Real Christmas Joy

Dear Friend,

With the holiday season right around the corner, I pray that your heart is filled with joy and glad tidings. I love the weeks leading up to Christmas, with all the warm memories and time to spend with friends and family.

Don’t get me wrong, I know there’s a lot of stress, too, with Christmas shopping and too many things to do. But working here at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, I’m reminded every day that my holiday stress is nothing compared to the paralyzing loneliness, desperation and hopelessness that many of our struggling neighbors experience.

The season can be hard for homeless men whose addictions cost them their family, and homeless single moms who have no money for presents or food for their kids. While most of us celebrate a season of bright hope, our homeless neighbors struggle with regret and discouragement.

But thanks to your generosity and compassion, men, women and children at MRM experience real Christmas joy. The holiday meals, the gifts wrapped in love and the caring support they receive here all help lead hurting people that much closer to the real miracle — the gift of a new life. And our Christmas celebration of Christ coming to Earth reminds us of the promise He would bring — good news and joy for all the people.

As you read this newsletter, I hope you see how you are giving the gift of hope and new life to hurting people this holiday season. Thank you for your friendship and support, and may your holidays always be filled with the love of our Savior.

I thank God for you,

Patrick H. Vanderburgh, D.Min.