A Gospel that Transforms and Multiplies
A self-proclaimed compulsive gambler, liar and cheat, George Simonka thought he was headed north that rainy night in 1949. Hungry, destitute and tired, he decided to climb aboard a smelly box car. To occupy the time, George turned to his only diversion—a copy of the Gospel of John which he received at a Mission. As he read the words of Jesus, George decided he wanted what was in that book—a life of purpose, love and peace. In an abandoned box car, he got down on his knees and asked Jesus to come into his life.
George then made his way to the Seattle UGM, ready and open to change. God gradually equipped him not only for the day, but each day for the years to come. While pursing his education, he met his wife June. God filled their hearts with love for Him and for others. Two years later, he became the Executive Director of the UGM in Bellingham, Washington and in 1954, God led him to lead UGM of Salem.
After years of working at UGM Salem, George and June began to see the great needs of women and children experiencing homelessness. June prompted George to open the first women and children’s shelter on the West Coast and the doors opened in October 1968. Fifty years later, Simonka Place has provided a safe home, hot meals and recovery care to thousands of women and children. However, Simonka Place’s primary function was, and remains, to share the transformational gospel of Jesus Christ.
After his retirement in December 1989, George continued to minister to those in need at the mission, his church and in his community. He never forgot the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to change lives and he kept his Gospel of John close in his inside pocket.
Celebrating 50 Years
Simonka Place for Women & Children
Monday, October 1, 2018 - Simonka Place 50th Anniversary Open House - 5119 River RD N Keizer, OR 97303
10:00AM - 2:00PM and 4:00PM - 7:00PM
Celebrate 50 years of service to homeless women and children. Join us as we celebrate Simonka’s impact as the first women’s shelter on the West Coast and praise God for the thousands of lives who have been impacted over the years!
Friday, October 12, 2018
12:00PM – Lunch at Salem’s Grand Theater or
7:00PM – Dessert at Salem Convention Center
Join us and special guest Ron Hall, NY Times bestselling author and movie producer of “Same Kind of Different as Me,” at UGM of Salem’s annual Harvest Celebration. Discover how the new Men’s Mission will help more people break free from homelessness. To RSVP visit ugmsalem.org