HOPE FAMILY CENTER • DOOR OF FAITH BETHEL MISSION
GIVING HOPE. CHANGING LIVES.
“Each time I’ve moved an inch toward God, He’s moved 10 feet toward me,” Dirk
observes. But his journey hasn’t been easy. “My brothers were real party animals and I
idolized them. I was the golden child who got great grades. I decided that wasn’t very
cool. I wanted to get great grades and be a party animal, too.”
While in college, Dirk married and soon one of his brothers introduced the
newlyweds to methamphetamine. College became a thing of the past. Dirk joined the
Army Reserves and stayed clean for a while, but meth was hard to resist. “We were so
young and vain. We thought we were bullet proof,” he admits. When meth began to
dominate their lives, the marriage failed.
Dirk says joining Narcotics Anonymous was his first step toward God. “I went to
NA a chest-thumping atheist, but I was amazed to see drug addicts who were clean and
happy. When my sponsor told me I should pray, I started by praying, God if you’re there,
and I don’t know if you are . . .”
Dirk met and married a recovering addict, but when hardship struck, temptation
won again. “The bottom fell out. We were losing our house, selling our belongings,
and stealing for drug money. I ended up spending some time in jail.” When the couple
reunited, they repeated the old patterns. Soon Dirk’s wife went to jail and their 3-year-old
daughter was taken away.
Ironically, Dirk’s brother was instrumental in his coming to Hope Ministries.
“He had gotten sober in church,” Dirk explains. “He encouraged me to go to a
faith-based recovery program. That was God.”
“My welcome to Hope Ministries’ Door of Faith was awesome. Cole
(program director) took me where I was and talked to me where I was. God
changed my life completely in three months. I take my sin personally now,
because I’m hurting Someone I love—God.”
Dirk and his wife are excited about renewing their vows in church
in 2007. “My wife got saved the first week she was in jail. We pray and
share through the prison glass. I know now God’s plan is better than
mine. He came to me on my own self-centered terms. First I believed
in ‘god’ with a little ‘g,’ then a very distant God. Now I know He’s
right here with me.”
The lyrics to the song Just As I Am were written by
Door of Faith Charlotte Elliot in 1836. Miss Elliott was introduced
to a minister by the name of Cesar Malan who told her
he hoped she was a Christian. Though offended at the
Hope Family time, when she met Malan again three weeks later, she
Center asked him how to come to Christ. “Just come to Him as
you are,” he replied.
This is the message we want to convey to every
homeless person who comes to Hope Ministries. Just as
Hope Bargain and Christ welcomes and pardons us, we want to welcome
Community Outreach and share His pardon with others.
Center In this issue, you’ll meet several men and women
who found welcome, pardon, cleansing and relief
P.O. Box 862 through the ministry of Hope Ministries. God bless you
Des Moines, IA 50304-0862 for your partnership. Together, let’s continue to welcome
the lost just as they are!
www.hopeiowa.org President/CEO Leon Negen and his
Donate online. family enjoy the Great Thanksgiving
Banquet along with hundreds of
hungry and homeless guests.
Mission of Hope 2006 ended January 15. This
You Helped Provide
valuable annual campaign allowed us to raise
about half of the resources we’ll need to fund our
programs and services for the coming year. I,
along with my staff and board, thank you for your generosity and
Your partnership has made it possible for obvious compassion for the hungry and homeless of Des Moines.
Hope Ministries to provide the services below.
Thanks so much!
Total nights of shelter 45,966
Total meals served 106,045
STAR recovery graduates 16
Number veterans served 327
Nights of shelter since Jan. 2001 223,001
Meals served since Jan. 2001 639,752
A strange and wonderful thing happens to your
We’ve updated our Web site to
donations to our Bargain Center—they turn into food and
include our greatest needs and shelter for the homeless!
most-wished-for volunteer New and gently used clothing, household goods, small
positions for 2007. You’ll also appliances and other items are displayed for purchase or
find testimonies, a description King’s Closet voucher exchange. Sales put money into
of our Journey of Hope continuum Hope Ministries’ general fund, ultimately providing food,
shelter and recovery for homeless men, women and children.
of care and ways to give online! Check it out
Thanks for providing relief for the needy through your donations!
at www.hopeiowa.org! (Read more about our Bargain Center on pages 4 and 5.)
GOD WANTS ME Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
JUSTAS I AM Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Men and women come to Hope Ministries with broken hearts, broken bodies and broken lives.
There’s no need to fake a smile or pretend everything is okay when you walk through our doors—we’ll
take you just as you are because that’s how God takes each and every one of His children. Here, Jenni,
a resident at Hope Family Center, shares how she’s gone from brokenness to blessing.
When Jenni first came to Hope Ministries, she really didn’t want to be here.
Being homeless and temporarily losing custody of her children was too much, and
Jenni says, she broke down and cried. “The staff at Hope Family Center comforted
me,” she recalls. “They let me talk about my problems and helped me find
solutions.” Now Jenni feels better every day. “I always feel like I’m being heard and
that’s why I’m feeling more positive. Being here is a hard thing, but a good thing.
The staff here is awesome.”
God’s forgiveness is a new idea to Jenni, but she’s excited about learning more.
“I’m slowly getting it,” she says. “At first I thought I just didn’t want to hear anymore
about it. Then, even while I was struggling with being here, I realized I was listening
to Christian music on the radio and enjoying reading my Bible. I wasn’t doing it
because I had to. I wanted to do it for myself.”
Jenni may understand more then she realizes about God’s love and forgiveness.
In a recent telephone conversation, she told her children’s father, “You have to pray.
You have to surrender your will to God.” Jenni is now taking a Grace 101 class at
Hope Family Center and is looking into the meaning of baptism at the church she
now regularly attends.
Jenni knows the journey has been worth the cost. “I got my kids back at the
end of October, just in time to be with my 6-year-old, Dylan, on his birthday,” she
says with delight. Her daughter, Alyssa, will be 5 years old in January. “I have an
awesome family,” Jenni says. “They’re very supportive. My parents are getting older
and I want them to know everything’s going to be okay. I am blessed to have my
family and the people at Hope Ministries. They’re my friends.”
Each of Hope Family Center’s three ranch-style houses at 3333 E.
Adopt-A-Room at University has eight bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, dining room and
bathrooms. You can help make these temporary living spaces like home
Hope Family Center
for little ones like Alyssa and Dylan, and their moms, by adopting one
or more rooms. Adopting requires a financial commitment and limited
decorating. Call David Burrier, (515) 265-7272, to learn more.
Hope Ministries provides a continuum of care for our residents. Learn more about it on our
Web site at www.hopeiowa.org. With your partnership, we can offer men, women and children
welcome, Christ’s pardon and real hope for the future. Thanks so much!
The back and front of this pull-out page have numerous ways you or your group can bring hope and healing to the homeless
and near-homeless of Des Moines—a mission field right in your own backyard.
Please take a moment to read through these opportunities.
Then put your faith in action when you:
Get your church, school, civic group or workplace involved
Become a VIP volunteer Hearts for Hope
• Donate an item from our needs lists
• Call to schedule a tour or speaker
• Check our Web site at www.hopeiowa.org or call
(515) 265-7272 to learn more!
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Do you have a
heart for homeless
Souper Bowl Sunday
Make Super Bowl Sunday a Souper Bowl
women and their
children? Then mark
your calendars now
Sunday and collect canned or packaged soup and plan to attend our
for Hope Family Center. Ask your church to allow you Fourth Annual Hearts
to collect cans of soup from folks as they leave the service for Hope Women’s
Sunday, February 4. Or, set up a box for your collection Tea, Saturday, May 5.
in your church lobby. Let us know your church is Community State
participating so we can arrange to have volunteers pick up Bank of Des Moines Emcee Caitlin Coyner,
your collection. Thanks! is underwriting this morning anchor for KCCI TV8.
elegant event for
women only at the West Des Moines Marriott
and tickets are free. Each attendee will have an
opportunity to give generously during the tea and
100 percent of the proceeds will benefit Hope
“The Hearts for Hope Women’s Tea is our
annual fundraiser for Hope Family Center,” notes
David Burrier, chief development officer at Hope
Ministries. “Attendees will hear from homeless
women who have gone
from brokenness to
Purpose-driven Work Day
blessing through Hope
Family Center’s recovery
Hope Bargain Center’s sign says it all! It’s a great
Cut out and share!
To learn more,
place for anyone to find a bargain, plus it provides crucial watch your mail for a
household goods and clothing for families living on the personal invitation to the
edge of poverty. 2007 Hearts for Hope
Hope Ministries sponsors Purpose-driven Work Days Women’s Tea or visit
each Saturday at Hope Bargain Center, located at www.hopeiowa.org. To
4950 Old E. University Avenue in Pleasant Hill. You or host a table, call (515)
your group can volunteer to sort, box and display clothing 265-7272 today!
and other donated items from 9 a.m.-noon or noon-3 p.m.
—or both! Call (515) 265-7272 to schedule.
The Great Commission
Therefore go and make
disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of
Is Our Greatest Ambition the Father and of the Son and
of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19
Chris Adair and
Church of the
Cross are buried
in their church’s
In 2006, Hope Ministries donations to
initiated the King’s Closet program, Hope Ministries!
Hope Ambassador Program
operated from our Bargain Center,
to provide for the material needs of
impoverished and homeless men,
women and children. Knowing Ambassadors are diplomats sent out by one country to another as an official
we could reach more needy people representative, says the dictionary. Hope Ministries’ Church Ambassadors are
through collaborations, we invited “voices of Hope” representing the mission field right in your backyard to churches
churches and other social service throughout metropolitan Des Moines.
organizations to become authorized “We currently have 23 Church Ambassadors representing 14 churches and a
King’s Closet agencies. variety of denominations,” enthuses Erin Dobraska, church relations coordinator
Today, free clothing vouchers for Hope Ministries.
Cut out and share!
can be obtained through 14 Church Ambassadors meet quarterly to exchange ideas and improve the
agencies, including Lutheran program. “Ambassadors also receive regular e-mails or letters giving them updates
Church of the Cross, Park Avenue on urgent needs, events, prayer requests and praise reports,” Erin says. “Our goal
Christian Church, Westkirk is to have 50 ambassadors by July 2007!”
Presbyterian Church, Indianola Would you like to be a “voice of Hope” for your church? Contact us at
Heights Evangelical Free Church, (515) 265-7272 or email@example.com. We look forward to linking our mission
Beacon of Life, Young Women’s field to your church!
Resource Center, Generations
Holidays of Hope
Inc., Iowa Homeless Youth Shelter,
Children and Families Urban
Ministries, Freedom for Youth,
Christian Community Food Pantry So many wonderful people came together to make Thanksgiving and Christmas
of Altoona, Spectrum, Inc. and a blessing for the hungry and homeless! Here’s just a sample of our holiday fun.
Each church serving as a
Friends from the street
King’s Closet authorized agency
gather for the Great
must be represented by a Hope
Ambassador (see article on this
page) and must agree to hold an
annual clothing drive.
We appreciate these
partnerships and anticipate
broadening our scope even
further in the future. To learn more
about becoming an authorized
King’s Closet agency or church, The cheerful and enthusiastic faces
contact us at (515) 265-7272 or of volunteers made holiday meals
firstname.lastname@example.org. even more festive and fun!
G UNDERSON valentino
“For People Like Me” At the recent wake for
Valentino, a once-homeless
“Sig was a small man with a Goliath personality,” says man who often depended
Fred Lehman, a longtime counselor at Hope Ministries’ Bethel on Hope Ministries
Mission. “He backed many a staff member into the corner with his
for support, there was
instructive finger, warning us to always love the men God sent us.”
Sig Gundersen’s life was ordered by the years he spent in the standing room only.
military. But in his mid-20s, he started drinking and, as a result, “Much of his life was made
says Fred, “He’d often sober up and realize he’d met and married a up of bad choices and
woman during an alcoholic blackout.”
hard knocks,” says David
When Sig’s military career ended, he continued to drink and
wandered aimlessly around the United States, until he finally landed Burrier, chief development
at Bethel Mission. Here, Christ welcomed, saved and changed him. officer at Hope Ministries.
Sig never really left the Mission after that, Fred muses. “He “But he spent the last
served on our staff as a canteen clerk then as head of the laundry for
15 years. When his health forced him into retirement, he moved three years of his life
into a small room at a local hotel but continued to walk the long evangelizing; he
hill from downtown Des Moines to eat and fellowship with the staff loved Jesus.”
and guests at Bethel Mission.
Sig’s life continued to reflect his military background. “He Nate Vaill, a Hope
was extremely organized in his life, attire and possessions. He Ministries supporter, wrote
would give away his older furniture, replacing them with carefully recently, “To be in Val’s
chosen items that fit spaces precisely,” Fred recalls. On the walls
hung photos of several overseas orphans Sig supported. A telegraph presence was to sense His
operator in the Army, he continued to communicate through presence. He had not been
a telegraph pad with friends he’d made over shortwave radio a Christian very long but
throughout the years.
it was genuine and fervent,
Sig Gundersen quietly moved on to his real home in heaven
November 2006, leaving his entire estate to Hope Ministries—a though in a quiet way.
significant inheritance he’d received from his mother’s estate a few Even in his last two days,
years earlier. A year before his death, Sig told Chief Development
he still hoped God would
Officer David Burrier, “I want to give my entire inheritance to
Hope Ministries so that after I die, people like me have a place to allow him to reach others
eat, too. coming out of prison
The staff, volunteers and homeless guests who knew and loved with the message of
Sig Gundersen will miss his droll smile, his wit and wisdom and
his presence. We praise God for the time we shared with this the Gospel.”
Often we believe the blessing goes only one way, but as you can see from the two lives described here, we
have much to learn and many blessings to receive from ministering to the homeless. Please contact David
Burrier, (515) 265-7272, if you’d like to build a partnership with Hope Ministries and the people we serve.