Category Archives: Real Stories

Going Somewhere

Each year, we put out over $16.5K in essential carfare expenses for men in our New Life Program to access medical care and education, to find employment, and to take care of legal issues.

This is what free access to transportation means to a homeless man working hard to get back on his feet:

IMG_8080Brelan – “I’ve had to go to court at 13th & Filbert twice so far, and I go next week, too. If I didn’t have SEPTA tokens to get there, there would e a warrant for my arrest.” Now, as Brelan works hard to do the right and get his life on track, he can focus on putting one step in front of the other and moving forward.

Isaiah and MikeIsaiah & Mike – Isaiah and Mike are both facing surgery on their hands. Mike lost the tip of his finger from an injury he sustained. Isaiah broke his hand and found out it needs to be set with a pin. Neither one would have taken care of their injuries without carfare to get to the hospital. Now, they can get proper treatment to heal.
UPDATE: Both Isaiah and Mike have had their surgeries and are healing well.

IMG_2112 (1)Leonard – The Mission provided carfare for Leonard to get to and from school for orientation and classes, and to go job hunting. Now, Leonard is glad he has the means to purchase his own SEPTA key card for his part time job and school. He couldn’t have gotten started on this path without the transportation help up front.

IMG_8094Michael – Michael is an accomplished chef. He did much of his job searching strategically online. But eventually he needed to go to an interview at Wesley Enhanced Living – Pennypack where he cooked his way into a job at his 2nd interview. Without carfare, his new job would not have been possible.

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Christmas 2017 Video

For men experiencing homelessness, the holidays can be a hard. The Mission family wishes to extend a great big THANK YOU to everyone who gave to make this Christmas special for the men of the Whosoever Gospel Mission and their families.

Check out this short video that gives you a taste of our Christmas celebration.


Thank You for a great Christmas!Thank you to everyone who donated to make Christmas special for the men of the Mission!

Posted by Whosoever Gospel Mission on Friday, January 12, 2018


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Giving Gifts, Building Bridges

IMG_7499When someone struggles with unemployment, an addiction, or other issues that can end up leading to homelessness, family relationships suffer. Many of the men here at the Mission working hard to overcome these and other barriers to successful, productive, independent living desire to rebuild and strengthen those relationships – especially with their children.

Because of the generosity of  countless donors, this Christmas residents and graduates of the New Life Program lovingly selected and wrapped approximately 1,550 gifts for 227 of their children. The gifts are from the men – not the Mission. Each toy purchased and donated to the Mission is a gift to a dad  – it’s the gift of being a dad, of having the joy of giving a present to his child.

It’s also a gift to a kid – the gift of a dad – a dad with whom to play catchphrase or Candy Land or to throw that football.

Thank you, all who gave! Here are a few photos of the festivities:

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The Mission family is thankful for much!

Enjoying the fellowship at our 2016 Thanksgiving Day Feast

Enjoying the fellowship at our 2016 Thanksgiving Day Feast

When asked what they’re thankful for, this is what our men shared:

  • The opportunity to get myself together
  • Peace
  • Being clean today
  • Joy
  • God’s love
  • A place to be while I deal with my health problems
  • Grace and mercy
  • That Christ forgave me
  • Life
  • Peace of mind
  • Being clean and sober
  • A Savior that loves me no matter what I do
  • Having good people around me
  • The opportunity to come here and reestablish who I am
  • A place to call homes
  • The opportunity to interact with people here at the Mission
  • Everything!

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.
Psalm 118:1

Thank you for helping to make these blessings and so many others possible.

From our family to yours,

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Audience of One!

IMG_5980As they spoke to a packed chapel of (cheering) residents, staff and families at the Whosoever Gospel Mission, Wentz and Maragos both shared how Jesus gave them new life. Now their heart’s desire is to live in awe of Him and no one else. He is the One they want to make famous.

IMG_5974They admitted that fame can be intoxicating (they would know!). It’s also fleeting. When we live in awe of people or money or worldly goods, we end up disappointed. But when we live in awe of Jesus – the One who gave Himself for us, the One who is truly worthy of our worship and awe – then we can find and enjoy our proper place in this world. The struggle to deny ourselves and our own pride is tough, though. Thankfully, it’s not one we face alone.

We need to be rooted in the Word of God.

IMG_5958Maragos shared Jesus’ prayer to the Father in John 17:17: “Sanctify them in the truth. Your Word is truth.” God uses His Word to peel back the layers of our hearts and lives, to wash us and renew us, to make us more like Jesus as we walk in Him. We need to diligently study the Bible and ask God to teach us through His Word.

We need each other.

Walking with Jesus is not something we do alone. It’s like a team sport – we need each other to reach the goal. What’s the goal? Making the name of the Lord famous in all the earth as we share the love of Jesus with everyone!

IMG_5927How do we accomplish the goal? We accomplish it as the whole Body of Christ works together in the church, building each other up as we seek to love God and others. It’s a church where a homeless man in a rescue mission working to rebuild his life and a famous NFL football player at the top of his game have the same rights, responsibilities, privileges and power. Jesus levels the playing field.

Let’s make His Name famous!

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Pounding the Pavement!


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.


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 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.


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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