Voice September 2017 newsletter

I'm in a Good Place Right Now!

“I didn’t know if I was ever going to be happy again.” Travis was drifting aimlessly through his life — working in short bursts, living “here and there,” lacking the motivation he knew he needed to get off drugs and restore his health and self-confidence. Travis didn’t see many options, but there was one he had tried several years ago and was willing to revisit: Union Gospel Mission of Salem. “I remembered the program being good. It was a place where I could think. That’s why I thought it might work for me.”

This time around, Travis doubled down on his efforts to focus on what had dragged him into depression and how to find his way back to happiness. “What really helped was my first counselor had us go through our life story in depth for five weeks,” Travis recalls. “I went step by step through my life. It helped me make a framework for where all these negative thoughts came from. Every class, there was another piece to grab onto.” From there, Travis discovered depths of self motivation he never knew he possessed. “

I decided to go on a diet. After 14 months in the program, I’m back under 300 lbs. I quit smoking. I ride my bike every day and I feel really great.” What’s more, Travis has made friends at UGM and strengthened his relationship with Christ. “I believe God is real. I go to a Pentecostal church now and I really enjoy the worship and the music. The pastor has a really vibrant sermon. It’s a small church and it’s really cool.”

Looking ahead, Travis is focused on finding a good, stable job. “I want to work at Walmart or Home Depot,” he says. “I think I would enjoy getting into management. It’s something that I’d want to do for a long time.”

Thanks to you, Travis can see a future ahead of him… and he is happy again. “I’m in a good place right now. I would love to say to people who donate that this program works. The people here do care!”

Myron Jones, Director of Men's Ministries

Never Give Up!

Galatians 6:9 tells us: “Do not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” As I think about UGM and how we meet the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter to those who come through our doors, this scripture always comes to mind.

Our clients are weary, they are hungry, they are broken. Guest Services is the front line of the gospel when men like Travis enter into our building. We are more than a soup kitchen; we are a safe place for our guests to rest and recover from their difficult circumstances and tragedies of life.

I’ve been serving at UGM for over ten years and I continue to see God at work in the lives of the men in ways that impact my life as I lead and serve the homeless. It’s given me a greater appreciation of the grace of God as I see how lives are changed daily with hope of the gospel of Christ. Our Guest Service Department provides more than a bed.

With your kind support, we offer each guest the opportunity to learn about Christ and experience life change. Thank you for not giving up!

God Can Work Through Anybody!

When Jen left Seattle and came to Simonka Place for Women and Children a little over two years ago, she didn’t plan to stay in Oregon. But God had other plans. “Even though it’s going to be difficult starting over here, it’s what He wants,” she says. After Jen graduated from the New Life Fellowship program, she stayed on in UGM’s year-long internship program. “Every day I’m learning something new… case management, resources, database entry.” Jen also serves as an accountability partner, helping those waiting to get into the NLF program.

As you read this, Jen is just finishing up her internship and getting ready to start her brand new life. “I want to get a job in ministry, helping people like me come out of addiction or homelessness,” she tells us. Once she has established herself, Jen plans to bring her nine year- old daughter here from Seattle, where she lives with Jen’s father. “I want to start being a mom again, getting to know her and love her and show her that God is in me. I want Him to be in her also.”

Jen encourages friends of UGM to take a chance and get more personally involved in the Mission. “God can work through anybody. Anybody can change someone’s life with just a smile or a nice gesture.” Thank you for allowing God to work through you – Jen says, “We’re totally blessed by our donors!”

You're Invited to Harvest Dessert!

Save the date for Friday, October 13 starting at 6:30pm for fellowship with the program starting at 7:00pm at the Keizer Civic Center.

Celebrate alongside lives you have changed through your generous support.

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