Voice July 2018 Newsletter

Shirley Enjoys God's Gift of Answered Prayers

When Shirley arrived at UGM’s Simonka Place for Women and Children last spring, she knew her way around. This was her fifth time here and her second in our New Life Fellowship recovery program. However, this time something was different. Shirley was finally ready to succeed.

Since she left the program in 2015, Shirley says, much had changed in her life. “My attitude, my age, my heart, my mind. I think I’ve mellowed a lot.” Growing up in an abusive household had led Shirley to start drinking at an early age. Years of addiction to alcohol and drugs cost Shirley her job, her home and her family. “Things just kept getting worse and worse.” During some of her toughest times, Shirley came to Simonka Place for help.

“When we come here, it’s always out of desperation, but that’s how God gets us to come.” Rejected by her children, Shirley had gone on a two-week drug binge and hitch-hiked to Salem to stay with a friend. “We got drunk and high,” she recalls, “and the next day he brought me here.” When Shirley walked through the doors of Simonka Place for the fourth time in 2017, it was very humbling. But she wasn’t alone. “I had a lot of friends who were here before. I wanted what they had. I said, ‘If they could do it, I can do it.’”

Equipped with hope and inspired by her friends, Shirley knew God was protecting her. I had a new outlook. I wasn’t fighting every step of the way. I got my GED this time right away!” Focused and sober, Shirley reconciled with her family and met her newest granddaughter, Athena. A month later, Shirley was baptized and her family came to celebrate with her.

“I have hope now. I see my future coming back,” says Shirley. “My heart and passion is to work with the elderly. I wish I could do hospice care."

Since coming to Simonka Place, Shirley says God has been so good to her, she feels spoiled. “I’m not asking for riches or anything, just the love of my family. Every time I pray about something that’s good, all my prayers get answered.”

Isabel Lua, UGM of Salem Mission Store Manager

Equipped with Hope

When asked how I would describe a typical day in our Mission Store, I always say that every day is different. We are continually sorting through a steady stream of donated clothes, furniture, household goods and other items. Unlike a regular retail store, though, we never know what we’re going to get.

Union Gospel Mission of Salem is a lot like that. Men, women and children come to us every day for help, each one with a unique story to tell. I often meet guests when they come to the store with a clothing voucher. We treat each individual with dignity, show them the grace of God and equip them with hope.

When guests graduate from our New Life Fellowship program, we often see them again to provide furniture and household goods for their home. I’ve even hired some to work in the store. Most recently Laurie, who was featured in April’s Voice. I’m always encouraged to see how our heavenly Father has transformed their lives. You are a huge part of that transformation when you donate to and shop at our Mission Store.

We have a unique opportunity to share God’s grace through our store. Some of our customers come in with needs and we stop right there and pray for them! Often, they come back with praise for what God did in their lives. I’d love to see you here as a donor, a customer or a member of our UGM family. Please stop in and say hi!

Isabel Lua, UGM of Salem Mission Store Manager

Meet Our Newest Team Member!

You might remember Laurie, who was featured in the April issue of Voice. Laurie recently joined our Mission Store team as a sales clerk. “I love working here!” she says. “I love working with people who give back.” Laurie shared about her experience when she was in the New Life Fellowship program and shopping at the Mission Store with her clothing voucher.

“I felt like a person when I shopped here. It was a gift to pick out my own outfits. I felt special and accepted here.”

Now as a Mission Store employee, Laurie sees women in the program shopping for clothes and states that she loves seeing their lives transformed. God has been moving in Laurie’s life since graduation in other ways. Laurie was recently reunited with her daughter who, she hadn’t spoken with in eight years. “I am full of joy for what the Lord has done for me.”

Take a visit to the UGM of Salem Mission Store on Saturday, August 4 for the first annual Mission Store Back to School Extravaganza! All kids clothes will be $4.95 or under! Enjoy bouncy houses, food, games and other super deals all day long!

Thank You for Making a Difference!

Thanks to everyone who walked or volunteered at this year’s Walk for Hope and Fun Run on June 2! Your efforts helped to raise over $30,000 for those experiencing homelessness.

Save the date for Harvest Celebration! Check out the video below!

Thank you for giving hope.

The life transformations that happen at UGM of Salem could not happen without people like you who support us month in and out. Please consider donating monthly to freely give hope and restoration to hundreds of people throughout the year.

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