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Voice UGM of Salem January 2019 Newsletter

Ephesians 3:20-21 - Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Looking back on this past year, it is clear that God has blessed us far more than we could have ever asked for or imagined. Because you helped us raise $8.5 million toward our $15 million goal for our Hope Has a New Address Capital Campaign, we are on schedule to break ground for a new Men’s Mission next fall, giving us the opportunity to provide hope and restoration to so many more. It is clear that we serve a God who gives generously and who uses a community of loving supporters like you to partner in this giving In 2018, we’ve seen community partners like Salem Electric transcend the expectations and associations of normal giving and witnessed Salem First Church of the Nazarene literally go the extra mile during our “Walk for Hope.”

Our community has been doing far more than we could have ever asked for or imagined in their service and volunteering. As a result, we share in the joys of individuals like Sammy and Ekatirina who found hope and purpose through our New Life Fellowship recovery programs. The true restoration of hope experienced by so many at UGM of Salem would not be possible without you. While we give God the glory for the transformation of lives, we also give you our appreciation for the means to effectively assist His work – a privilege granted to all of us, to care for those in need. Thank you for your faithful and continued support.

Dan Clem and Candi Sue Hughes

Salem Electric

Community-Connected: Salem Electric

Dear Salem Keizer Community,

When we first became involved with UGM we didn’t know what to expect. Our goal in adopting a local non-profit for the year was to provide an opportunity for our employees to get involved in the community. Most of us drive to work across the Marion Street Bridge. We saw the need; physically, tangibly, daily. We were surprised to discover the number of restorative programs and facilities offered through UGM. What we assumed was simply a men’s shelter and soup kitchen materialized into so much more. They offer safe shelter for women and children, families in transition, and men recovering from patterns of incarceration. They have so many areas of potential involvement that volunteering becomes uniquely focused on fusing opportunity with personal passion. Each day we served we were lifted up and encouraged by those we once thought had so little to offer, and in giving, we received more profoundly than we could have ever predicted. It’s something you have to experience firsthand. We are proud of the aid our partnership has provided, but I think we are most proud of the change that occurred within us through volunteering. We’ve learned to smile rather than look away. We’ve learned to engage rather than crossing to the other side of the street. We’ve learned that everyone has a story, and that everyone deserves the chance to better their circumstances and move forward. We recommend wholeheartedly that every business, every individual, make it a goal to serve at UGM this coming year. The only caveat is that you should learn from our experience: prepare to be amazed.

A Letter from Sammy, NLF Participant

Dear Donors and Supporters,

My days used to consist of panhandling for just enough money for alcohol, a half-gallon of gas and a little food. I tried to live as the master of my own little world, but when I was sober, all I had to do was look around to realize I had little left to be master over. In those moments of sobriety, I longed for relationship, to be around people that I love, rather than searching for the next bottle. I finally came to a point where the peace I was lacking outweighed the pain I was trying to escape. I’d been to the Mission several times before, but each time I was driven by things designed to enable my behavior and help me continue to feel like the master: a new job, a new house. This time, I came because I knew I needed Christ – I needed authentic hope and someone to take over the role I had been trying to play. At UGM, I found exactly what I needed – what I could never find at the bottom of a bottle. I’ve made up my mind to establish myself in relationship with Christ, not because I want to escape, but because I want to belong. Now, I have motive not to use, motive not to drink, motive to keep a job. Your giving to UGM has meant so much more than any amount of money I received on the street. It is what has truly begun to change my life.

Sammy

A Letter from Ekatirina, NLF Graduate

Dear Donor,

I can still feel my daughter clinging to my leg, hear her screaming, “No mommy, don’t go! Don’t leave us like dad did.” My daughters’ father – my husband – hung himself years ago. I turned to meth, my mother turned me away, and my daughters were turned over to the care of my sister-in-law. I began selling everything I owned to try and follow them. When they flew out to Indiana, I planted a free sign out in the yard in front of all my possessions – I had nothing of value left in life. After that, I spent six months in jail, was almost killed by the Mexican cartel, and believed if I lived on the streets I would be killed. I ended up at Simonka Place because I literally had nowhere else to turn. It turned my life around. I’ve rediscovered hope and purpose through this place. And none of this would be possible without you. There is no longer a close-out sale on my self-worth – I’ve rediscovered it in Christ. Now that I’ve graduated from the New Life Fellowship Program I plan to find ways to give back and continue to grow my faith. I hope to finally be able to follow my daughters to Indiana – trusting God throughout the process.

Thank you for giving my life value again.

Ekatirina

Have lunch at the UGM of Salem Men’s Mission (345 Commercial St SE Salem, OR 97301) and learn more about the Hope Has a New Address capital campaign. Tour provided; seating is limited. RSVP to Lacie by calling 503.967.6388 or by email at lwheeler@ugmsalem.org

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