History of The Hagar House

The Hagar House was founded in 2021 by local Wausau woman, Jessica Bretl. She first had a vision for this home 10 years earlier when she unexpectedly found herself parenting alone. It was through her own personal experience of heartache, and struggle that she felt the Lord calling her to help other single moms in the same manner she had been supported. The vision was for a Christ-centered, long-term home where other single mom families would be offered respite, support and time to rebuild their lives.

After years of living as a single mom and patiently waiting, God started working in miraculous ways to help make this home a reality. He brought together a team to pray, plan, and apply for federal nonprofit status. Soon, the community of Wausau and surrounding areas came together to support the mission – to free single mothers from cycles of crisis through a Christ-centered community.

The team drove the city streets praying for a location to call home, and within weeks God led us to the perfect property. This 10 year long calling became a reality in the fall of 2022 when The Hagar House opened its doors in the historic district of downtown Wausau. Jessica still manages her life as a single mother of two great kids, and is now honored to add the role Executive Director of The Hagar House.


Matt and the House

God may have planted the vision for this home in the heart of a single mom, but he used the salvation and surrender of this man to launch its beginning. The date written in this Bible pictured here was the catalyst for The Hagar House becoming a reality.

Matt Poindexter was a gun instructor from MN who traveled to Wausau, WI regularly to teach at Zingers and Flingers. In August 2020, he met and struck up a friendship with two women who were taking his class, one of them being Jessica Bretl.

Jessica shared the hope of the gospel with Matt and everywhere he turned after that he could not ignore the call of God to surrender his life to Him. Matt prayed to receive Christ on the evening of Sept. 20th, 2020. The very next morning he asked God to use his new life in Christ in a BIG way.

At the same time 3 hours away in Wausau, Jessica woke up out of a dead sleep with an urgent reminder of the calling God had given her 10 years ago. A vision for a home where single moms, like her, could rebuild their lives. God even specifically brought the name, The Hagar House, to mind.

Only moments later Matt called, and Jessica hesitantly shared the overwhelming details of how God had woken her up. As Matt heard about The Hagar House for the first time on the morning of the 21st, he knew God had just answered his prayer.

Shortly after, Matt sold everything in MN and moved to the Wausau area, committed to helping The Hagar House become a reality.

The Hagar House was founded in May of 2021, and God brought the perfect property a few months later. Matt personally secured the property for The Hagar House, allowing them to both begin renovations on the home and raise funds to purchase.

Central WI now has a thriving nonprofit home that is committed to “freeing single mothers from cycles of crisis through a Christ-centered community.”

This account of how God used ordinary people to open The Hagar House is proof that anything is possible with God.

To Him be all the glory.

Scroll to Top