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Voice UGM of Salem May Newsletter

I want to see where God takes me!

When Michael arrived at Union Gospel Mission of Salem, he had just completed a round of chemo for pancreatic cancer. Michael’s use of prescribed medical marijuana to ease his symptoms had “brought about a lot of bad choices, and it essentially put me where I was at — homeless.”

In fact, Michael was no stranger to bad choices. He had struggled with methamphetamine addiction for 30 years, and had tried several recovery programs with no success. But after being turned out on the street, he had no expectations from UGM other than a warm place to sleep.

“Then I met one of the guys in the program and developed a friendship with him,” Michael remembers. “I had walked away from God, but now I felt prompted to start walking back to Him.” Since joining the New Life Fellowship program, Michael has devoted himself to his classes and entered into deeper relationship with the Lord and with the people around him. “I’ve always thought, ‘How can Jesus forgive me for what I’ve done?’ I didn’t think I was lovable and I pushed people away. I’m finding that I don’t need to do that. I am lovable and I’m not in a boat by myself.”

By the grace of God, Michael continues to recover from his cancer and his addiction. He hopes to stay on at UGM as an intern when he completes the program and “be a part of something bigger. I want to see where God takes me.”

Especially in light of his cancer diagnosis, Michael admits that — were it not for your gifts to UGM — he probably wouldn’t be alive today. “I personally appreciate everything that you do here for us,” he tells you. “If you’re not sure that you’re making a difference by donating, you should come down here and check out what’s going on!”

Sarah Moreau, Learning Center Administrator

Never Stop Learning!

As the Learning Center Administrator at Simonka Place, I help women gain skills every day for ongoing success after graduating the New Life Fellowship program.

Part of the NLF program is taking classes in our Learning Centers. These include life skills, writing, math and technology. We provide a full GED program for our clients that covers tutoring, study materials, test costs and a testing center. Finally, we work with clients as they look for jobs and housing.

I encourage the women here to become lifelong learners, equipping them not only with an education, but with a desire to continually seek knowledge about Christ to strengthen their walk with Him. Many clients decide to go back to school after rediscovering a love for learning or a new passion they want to pursue. Others step into classes with no computer experience or a low reading level and finish with the knowledge, confidence and skills needed for many careers.

Learning isn’t only for women at UGM! Michael, featured in this issue of Voice, says, “I want to get some more things in my little tool belt and see where God takes me after that.” Our guests are extremely appreciative of everything you do to support UGM, as every little thing makes a difference.

Thank you for caring for your homeless neighbors!

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