A young man named Blake from Hope Church was contacted by a youth group from Silverdale wanting to serve in the Olympia area. Blake thought, “The Olympia Union Gospel Mission, of course!” So we were contacted and the planning began. This was a first time adventure and teamwork was the key for its success. Blake worked with staff at the the Olympia Union Gospel Mission (OUGM) for a few months to plan this six-day mission trip for the youth from the Grace Point Church. (On alternating years they go out of state or stay locally.) A group of 30 plus young people and their chaperones came July 6-11, staying at Black Lake Bible Camp while they worked daily at OUGM facilities. The plan was twofold: paint and proclaim! The painting part happened at Genesis Acres, our residential women’s recovery program, and at the newly acquired Annex, which will soon be housing the administrative offices of the Mission.
Hannah – I enjoyed being able to help people and seeing how God used me during my time here. It was a real joy to talk to the homeless and more than anything we could do, they just needed to know that someone loved them. Hunter – I enjoyed cleaning out brush, pruning and painting. It was fun! Riley – We actually helped people, versus sitting and playing video games. Sirus – I had a great time working in the kitchen making and serving the food. We take for granted simple things such as food and clothing, but it means a lot to people in need. Blake – I got to watch the youth group serve in Olympia and interacting with the homeless. It was great to see them growing in their faith.
The proclaiming part involved ministering on Saturday evening at City Gates Ministries handing out items to the homeless, and on Sunday they came to the Mission’s New Freedom Church sharing personal testimonies, leading worship and serving Sunday brunch. Monday came and they donned latex gloves, picked up paint brushes and went to work. It was hot outside, but the youth and their chaperones had one focus and that was to complete what they had come to do. They successfully applied 50 gallons of paint in 660 accumulated hours of work and even finished ahead of time. Six mobile homes were given new life and the Annex got a facelift. “They were so enthusiastic,” said one of the staff, “they didn’t even want to take breaks.” It did help to use the garden hose for some relief from the heat by spraying each other down (It was a lot of fun, too!). One adult volunteer commented, “Their eagerness to do God’s work was so evident. They knew what they were doing would last for years to come.” He continued, “Today the youth are living in a much more challenging time than when I grew up; this is such a godless culture. As a person in their 50’s seeing youth building a foundation on Christ is so encouraging.” Don, who was overseeing the project, said “I wish I could hire a few of them. They just grabbed tools and started working, never complaining. I even told them to stop for a break, but they were so motivated to get the job done they just kept going on their own.” Teamwork made it all happen and we are grateful to the churches, staff, and individuals involved.
Olympia Union Gospel Mission | ougm.org | 360.709.9725 | 413 Franklin St NE, Olympia 98501 | Vol. 18 No. 1
We are co-workers in God’s service... I Corinthian 3:9a
Teamwork can be defined as work done by several associates each doing a part, but all subordinating personal importance to the effectiveness of the whole. Simple to say, Loren “Skip” St but sometimes very difficult to do. We can Exe cutive Direeffen ctor almost always achieve something greater working with others as a team than we can achieve alone, despite our best efforts. Throughout this newsletter you will see some very creative examples of it. One exceptional example of team work at the Mission is serving meals to homeless men, women and children in a compassionate, caring atmosphere. You, who support the ministry financially, are key members because your donations allow us to purchase or secure from donation sources the needed food items. It takes a group of five to eight volunteers to prepare the food and serve the meal. Another team cleans up and gets the kitchen ready for the next serving crew. (Imagine trying to prepare and serve a meal to 130 by yourself many times a week!)
The hungry and disadvantaged who receive the meals are also part of the team. Their expressions of appreciation are a huge motivator for the servers to come back and do it all over again on another day. They also experience the love of Jesus in a practical way, encouraging others to join His team.
What does a grant writing class at Evergreen State College and an infected tooth have in common? Clel! Evergreen State College instructor, Sylvie McGee, contacted local charities about having her students write a grant for their organization. Interestingly, we were late in responding and a student was late in registering for the class. Low and behold it was a perfect match, because we had the opportunity to meet Clel who understood the Mission from first hand experience. Clel, 24 years old, was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and moved out to the east coast. He worked in restaurants up and down the Atlantic seaboard but decided this was not what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. In pursuit of changing his life course, he had heard about the Evergreen State College and decided that would be a good fit for him. Times were difficult so attending college was financially challenging. Clel even found himself homeless, living in the woods or abandoned buildings for several years. After the birth of his daughter, Olive, two years ago his perspective drastically changed, especially now that he was responsible for more than himself. He is in a supportive community housing situation where Olive is the center of attention, and he is very focused on completing his education.
If you have not already, I encourage you to visit the Mission and see the team members at work. Who knows? Call me at 360.709.9725 because you might just decide that this is for you and join in.
Not having health insurance to care for his teeth, Clel shared that he had come to the Mission’s No-Fee Dental Clinic a year ago with a very painfully infected tooth. He was grateful for the caring, compassionate service he received from our volunteer dental professionals. That experience was why he answered the invitation; he wanted to give back to the Mission.
Dollar Store glasses didn’t work anymore for Eliezar, he needed a prescription.
Clel will be writing a grant, under Sylvie’s direction, to a foundation for help with offsetting the increasing cost of food for our meals program. With a prediction for 83,500 meals being served this year from the Mission’s kitchen, we are grateful for his energy, enthusiasm and wholehearted interest in presenting this very compelling community need to the foundation.
Due to the economic downturn and an online scam, Eliezar had lost everything. Without health insurance for the first time in his life, he didn’t know where to turn for help. He heard about the Olympia Union Gospel Mission’s No-Fee Vision Clinic and made an appointment. He got his eyes checked and was fitted with a new pair of glasses in no time. Through this experience Eliezar shared with the staff, “I have found the Mission to be a refuge. I have received services I never thought were available to me and I am grateful.”
There are many ways for you to volunteer at your Olympia Union Gospel Mission. With this story you may be inspired to find your own very creative way to make a difference for the most vulnerable members of our community. Please come and visit, take a tour and see firsthand the amazing things God is doing at the Mission!
Olympia Union Gospel Mission | ougm.org | 360.709.9725 | 413 Franklin St NE, Olympia 98501
What’s Happening in the Recovery Program? God is a loving God and He answers prayers. I graduated from the addiction recovery program at the Mission in 2011 and was blessed with a job, a home and a vehicle. I felt that I was solidly grounded. Where I went wrong was putting my focus on my blessings instead of the Author of all my blessings. Just six months after graduating, I walked away from my church, my support team, and I isolated myself. This caused my relapse – I felt so ashamed. I finally came to a breaking point because everything had spiraled out of control. I met with a pastor and confessed everything, and he said, “You know what you need to do.” I did. I called the Mission and asked for help, and they welcomed me back. I am back in the program and taking a deep look into the honesty of my relationships with God and others; setting my eyes on the things that are above not the things that are on the earth and putting on the whole armor of God. (Col 3:2, Eph 6:11)I know that Christian fellowship is key for me in keeping a close relationship to the Lord. I’m back … right where I belong. Please keep me in prayer.
The Mission is an amazing place, but there are days when the clientele are difficult. On one particular day a man became aggressive, striking Pastor Denny, the Day Room Supervisor, causing him to fall. He ended up in the hospital with a broken femur bone. During his stay in the hospital the doctors discovered he had cancer. He and his wife Kathleen praise God that it was found, and he has undergone surgeries for the removal of the tumor and lymph nodes. During Pastor Denny’s healing period, he has been able to encourage people and lend a listening ear to medical staff that go out of their way to just happen to “pop” into his room. He is walking again and occasionally visiting the Mission, reminding us of Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Please join with us in continuing to pray for Pastor Denny’s healing from the surgeries.
New BIG Shoes – it takes teamwork! Some days it’s about blankets, other days it’s about hats, but this day it was about shoes. As our Executive Director, Skip, was driving out of the Mission parking lot at the end of the day, he noticed a man across the street who looked as though he was hurt. A few minutes later, as he pulled into his driveway the sight of this man was still bothering him. He called Elida, the Dayroom Supervisor on duty, at the Mission and asked her to check on him. She crossed the street to an abandoned lot where she recognized the man, Rob, who was on a blanket in the scorching heat. Elida asked him if he was OK and he said, “I’m just lying here, I’m hurting.” His combat boots, which had been too small for him, were off and she was aghast at the condition of his feet; they were blistered and raw. His feet needed immediate medical attention. She took him inside, got him cleaned and bandaged while staff checked the Mission’s clothing bank for shoes (size 15!!!). There were none to be found. They took Rob to the store, and combined with the help of staff and cash donations, he was blessed with a new pair of BIG shoes. Do you want to help? Join in our “Share the Warmth” clothing drive. Clean out your closets, go around to your neighbors, or have a collection at your office. (Flyers available at our website: www.ougm.org.) Especially appreciated are the “Rob” sized items. Rob, center, is pictured with OUGM staff Elida and Pastor Richard. Olympia Union Gospel Mission | ougm.org | 360.709.9725 | 413 Franklin St NE, Olympia 98501
Non-Profit Org U.S. Postage PAID Olympia, WA Permit No. 624
PO Box 7668 Olympia WA 98507-7668 360.709.9725 OUGM.ORG Restoring hope... Transforming lives
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8
September 2012 – July 2013
Decisions for Christ
6,147 Church/Bible Std. Attendance
Heath Resource Visits
$925,044 Healthcare Value
Thank you for your support of the Olympia Union Gospel Mission
The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things! The LORD’s right hand is lifted high; the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!” Psalm 118:14-16
IN MEMORY OF Howard Sayler, from Betty Jean Brown Howard Sayler, from Helen Price Donald Hackett, from Joanne Hackett Floyd Conway, from East Olympia Community Church Tim Malone, from Mikell Flothe Jack Gerlich, from Mikell Flothe