifts are being used to bless not just our men, but also their families!

With joy and gratitude,

Bob signature

Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

P.S. Because of your wonderful generosity, our $90,000 deficit has been greatly reduced. Ending our fiscal year on September 30th without a cash deficit is within striking distance! Thank you for your continued prayers and on-going support. A miracle is in the making!

Posted in From the Staff, Uncategorized | Comments Off on From the Director ~ September 2018

Summer at the Mission

Here are a few highlights of our summer!

Graduations

Cordie graduates from the New Life Program

Cordie graduates from the Program

Robert graduates from the Program

Robert graduates from the Program

 

 

 

 

 
Cordie and Robert both faced big health challenges while at the Mission. While they were here, they accessed the medical care they needed and worked hard to get back on their feet. Both Cordie and Robert had long journeys to moving into their own places and graduating. But move out and graduate they did! We celebrated their graduation with cake and balloons, the sharing of testimonies, singing, and a charge to the graduates from God’s Word. Cordie & Robert both encouraged the men currently enrolled in the New Life Program to press on and stay the course. We praise God for Cordie and Robert!

Dr. Donna examines Craig's eyes

Dr. Donna examines Craig’s eyes

Eye Clinic

In June, Dr. Donna Elcock and her wonderful team from Great Faith Vision came and provided complete eye care for free to 29 of our men, including prescription glasses. It’s easier to work on rebuilding your life when you can see! We thank God for Dr. Donna and her team!

Our garden!

Our garden!

The Garden

2nd graders from William Penn Charter School earned money to buy plants for our garden. We are looking forward to enjoying fresh salads and other dishes from our homegrown bounty this summer.

Ray keeps on learning

Ray keeps on learning

Forward Movement

Ray Johnson learned how to read for the first time at the age of 50 here at the Mission. Now he’s learning to use a computer. He’s proud & excited to be moving forward. Ray continues to work with Mission teachers & tutors to strengthen his skills.

Posted in Photos & Videos, Real Stories | Comments Off on Summer at the Mission

Urgent Financial Need

We need your prayers and any help you can give.

We just found out that an $86,500 foundation grant we were actually awarded isn’t going to be coming anytime soon, if at all. This is no one’s fault – please see this letter for an explanation of what happened.

We’ve also had some other financial challenges. This leaves us with a $90,000 deficit as we quickly move toward the end of our fiscal year, September 30, 2018.

God is good. Please pray with us for our daily bread!

We’re reminded that our provision and help is now and always has been from the Lord alone (Psalm 20:7). He’s a good shepherd.

If you’d like to give now online, click here.

Thanks!!

Posted in From the Staff, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Urgent Financial Need

From the Director ~ August 2018

IMG_8439Dear Friend of the Mission,

We need your prayers and your help at this time to keep doing all that we do to restore homeless men to society as productive, contributing members of our community. Our income always decreases in the summer months, but this summer our finances are especially tight. We currently are running over $90,000 behind in operating income versus expenses. Here’s why:

  • We just found out that a major grant of $86,500 that seemed like a sure thing will not be coming our way any time soon if at all. One of our supporting foundations decided a year ago to cease operations and planned to give us this generous grant as a final distribution. However, they were recently told by the Attorney General’s Office of the state in which they are incorporated that we as well as other non-profits slated to receive a final distribution are not eligible for a final grant since the foundation’s charter (from the 1800’s) limits its grant making to a very specific geographical area of which we are not part. The foundation and we are stunned. This seemed like money in the bank and was actually included in our budget for this year. $86,500 is a huge hole to fill.
  • Some of the churches and individuals that support us have had to significantly reduce their financial support because of their own financial struggles.
  • Other much needed budgeted grant income is reduced this year. Applying for grants is very competitive, and many foundations do not fund the same organization every year.
  • Ten years after our rebuilding from the arson fire, many things are wearing out all at the same time. On a monthly basis we have had HVAC, electrical, sprinkler system, fire alarm, plumbing, and equipment repairs and replacements. Thankfully some of the bigger ticket items have been paid for by special gifts, but the other repairs continue to add up.
  • Our budgeted sales for our two thrift stores are behind by $28,500. Not just our stores, but many thrift stores in the Philadelphia area are struggling. In fact, one large chain of five thrift stores recently filed for bankruptcy. Thankfully we are still far from that point.

Our fiscal year ends on September 30, 2018, and we are praying fervently, cutting expenses, not replacing staff, and working hard to pay our bills and end the year without a deficit. We need your help and prayers over the next six weeks by September 30, 2018. Thanks so much!

Trusting the Lord (Psalm 20:7),

Bob signature

Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

Posted in From the Staff | Comments Off on From the Director ~ August 2018

From the Director ~ Summer 2018

Dear Friend of the Mission,

Your gifts on these hot summer days continue to feed, shelter and clothe the homeless men who live at the Mission. Homelessness never takes a vacation. Your gifts, though, provide our men with so much more than food, shelter and clothing. Your generous gifts also equip our men with the skills and resources they need to achieve a fulfilling life, restored relationships with their family, a lifestyle of recovery from addiction, improved physical and mental health, a good job, a place of their own they can call home, and long-term success as productive, contributing members of our community. Your gifts this summer are being used to make life-giving, life-changing and even life-saving differences in the lives of our men. And all of these critical supports and services are wonderfully blessed by the amazing love and grace of our Lord. We encourage our men to taste and see for themselves the goodness of the Lord (Psalm 34:8).

I want to encourage you too with the truth that your gifts also support and encourage our dedicated and highly trained staff. Our compassionate and talented staff provide our men with all of the practical helps and resources that your gifts make possible.

Heather with family and friends at graduation

Heather with family and friends at graduation

Just a few weeks ago, Heather Rice, my Executive Assistant, graduated with her Doctor of Ministry Degree in Urban Mission from Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, PA. Her dissertation is entitled, “Helping Homeless Men at the Whosoever Gospel Mission Build Healthy Relationships with their Children.” It is such an exceedingly practical and well-written document that other missions are already asking Heather for a copy. Just on a side note, Heather has faithfully served at the Mission since 1993 when she was 13 years old as a freshman volunteer from Central High School. Heather has served at the Mission first as a volunteer and now as a paid staff member for 25 years. During her tenure at the Mission, she earned her bachelor’s degree, her master’s degree and now her doctoral degree. Quite an achievement!!!

I pray and hope that you have many special times this summer with friends and family. Thank you for remembering us and the homeless men at the Mission with your generous gifts.

Sincerely,

Bob signature

Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

Posted in From the Staff | Comments Off on From the Director ~ Summer 2018