Author Archives: Whosoever Gospel Mission

Learning Program Highlights

 A word from our students

Mike proudly displays the "A" he received on his homework assignment

Mike proudly displays the “A” he received on his homework assignment

Mike: I love the Learning Program. My typing speed has improved from 30 characters per minute to 71, and I’m getting all A’s and B’s in my classes. I got my GED in 1994 but it’s been years since I’ve been in school. This is encouraging me to go on to cooking school and become a chef.

Eugene: Being in the lab makes me feel comfortable, and I love it because the teachers really want to help me – not just as a student but as a person.

 The Career Track Learning Program

The Career Track Learning Program is the educational component of the Whosoever Gospel Mission’s residential New Life Program for homeless men. The Mission’s teachers work together with each resident to craft an individualized learning plan based on his test scores, educational history, and his own personal goals to help him secure and flourish in a good job.

Eugene (right) works with Learning Program Director, Jason, on Vocational Discovery

Eugene (right) works with Learning Program Director, Jason, on Vocational Discovery

Our top-notch team of highly qualified and gifted teachers works together with a wonderful group of dedicated volunteer tutors to come alongside each man in the New Life Program to help him achieve his goals.

Formerly homeless men are equipped by God’s grace to succeed in the workplace and in life with weekly classes, one-on-one tutoring, extensive access to a state-of-the-art computer lab staffed by teachers, and an abundance of other resources right at their fingertips. New worlds of opportunity open up to men who are working hard to get back on their feet. Thanks for being a part of the Mission family and helping to open a bright new future to men who are ready for change!

Course Offerings:

Monday:
Professional & Vocational Development
Applied Math

Tuesday:
GED Prep 1
Overcomers (Addiction Recovery Support)
Communication Workshop
Inductive Bible Study – Group A
Communication Skills

Wednesday:
Introduction to Computers
Life Skills
College Skills
Math Processes
GED Prep 2
Math Foundations
Bible Research & Reflection

Thursday:
Inductive Bible Study – Group B
Computers
Overcomers (Addiction Recovery Support)

Computer Lab Hours:

Monday: 9:30 AM – 9:30 PM
Tuesday: 9:30 AM – 9:30 PM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 9:30 PM
Thursday: 9:30 AM – 9:30 PM
Friday: 9:30 AM – 4:15 PM
Saturday: 9:30 AM – 12:00 Noon

Individual Tutoring:

18 volunteers + 3 staff teachers provide 50+ hours of individual tutoring sessions each week to students.

Want to volunteer as a tutor? Call Heather at (215) 438-3094 x 103

Pictured below:
Learning Program awards received by students in the spring of 2019

Learning Program Awards March 2019

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From the Director ~ June 2019

IMG_8339-001Dear Friend of the Mission,

Can you imagine being 50 years old and being unable to read? What a hardship and what a heartache. We actually did teach one of our residents who is 50 years old to read. It was a wonderful sight to see him stand up in chapel and read something publicly for the first time in his 50 years. Years ago we had another resident whom we taught how to read. For the first time in his life, George was able to read a story to his 9-year-old daughter. In 1991, we decided to implement a Learning Program to help our men with adult basic education, GED preparation, life skills, job readiness skills, and computer skills. In order to make our Learning Program as effective as possible, we were advised by educators who specialize in adult learning that our Learning Lab should be teacher based and computer assisted rather than computer based using proctors with no teachers with college degrees on-site. The Lord was gracious, and we were able to secure a multi-year grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts. Pew agreed that a teacher based Learning Lab was far better than a computer based Learning Lab. For 18 consecutive years beginning in 1992, Pew funded what became known as our Career Track Learning Program. We were sad when their funding priorities changed, and our funding from Pew was discontinued. Pew had given us about 1/3 of our funding needed to operate the Career Track Learning Program. The Lord made up the difference, though, and our Learning Program continues today even more effective and comprehensive than when it began in 1992.

Your gifts to us truly are an investment in the lives of the homeless men who live at the Mission. Each of our men is enrolled in our intensive Career Track Learning Program. Our Learning Program is designed to equip our men with the knowledge, skills and resources they need to get a good job and to achieve long-term success as productive members of our community. We view each of our men as wonderfully created in the image of God, and we strive to help each of them become all that the Lord wants them to be. Your gifts to the Mission are never used to give a hand-out to our men, they are always used to give a hand-up.

We are entering the summer months when our donor giving usually drops off a bit. Homelessness never takes a vacation, and we are just as full in the summer as in the winter – our 55 beds are typically filled. Please consider giving a larger than usual gift to help us get through the summer months in good financial shape. Thanks!

Working together with you,

Bob signature

Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

Posted in From the Staff | Comments Off on From the Director ~ June 2019

Crisis Averted ~ Kevin’s Story

New Life Program resident Kevin is happy to be fighting the good fight

New Life Program resident Kevin is happy to be fighting the good fight

Crisis — that moment you’re sure life is over and there is no hope.

For New Life Program resident Kevin Wayns, his crisis was becoming homeless. He had been working two full-time jobs, living at home, and was spending all of his money on himself and his pleasures. Then suddenly, for the first time in his life, Kevin found himself arrested, unwanted and unable to go home. He was in crisis.  Kevin was ashamed to ask for help, but he felt the Lord nudging him to come to the Mission. So for the first time in a long time, he humbled himself, sought the Lord, and followed Him to the Whosoever Gospel Mission for help.

The Mission’s Overcomers’ meetings (our addiction recovery support groups) are a favorite time of Kevin’s. They remind him of the riches that are ours in Christ as he finds community, accountability, support, and encouragement to say no to his own passions and to take up his cross and follow Jesus. Renewed and reassured, Kevin is overcoming self a little more each day and fighting the good fight. He’s seeking ways to use his unique gifts to serve Christ and others. Men like Kevin—men in crisis—are coming to the Mission every day. And because Jesus has overcome the world, so can they.

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From the Director ~ April/May 2019

Bob Emberger, Executive Director

Bob Emberger, Executive Director

Dear Friend of the Mission,

We care deeply about the families of our men! And we especially celebrate when a resident is able to restore, strengthen and enjoy his relationship with his family as never before. The families of our men are always welcome to visit the Mission to see their loved one. In fact, we encourage our men to invite their families to enjoy a meal at the Mission or to attend one of our chapel services. After serving 30 years at the Mission, I never tire of hearing the happy sound of children laughing and playing as they spend time with their dad at the Mission.

Every day your gifts are being used by the Lord to accomplish a lot of good things in the lives of our men. I think, though, that one of the most important things your gifts help to make happen is the healing and strengthening of our men and their families. I think you will enjoy this story about Hantz and his delightful daughter, Teeyah. I have also had the privilege of meeting Hantz’s mom and dad when they would drop him off at the Mission after spending time together. You can be greatly encouraged knowing that when you invest in the lives of our men, you are also investing in the lives of everyone they touch. Your gift is a gift that will keep on giving for generations and generations.

Thank you in advance for your support. While we work hard to be good stewards of your gifts, to use them wisely and carefully, we still need over $3,800 each day to pay our bills. When you think of all that the Mission does for the 55 homeless men who live at the Mission on any given day, $3,800 a day for 55 men is a pretty good bargain ($69.00 per day per man!). Years ago a reporter from the Philadelphia Daily News did an article on the Mission. When I told him all that we do for our men, he asked me how many staff we have and what is our budget. He was stunned that we do so much with so little. This interview was several years ago, and a lot has changed since then. But I would daresay that this same reporter would be even more amazed today that we do so much for our 55 homeless men with so little. We need your generous support more than ever to keep our life-giving, life-changing and life-saving ministry going.

I thank you, and so do Hantz and Teeyah!

Warm regards,

Bob signature

 

 

Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

Posted in From the Staff, Uncategorized | Comments Off on From the Director ~ April/May 2019

Hantz’s Story

Hantz with his daughter, Teeyah

Hantz with his daughter, Teeyah

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Hantz came to the Whosoever Gospel Mission on March 28, 2018 with a bandage on his right arm and apprehension in his heart. At his lowest point, he found himself homeless, malnourished, and addicted. The last time he was in Germantown, he was using drugs. Now, he was coming to enter the New Life Program.

Not long before, Hantz was in the hospital waking up from a coma. He had to relearn to walk while nursing a serious addiction-related wound that nearly cost him his arm. Hantz knew that the Lord had spared his life and his limbs. He also knew that he needed Jesus.

When Hantz came to the Mission, his heart was ready for the good news of the Gospel – that in Christ there is forgiveness and hope, there’s a way forward out of the shame. He soaked up the messages in chapel and began to grow in confidence and a sense of purpose. He realized the Lord had placed two big tasks in front of him – pursuing his career and reconnecting with his family.

Hantz in his school uniform

Hantz in his school uniform

While in the hospital, Hantz was deeply touched by the kindness of two particular people – a CNA named Derrick and an RN named Nicole. When they cared for him, they made him feel human. Their small acts of kindness – a word of encouragement, a gentle tone of voice, a smile – had a huge impact. Hantz was ready to give up and die. But they gave him a reason to want to press on. He saw the difference kindness makes and thought to himself, “I have the power to do that.”

Currently, Hantz is addiction-free and enrolled in the Prism Career Institute to become a Licensed Practical Nurse – his first step toward becoming an RN. He plans to stay at the Mission until he graduates from school and launches into his nursing career. He loves serving others and spreading kindness and joy. As for reuniting with family, they’ve welcomed him with open arms. Nothing has brought Hantz more joy than spending time with his 8-year-old daughter, Teeyah – she’s the apple of his eye.

Teeyah finds Hantz's reindeer costume amusing

Teeyah finds Hantz’s reindeer costume amusing

Teeyah's first day of 3rd grade

Teeyah’s first day of 3rd grade

Hantz thanks the Lord for using the Mission to remind him of his capabilities and show him how, in Christ, God always provides for and never forsakes His children. He’s grateful for a second chance at life.

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Join Us for Chapel April 27th!

old chapelDate:
Saturday, April 27, 2019

Time:
Service begins at 6:30 pm
Refreshments to follow at 8:00 pm

Cost: FREE
A freewill offering will be taken during the service. All proceeds help offer a hand-up rather than a hand-out to homeless men at the Whosoever Gospel Mission.

Location:
Calvary Presbyterian Church
405 Easton Rd., Willow Grove PA 19090
(On Rt. 611 heading north, on the right just above where
Routes 263 & 611 separate; or on the left heading south on
Rt. 611 from the PA Turnpike Willow Grove interchange)

Parking:
Calvary Presbyterian Church has a wonderful,
large on-site parking lot.

No RSVP needed:
Invite friends, family, church family & anyone
you wish to introduce to the Mission!

Men singing in chapel - oldFor 127 years, God has been working in the hearts of men and changing lives at the Whosoever Gospel Mission. The world has changed a bit, but the same message of the Gospel – the Good News of Jesus – continues to go forth every day in our chapel, just as it has for the past 127 years!

The Mission continues to be a place where God shines light into dark and lonely places, a place where hope is reborn in the hearts of struggling, homeless men. It’s a place where God’s love continues to melt fear, where His grace and mercy forgive sin, where His compassion covers shame, and His power strengthens the weak.

If you look inside the Mission, you will see a place where God delights to trade beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, and hope for weariness – not just in words, but in actual everyday life.

Men singing in chapel - newJoin us for a good old-fashioned chapel service (the kind we have seven days a week!) as we celebrate God’s faithfulness over these past 127 years! Enjoy an evening of firsthand testimonies, joyful singing, and an update on what God is doing in the life of the Mission. Fellowship with us after the service and enjoy refreshments with Mission residents, staff, our board of directors, volunteers, supporters, and friends! We hope to see you there!

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From the Director ~ March 2019

IMG_8339-001Celebrate with us 127 years of giving a home to the homeless!

Dear Friend of the Mission,

I hope you will join us for our annual Night of Celebration on Saturday, April 27, 2019 beginning at 6:30 pm. This is a fun and festive affair in which the homeless men who live at the Mission, our staff, our board members, our volunteers and hopefully YOU will come and join us to celebrate and thank the Lord for the Mission’s 127 years of life-giving, compassionate ministry to the poor and needy. There is no charge for this event, and the dress is casual. Come as you are, bring your family and friends, and enjoy a wonderful evening filled with good music, good fellowship, good testimonies and good food. Our theme this year is our chapel service. Every day, seven days a week and twice on Saturday, we conduct an uplifting chapel service that blesses our men, fills them with hope, encourages them to keep on keeping on and motivates them to do what has to be done to rebuild their lives. Our men will eagerly testify that the Mission’s chapel service is one of the best things about being at the Mission. In our chapels they hear the Good News of Jesus and are invited and empowered to fix their eyes on Him as they run with endurance the race that is set before them. For our Night of Celebration, we will be holding our regular Saturday evening chapel service. I know that you will be blessed! All of the details for our Night of Celebration are included below. I look forward to seeing you on Saturday, April 27. Let’s fill the church with joy and thanksgiving!

Last summer I mentioned that 10 years after the Mission reopened in 2008 from our catastrophic arson fire of 2006, a lot of our equipment and systems that were new 10 years ago were wearing out all at the same time. This year has proven to be more of the same. So far in our current fiscal year, we have spent more than $40,000 in plant repairs and equipment replacement. Our biggest ticket items were the replacement of our commercial 100 gallon hot water heater for $17,806 and the replacement of our Pitney-Bowes folder, inserter, and sealer machine for $17,501 (we do our monthly mailings in-house to save a lot of money). And then we had $5,800 in other miscellaneous plant repairs and equipment replacement costs. As you can imagine, these large expenses cleaned out our bank account. Please pray and give what you are able to give to keep our ministry to homeless men going strong. Thanks!

See you on April 27th!

Bob signature

Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

 

Celebrate with us!

Date:
Saturday, April 27, 2019

Time:
Service begins at 6:30 pm
Refreshments to follow at 8:00 pm

Location:
Calvary Presbyterian Church
405 Easton Rd., Willow Grove PA 19090
(On Rt. 611 heading north, on the right just above where
Routes 263 & 611 separate; or on the left heading south on
Rt. 611 from the PA Turnpike Willow Grove interchange)

Cost: FREE
A freewill offering will be taken during the service. All proceeds help offer a hand-up rather than a hand-out to homeless men at the Whosoever Gospel Mission.

Parking:
Calvary Presbyterian Church has a wonderful,
large on-site parking lot.

No RSVP needed:
Invite friends, family, church family & anyone
you wish to introduce to the Mission!

Posted in From the Staff | Comments Off on From the Director ~ March 2019

Worshiping the Famous One

Matthews, Jenkins, Tate, Ngata and Matthews’ dad serving lunch

Matthews, Jenkins, Tate, Ngata and Matthews’ dad serving lunch

4 Philadelphia Eagles & their families serve at the Mission on Christmas Eve

On the morning of December 24, 2018, the Mission family was busy getting ready for our annual Christmas Eve luncheon and chapel service. As we prepared the food and arranged all the presents for our residents, several volunteers showed up to help. Among them were four of the Philadelphia Eagles and their families.

They came quietly with no fanfare. It wasn’t about them – they didn’t want it to be. They snuck in under the radar to serve the Lord and our residents here at the Mission. Jordan Matthews, Malcolm Jenkins, Golden Tate, and Haloti Ngata served meatball sandwiches and sides while their kids handed out desserts. Together, the four families filled a gift bag for each of our men that they handed out after chapel. During chapel, several family members joined in our impromptu ladies’ choir to sing “What Child is This?”

Together, we sang Christmas carols, read Scripture, prayed and shared testimonies of God’s goodness. NFL players stood next to men who are often overlooked by society – men without homes or jobs, men struggling to get back on their feet. The highly regarded next to the oft forgotten – all stood worshiping Jesus, the Famous One who comes to bring life and healing to kings and shepherds, rich and poor, famous and invisible alike.

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From the Director ~ February 2019

Save the date for our annual Night of Celebration April 27, 2019
Details: 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Willow Grove, PA
Celebrate with us 127 years of God’s faithfulness. Enjoy delicious refreshments after the program. Admission is free. More details to follow.

IMG_9553Dear Friend of the Mission,

Please check out this fun and heart-warming collection of photos from our 2018 Christmas celebration filled with laughter, smiles, good food, toys, gifts and even four Eagles football players (and their families). Your financial gifts, gifts of new toys for the children and grandchildren of our men, gifts for our men and all sorts of other wonderful kindnesses made Christmas 2018 a delightfully amazing time at the Mission. Thank you for making Christmas for our men a time of celebration and joy rather than a sad time filled with loneliness, heartache, regrets and hopelessness. Our men and their families join with me in thanking you.

I also want to thank you for your kind and generous support throughout all of 2018! You have given us money, food, good used items for our thrift stores, laundry detergent, personal care items, office supplies, over-the-counter medicines, paper products, cleaning supplies, trash bags, new underwear and socks, pillows, good used grocery bags for our thrift stores and a host of other blessings. You have supported us financially through generous cash gifts, employee giving programs such as the United Way and the Combined Federal Campaign, gifts of stock, donor-advised grants, employer matching gift programs, and gift cards to stores we shop at for the Mission. You do so much – it is impossible to send a thank you note for everything that you do for us, but if I could, I would thank each of you individually and in person. The Mission is ultimately not about programs or buildings, but it is about loving broken and hurting homeless men with the love of Christ, giving them a hand-up and not just a hand-out, giving them a solid hope that changes their lives both now and forever. There are hundreds and even thousands of Mission graduates who are living good lives today because your gifts were used by the Lord to make a big difference in their lives through the Whosoever Gospel Mission.

With heartfelt thanks,

Bob signature

Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

Posted in From the Staff, Uncategorized | Comments Off on From the Director ~ February 2019

Christmas 2018

IMG_9494A great big thanks to our friends and donors for sharing your resources, time and love so generously this Christmas with our men! Here are a few of the festive highlights:

Our men and graduates selected and wrapped over 1,500 FREE toys and gifts for 201 of their kids and grandkids! Pray that the Lord uses these gifts as He works to restore family relationships!

Four members of the Philadelphia Eagles and their families came on Christmas Eve to serve our men lunch, hand out gifts, and worship the Lord with us in our chapel service. It was awesome to see famous football players and homeless men side by side singing songs of worship to Jesus. Thank you, Jordan Matthews, Malcolm Jenkins, Haloti Ngata, and Golden Tate!

Each man was blessed with about 2 dozen Christmas presents lovingly prepared for them by churches and families. This year’s gifts included gift cards, scarves, hats, gloves, socks, candy, professional portfolio folders, pens, thermal travel mugs, umbrellas, homemade treats and various other presents.

At a time when people can feel so alone, thank you for sharing the love of Jesus, our Emmanuel, God with us!

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