Category Archives: Real Stories

Pounding the Pavement!

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Cordie is seeking full-time employment

Being in the New Life Program is hard work! After three months of preparation in the Foundations Phase of the Program and armed with a sharp resume, strong letters of reference and a top-notch self-marketing package, men enter the Careers Phase and begin their job search.

For some men, especially those over 50 years old, it can be a challenging and long search. Please pray for our men as they faithfully press on – making over 10 job contacts each week, going door to door in shopping malls, checking in regularly with CareerLink, attending countless job fairs, networking with friends and family, and scouring the web for leads and online applications.

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Rodney is seeking full-time employment

Pray especially for men like Cordie and Rodney who have been diligently searching for a long time.

You can help!

Take a picture of the help wanted sign at any company, store or restaurant you come across in your travels throughout the Philadelphia area and email it to Heather along with any other full-time job leads you have at  hrice@whosoevergospel.org. Thanks!

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Christmas Joy!

This Christmas the love of many stretched far beyond their immediate family and reached out to include the 55 homeless men who live at the Mission and their families! As you baked cookies, prepared meals, bought toys and gave gifts to our men, our families truly became one. Here are a few of the festive highlights:

  • Our men selected & wrapped over 1,400 FREE toys & gifts for 195 of their kids & grandkids! While they wrapped up their gifts, a pastor prayed with each man for his family.
  • We feasted on Christmas cookies & special holiday meals all season long. The sweet laughter of children rang through our dining hall as families visited with men working hard to rebuild bridges to home.
  • Each man was blessed with 13 Christmas presents lovingly prepared by churches & families and filled with all kinds of treats.

Thank you for sharing the love of Jesus, our Emmanuel – God with us! – at a time when people can feel so alone. Your love was deeply felt and greatly appreciated!

Check out these photos for a glimpse of what it looked like!

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Thanksgiving 2016

unknown001181Here at the Mission, we are thankful for much!  We gathered together on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the Lord’s goodness to us and to give thanks.  Tim shared how he’s thankful for true friends who love him enough to speak truth to him even when it’s hard to hear.  Mark thanked God for the Mission family.  Others thanked Him for second chances, grace and many blessings.  After a chapel service filled with joyful singing and grateful testimonies, we shared a feast around warmly decorated tables.  Here’s a snippet of the festivities to enjoy!

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Come and Rest ~ Robert’s Story

Robert Jessie is a New Life Program graduate as well as a current Mission staff member

Robert Jessie is a New Life Program graduate as well as a current staff member

“Come unto Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

When Robert Jessie first came to the Mission in 2012, he desperately needed to be still and listen.

After making some poor choices in his teen years, Robert ended up incarcerated at the age of 19. Five and a half years later, when he was released from prison, he worked hard to get established. He went to school then found a job in Scranton, PA where he worked while raising his daughter. After 13 years, that job dried up and Robert began to flounder.

Robert thought relocating to Philadelphia would offer more opportunities and better jobs. But it didn’t work out that way. Up until this point in life, Robert would say that he knew the Lord, but he relied upon his own strength, wisdom and ability to make life work. There was one big problem – all his self-reliance wasn’t working any more. He knew he needed help.

Robert shares his testimony with the men as he graduates from the Mission's New Life Program

Robert shares his testimony with the men as he graduates from the Mission’s New Life Program

That’s when Robert, frustrated and tired, came to the Mission. The Lord met him here in a very special way. Although he already knew the good news of the Gospel, it was at the Mission that Robert began to really hear it for the first time. He began listening to the message of hope in Christ – the One who forgives our sins, heals our brokenness, and restores far more than we have ever lost.

Robert admits it was difficult at first to accept help as a grown man. It was humbling. But as he began to allow the Lord to speak into his life through Scripture, chapel messages, and discussions with his counselor, Robert finally began to find the rest his soul had always longed for. The weight of the world and all its problems no longer needed to rest on his shoulders!

He heard the beautiful call of Jesus to “Come unto Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Robert & his wife Shannon celebrate his graduation from the Mission's New Life Program

Robert and his wife Shannon celebrate Robert’s graduation from the Mission’s New Life Program

Robert has been listening to, relying on and following the Lord ever since. It’s been a sweet journey. Along the way the Lord has blessed him with a good and godly wife and a wonderful church with a loving pastor who has taken Robert under his wing.

One year after graduating from the Mission and moving home, Robert returned to join the Mission’s staff full-time. Now, he freely shares his testimony with the men he works with in our thrift store. He prays that if nothing else, each man really hears one thing from him: come to Jesus and find rest.

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What can I do?

Pray – Ask the Lord to help our men find their rest in Him.

Share – Share what you know about the Mission with homeless men you meet.  Invite them to reach out to us for help.

Give – Invest in a man’s life – give financially.

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A Family Restored ~ The Robinson’s Story

Video: The Robinson’s Story

Watch this video as Ed and Jasmine share how the Lord used the Mission to bless and heal their family

Watch this video and hear firsthand how the Lord used the Mission to bless Ed and bring healing to his family

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Gifting Dads

Donors and friends gave tons of toys and gifts so the men could give a very special gift this Christmas to their kids and grandkids – the gift of a dad!

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Giving Thanks!

The Mission family gathered for an awesome feast on Thanksgiving Day where we enjoyed sweet fellowship, amazing food and a time of sharing testimonies of thanks for all that God is and does for us!

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Planning to Achieve

Mike works on homework for the Career Track Learning Program

Mike works on homework for the Career Track Learning Program.  Since this photo, Mike began working and is now saving up to graduate and move into his own place.

One way to think of the Whosoever Gospel Mission is as a place where homeless men, who have long ago stopped dreaming, are encouraged to dream, to plan, to aspire and to achieve.

At the Mission, homeless men find the courage they need to dream big, the critical education, life & vocational skills they need to chart a course toward their dreams, and the financial, spiritual, physical & practical help they need to make their dreams a reality.

One tool we use at the Mission to help men dream big and work step-by-step to make those dreams a reality by God’s grace is our Roadmap to Success. Each man works through his Roadmap, reevaluating and changing it as he engages in a process of vocational discovery and begins to map out short- and long-range plans.

Learning Program Director Randy Baker facilitates a problem-solving discussion about real-world conflicts that arise in the workplace.

Learning Program Director Randy Baker facilitates a problem-solving discussion about real-world conflicts that arise in the workplace.

This wouldn’t be possible without friends like you.  Thanks for your part in giving men a hand-up, not just a hand-out.

New Life Program Counselor Joe McAvinney leads a Life Skills Class on preparing financially for the future, wise money management and budgeting

New Life Program Counselor Joe McAvinney leads a Life Skills Class on preparing financially for the future, wise money management and budgeting

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Photo reflections

Photographer Jacqueline Horning and some of her friends spent an afternoon at the Mission.  Here’s what they saw:

See her photo blog here

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Vince’s Story

Vince for web“I drank from the age of 17 to 48. I couldn’t imagine life without drinking. But I feel great now. It’s amazing what God can do.

A few months ago, the Mission hired me to be the full-time Food Service Supervisor. I’ve always felt called to ministry. I love being able to serve the men in this way.

Jesus says a tree is known by its fruit (Matt. 7:20). I want my life to be a testimony to what God has done for me. I want to bear good fruit.”

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