• Because of you, I'm graduating from college
• Ten Years ago you fed me and it changed my life
• I’m grateful for your ministry
• Near homeless experience—keep up the good work
• A story of validation
I served on Christmas Day with my family and it was a true blessing.
May God continue to work mightily through all of you.
When Christians who understand the Gospel see a poor person, they realize they are looking into a mirror.
My wife and I had the opportunity to work today at the Bethel Mission and just wanted to send you a note and thank you for the opportunity! We have enjoyed a very blessed life and to give back in a small way is so rewarding! The work you do is amazing and I want you to know it does not go unnoticed. The City of Des Moines is so blessed to have individual such as yourselves serving the homeless and needy. Thanks for all you do each and every day in an effort to make a difference in so many lives! Please don't hesitate to contact us for any future opportunities, it is always nice to do this for the holidays but we recognize that there are needs year round.
Again thanks to you and the entire staff, make it a Merry CHRISTmas and a blessed New Year!
Allen and Lisa
Dear Hope Ministries,
Thank you for the delicious turkey dinner delivered on Thanksgiving Day. The whole meal was perfect and the pie was so yummy, too.
And the quilt is so beautiful and covers my couch perfectly.
Also, I appreciated the prayer when the meal was delivered to make my back better (osteoporosis).
God bless your ministry. I am very thankful to you.
To Whom it May Concern,
I am writing in regard to a conversation I have recently had with a resident of your facility. It may have lasted 10-15 minutes but the content of the conversation could have filled volumes of books.
I have been asked to tour your facility as a guest several times to get an overview of what goes on in your mission program. I have always declined because I have always trusted in Hope Ministries.
I do not know who the teachers or counselors are at the SW 9th facility but I am very impressed with their teaching and counseling of those who reside at your facility. It was very refreshing to hear your resident expound biblical truths and the ways he has applied these truths in his life. The resident was very humble and gave all of the glory to God for his life changing experience and how he became saved at your facility. This individual knew and understood Scripture and how implemented in his life.
I just want to thank you for all that you have done for our community and those who have walked through your doors. I will always support your efforts in helping the lost in this world.
God bless you and your ministry!
A Bread of Life Partner (Hope Monthly Giving Partner)
I thought I would take a moment to drop you a note to say thank you for interviewing me last July and helping direct me to the right slot with Hope. You were key in moving things along in the process for me to end up where the Lord would have me.
I've been going out with Hope on the Streets since last summer and it is quite a blessing. I consider it a privilege to be a part of such a work.
Dear Hope Ministries,
I just wanted to drop you a little note to thank you for taking the time to take us on the tour Wednesday night! It was such a blessing not only to see the physical locations and programs that are in place, but to meet so many of the people who are being served and the passion behind the operation.
Thank you so much for sharing so many stories and faces, but also your passion. I can honestly say that it truly was infectious and that when I left, I truly did want to help with everything! Not only was our time there very convicting, but a call to action as well! Thank you so much for that! I truly cannot wait to serve!
Your sister in Christ - Always, Jenni
Thanks for doing what you do and for posting this info. on the website to spur me and others on to do good for the poor.
Love in Christ,
Thank you so much for the opportunity to volunteer on Easter Sunday. Lately I've been dealing with my father diagnosed with colon cancer, and helping him cope with the changes that have come with having his colon removed. He's been pretty depressed about it, and I just hate seeing him going through this. Anyway, when I came in to volunteer on Easter Sunday Iwas feeling pretty low. As I got into helping, my mood totally turned around. I was actually smiling for the first time in a long time! It's really true that helping others gets ourselves off our minds. I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate the opportunity to help out. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!
BECAUSE OF YOU, I’M GRADUATING FROM COLLEGE
“Thank you Jesus and Thank YOU!
Seven years ago, I walked up the stairs to Bethel for the second time.
This Sunday I will be walking up a set of stairs to receive my Bachelor’s degree.
Wherever the LORD leads me, I will keep Hope Ministries; the staff, administration, volunteers and the residents in my thoughts and prayers.”
Dear friends at Hope Ministries,
When I first received your letter in the mail, I assumed like most mailings I’ve received, to just send a donation and not pay much attention to the organization. But as I read your cover story about Harold and realized he was talking about Hope Ministries Bethel Rescue Mission, the tears rolled down my cheeks.
You see, about 10 years ago, I too was homeless, strung out on drugs with nowhere to go. A person I met invited me to a Christmas dinner at Bethel Mission.
That day, the chaplain on duty offered a prayer with words that spoke directly to me. He said that no matter what condition I found myself in, no matter who I may have hurt, no matter what wrong I may have done or sin committed, I was still precious in the sight of the Lord, loved, forgiven, that I still had a purpose for living and that no matter what, there was always hope.
I would like to say “thank you”, for the prayer as well as the meal I received that day.
While I didn’t go from there and turn my life around completely, I remembered those words.
I am pleased to say that I have been drug free for over 7 years and only by God’s good grace and love, have I been able to find my way to where I am today. I am happily married, buying a home, working a job and surrounded with people and family who love me. I’ve been a member of my church for seven years.
This year on Thanksgiving Day I will be celebrating my 45th birthday and I will also celebrate and give thanks for the way the Lord used the staff and volunteers at Hope Ministries through the Bethel Rescue Mission to minister to me on that day ten years ago.
Thank you for being there when I needed you, for the meal, for letting me be a part of your ministry and for allowing me to share my story with you.
God Bless you all!
I’M GRATEFUL FOR YOUR MINISTRY
I am so grateful for your ministry. I have a cousin on my husband's side that has been homeless in Des Moines before, came home and then left for Des Moines again around October. I had not spoken to him for a couple of years due to some family issues. But about 6 weeks ago, I could not get him off my mind. Every day that it was bitterly cold I thought of him cold, hungry, alone under the bridge where he had been found before. I prayed for him every day. Finally, I mentioned to my husband how I had been feeling and could not hold back the tears. We both agreed that God had been speaking to us to forgive him. More important, we felt driven to let him know that all was forgiven, that we love him and only want him to be safe, warm and fed. Last Friday I called about 12 different numbers in Des Moines trying to find information on how to find a homeless person. I just knew in my heart that I was going to find him and be able to actually talk to him. I finally got a hold of the Bethel Mission and the man gave me the number for the day room. I called and they paged my cousin. I could hear him answer the man that he was there. When he got on the phone I wanted to jump through the receiver and just hug him! I was so grateful to find that the Bethel Mission was taking care of him. I am familiar with the Bethel ministry. After speaking to him, I called his mother to tell her I had found him. She was elated because her and his dad had given up hope of ever finding him again. They had been praying for him that God would send someone to find him. Since that night, both parents have talked to him and we are all so happy! We know that he wants to stay in Des Moines and that is ok. We just want to help him live a good life. Thank you! Thank you! for your ministry.
God Bless you,
NEAR HOMELESS EXPERIENCE –
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
Although we have supplied donations to Hope Ministries in the past, this is the first time we have had a few days of a “near experience” of being homeless.
Our electricity, heat & telephone were out for over 48 hours. During that time we were very cold. I can’t imagine living in the Iowa winters without shelter! God Bless you for your support of those in need. Please accept this $50.00 contribution to help those in need.
Keep up the good work!
Yours in Christ,
R. L. J
A STORY OF VALIDATION
One day a woman was walking down the street when she spied a beggar sitting on the corner. The man was elderly, unshaven, and ragged. As he sat there, pedestrians walked by him giving him dirty looks They clearly wanted nothing to do with him because of who he was -- a dirty, homeless man. But when she saw him, the woman was moved to compassion.
It was very cold that day and the man had his tattered coat -- more like an old suit coat rather than a warm coat -- wrapped around him. She stopped and looked down. "Sir?" she asked. "Are you all right?"
The man slowly looked up. This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new. She looked like that she had never missed a meal in her life. His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before. "Leave me alone," he growled.
To his amazement, the woman continued standing. She was smiling -- her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows. "Are you hungry?" she asked.
"No," he answered sarcastically. "I've just come from dining with the president. Now go away."
The woman's smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm. "What are you doing, lady?" the man asked angrily. "I said to leave me alone."
Just then a policeman came up. "Is there any problem, ma'am?" he asked.
"No problem here, officer," the woman answered. "I'm just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?"
The officer scratched his head. "That's old Jack. He's been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?"
"See that cafeteria over there?" she asked. "I'm going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile."
"Are you crazy, lady?" the homeless man resisted. "I don't want to go in there!" Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up. "Let me go, officer. I didn't do anything."
"This is a good deal for you, Jack," the officer answered. "Don't blow it."
Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived. The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by the table. "What's going on here, officer?" he asked. "What is all this. Is this man in trouble?"
"This lady brought this man in here to be fed," the policeman answered.
"Not in here!" the manager replied angrily. "Having a person like that here is bad for business."
Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. "See, lady. I told you so. Now if you'll let me go. I didn't want to come here in the first place."
The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled. "Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?"
"Of course I am," the manager answered impatiently. "They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms."
"And do you make a goodly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?"
"What business is that of yours?"
"I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company."
The woman smiled again. "I thought that might make a difference." She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle. "Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?"
"No thanks, ma'am," the officer replied. "I'm on duty."
"Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?"
"Yes, ma'am. That would be very nice."
The cafeteria manager turned on his heel. "I'll get your coffee for you right away, officer."
The officer watched him walk away. "You certainly put him in his place," he said.
"That was not my intent. Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this." She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently. "Jack, do you remember me?"
Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes "I think so -- I mean you do look familiar."
"I'm a little older perhaps," she said. "Maybe I've even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry."
"Ma'am?" the officer said questioningly. He couldn't believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.
"I was just out of college," the woman began. "I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn't find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat."
Jack lit up with a smile. "Now I remember," he said. "I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy."
"I know," the woman continued. "Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble. Then, when I looked over, I saw you put the price of my food in the cash register. I knew then that everything would be all right."
"So you started your own business?" Old Jack said.
"I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I started my own business that, with the help of God, prospered." She opened her purse and pulled out a business card. "When you are finished her e, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons. He's the personnel director of my company. I'll go talk to him now and I'm certain he'll find something for you to do around the office." She smiled. "I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet And if you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you."
There were tears in the old man's eyes. "How can I ever thank you," he said.
"Don't thank me," the woman answered. "To God goes the glory. Thank Jesus. He led me to you."
Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways. "Thank you for all your help, officer," she said.
"On the contrary, Ms. Eddy," he answered. "Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget. And... And thank you for the coffee."
She frowned. "I forgot to ask you whether you used cream or sugar. That's black."
The officer looked at the steaming cup of coffee in his hand. "Yes, I do take cream and sugar -- perhaps more sugar than is good for me." He patted his ample stomach.
"I'm sorry," she said.
"I don't need it now," he replied smiling. "I've got the feeling that this coffee you bought me is going to taste as sweet as sugar."