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February 2013

“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Luke 7:47

y r o t S s ’ Sally

Vol.17 No. 2


hat is true about my life. I was homeless, a drug dealer and a meth addict for many years until I fell in love with Jesus. Now my greatest joy is to love on others so they will see Him. Remarkably, my life didn’t start on the streets or in an abusive family. I was raised in an upper middle class home in Olympia. My dad thought it was important for our family to attend church so we went to one in a mainline denomination. It was there that I learned of the existence of God and the importance of prayer. Those two truths stayed with me through life’s darkest moments and I drew strength from them. Many different issues in my life led me down the wrong road. I always liked excitement and the high rolling life, and that in turn put me on the path of drugs -- a path I followed into my adulthood. I eventually became a drug dealer to support my meth addiction. It was easier to do drugs and live on the streets than deal with my life. For seven years I was homeless. Frankly, when I was living on the streets it wasn’t that hard for me, but it was empty. A lot of people find it difficult to live on the streets, but that was not my experience. For me it was a life of being lazy. All I had to do was get up and find my hit of dope and I was good for another day. For four years I lived in a tent in someone’s back yard. Often times, since I was a drug dealer, people would let me sleep on their couch. During my homeless years God always protected me by giving me friends that took care of me. Though my life wasn’t hard it was very empty because I was only serving myself and my own needs and ignoring God. I believe there are many people in society who go to church every Sunday but are just as empty, thinking only of themselves instead of trying to do what God wants. The sad part is that they are probably unaware of the blessing they could receive if they would just let go of their own junk. They are dealing with the same hole -- they just go home to nice houses every night. Honestly, for most of my time in drug addiction I had convinced myself that it wasn’t a sin. But God changed that. Just as God had surrounded me with protection on the streets, He also surrounded me with prayer warriors: the mission staff prayed for me; the Lord put it on the heart of an OUGM volunteer family to pray for me; a downtown church where I felt accepted prayed for me. Because of all those prayers there came a time when I couldn’t drown out God’s voice any more Cont. on pg. 7

Olympia Union Gospel Mission | 360.709.9725 | OUGM.ORG |


HOURS OF OPERATION ▪Office Hours M-F, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


elcome to 2013! I sincerely hope that your Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations were additionally blessed by knowing that you befriended many through your financial generosity last year. The feature article is about a woman who I have had the privilege of knowing for many years. She truly is “for real” and an inspiration in that her life shows that none of us is beyond the reach of the Holy Spirit if we are willing to take his outstretched hand. In addition, this newsletter will chronicle many acts of kindness that occurred during the months of November and December. It is always a great joy to see how individuals release their pent up desire to help others during the Christmas holidays. We who work at the Mission and pour ourselves into the lives of those we serve in God’s name truly are privileged to see how His people will reach out to others during the “season of giving.” The purchase of the (Genesis Acres) property on Littlerock Road that has been utilized for the women’s Life Transformation Program for twelve years as well as about 1.5 acres of surrounding property was a huge step for the Mission. Quite frankly, I had my heart set on consolidating Life Transformation services in the downtown Olympia main site, but God had other plans. I got to live out the scriptural reference to the fact that while man can make his plans, it’s God who will order his steps. Genesis Acres has seen many lives given to Jesus and transformed. We are now planning on how to increase its impact on women and children into the future. Without your prayers, volunteerism and financial support very little of this work would be possible. So please accept my sincere gratitude on behalf of clients, staff and Board members for taking the journey by our side.

▪Hot Meals M-F, 6 a.m., noon, 5:30 p.m. Saturday Brunch 10 a.m. to noon Sunday 7:30 a.m. and noon ▪Freedom Church, 9 a.m. ▪Hot Showers M-F, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. CONTACT INFORMATION Mission: (360) 709-9725 Fax: (360) 570-8848 Dental: (360) 943-6400 Medical: (360) 357-6505 Vision: (360) 709-9725 General: Dental: Website: | Facebook

 2012-2013 BOARD Executive Director Loren “Skip” Steffen

Executive Board

Charles McReynolds, President Larry Baker, Vice President Andrew Christensen, Treasurer Cindi McReynolds, Secretary


Jack Olson Robin Wadsworth

Tours of the Mission are offered by appointment. Call 709.9725 to arrange a time.


Executive Director

Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Luke 18:16



n November I was invited by my pastor to share the new Olympia Union Gospel Mission video with the congregation so they could be more informed about the ministries at the Mission. In between services Kathleen, an OUGM staff member, and I answered questions at an information table in the lobby. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed one of our twelve year old boys looking at the table. Unprompted he asked Kathleen where he could leave some money. We hadn’t asked for money so we weren’t prepared to except donations. He noticed a few bills that someone else had left on the table; next thing we know he removed money from his wallet, dropped it on the table then disappeared into the crowd. I finished talking to the person who had my attention then turned to Kathleen who recounted her brief conversation with Tyler and then expressed how touched she was by his gift. Later my curiosity got the best of me and so I asked Tyler’s mom if I could talk to him about his gift. We sat ”Kids should in the lobby and I give to help asked him why he had given his gift people in the when no one had community.” asked for money. He said he thought it was pretty cool ~Tyler (12) how the Mission used their money to help people on the streets and they helped others get jobs. He said he had really liked the story of the man (Todd) whose life had been changed because of the Life Transformation program. I asked him where he got the money to give and he said he and his friend went around his neighborhood and blew leaves as a service and the money came from a tip he had been given. Tyler was very nonchalant about the gift and with a very matter of fact voice said. ”Kids should give to help people in the community. It feels good to give.” I think Tyler could teach many of us a lesson in giving. ~Robin

Landon, 5 years old, held his first donation drive for the Olympia Union Gospel Mission.

ou can imagine how Yimpressed we

were with this young boy when he and his mom brought in a car load of coats. When asked his name he introduced himself by saying, “My name is Landon and I am in pre-K.” He chose to collect coats because, “I wanted to help the homeless so they wouldn’t get cold in the winter time.” With the help of his mom, Susie, Landon took flyers to school and handed them out to his classmates. During Show and Tell he reminded them to remember to bring their coat donation to school. His donation drive went for a period of three weeks, in which time he also talked to family, friends and neighbors. Landon’s mom was eager to help him learn the importance of giving rather than receiving. “With all the commercialism out of control,” she said, “this seemed like a perfect project for his age to learn the value of giving.” We are grateful for the heart that God has given children to want to help those in our community that are less fortunate.


lothes, food, back packs and much more were donated from the youth in the Awana program at Immanuel Bible Fellowship. Kerri and her two daughters brought over the items. This was a culmination of Awana Club collecting items D on ation Drive for three weeks during the Awana’s “Thanksgiving Drive,” a very successful event they have put on for the last few years.


Dec. Fiscal 9/1-12/31 Meals Served 6,360 26,999 Bible Std. Attendance 449 1,300 Chapel Attendance 2800 10,800 Counseling 40 168 Decisions for Christ 14 47 Showers 240 800 Laundry 150 510 Recovery Housing Days 372 1464


THE CLINICS I WANT TO JUST SERVE THE LORD ~ Marissa Altamirano-Cruz, Medical Clinic Manager


t has been almost four years since the Lord brought me to the doors of the Olympia Union Gospel Mission. I had been working as a nutritionist and medical assistant at the Sea Mar WIC program and medical clinic. My experiences were leading Kimwho were low me to work with those income and less fortunate. At the time, I was dealing with a divorce and becoming a single mother of four and almost becoming homeless myself. I was at a place in my life that I just wanted to serve the Lord. Browsing the internet one day when I was at a very low point emotionally, I came across an ad for a job that said they needed a medical assistant to run a low income chronic care clinic. I had absolutely no experience as a clinic manager. I prayed that God would bless my interview, and He did because I am here today! I have learned a lot and I have been humbled a lot. I continually witness the miracles of God in my life and as the Mission’s No-Fee Medical Clinic Manager. Recently I married the one I call my best friend, Antonio Cruz Montes. A Christian, devoted father and husband. I consider him my blessing for all the years of sadness that my children and I went through.

Dental Digital X-ray Photo Opp!

Hear how your donation is making an impact on the community…

say that it is important to have a catchy title to an article, but the simple fact is you have been instrumental in the purTchasehey of a digital X-ray machine and we want to tell you all about it! Early on, one of our volunteer dentists told me that the most needed thing in the No-Fee Dental Clinic was a digital X-ray machine. Out of curiosity I did a little research and asked a lot of questions to find out that it would be impossible for the Mission to afford one – not at $60,000! But once again, I put God in a very small box and He proved me wrong. He wasn’t kidding when He said He owned the cattle on a thousand hills. Through faithful and generous donors, the Lord provided the needed funds for the recent purchase of a digital X-ray for the Mission’s No-Fee Dental Clinic. This will give the dentists the ability to provide higher quality care to Thurston County residents living at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, who have no insurance, and no means to pay. As a lay person, I could see that this new machine would advance the clinic to the digital age, but little did I know there were many more benefits. Clinic Manager Linda Barrett has expressed her gratitude on more than one occasion for the new equipment and is excited about all the changes that have resulted. Some of those changes include the following: ● High X-ray resolution is providing better diagnostic decisions for treatment. ● Patient wait time has gone from 20 minutes to 4 minutes for X-ray results. ● Ability to serve more patients. ● No film, no chemicals and no developing, which equates to more eco-friendly and less expense amortized over time. ● Images can be sent electronically to dental offices. ● Record keeping is going digital – no more paper or color coded file folders! Thank you donors for your help in providing a higher quality of care and the ability to serve more of those in our community that need it most.

The clinic continues to grow and I am taking classes toward my nursing degree at Centralia College. I have personally and professionally come a long way. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for the future. Marissa Altamirano-Cruz, Medical Clinic Manager

Visits 4

Dental Medical Vision

Dec. 113 91 52

Fiscal 9/1-12/31 674 493 240

Shelly Case, No Fee Dental Clinic Assistant, is pictured with the new Digital X-ray unit!

Face Lift After

e are so excited that God has entrusted us as stewards to own the Genesis Acres facility. If you didn’t read in our last newsletter in November, with your financial support the Olympia Union Gospel Mission was able to buy the mobile home park, called Genesis Acres, for the single women and women with children in the Life Transformation program.

There is quite a bit of work to accomplish to make the mobile homes more comfortable for the women and their families. Through the skillful planning of Executive Director Loren “Skip” Steffen Before and Facilities Director Tim Langan, the project got underway. Don Hofman has been the lead contractor getting a number of the mobiles updated; kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, windows, and much more have been on the list of to dos. There is still plenty of painting ahead as the weather gets nicer, and as women in the program graduate there is opportunity to refurbish the other existing mobiles on the property.


t has been five months now since I became the Director of both the Men and the Women’s Life Transformation Programs. I am glad to say that I almost (but not quite) have my feet on the ground. This has only been possible with the help of my Men’s Program intern Jerry and my Women’s Program assistant Laurie.

GENESIS ACRES This has been a period of wonderful change at Genesis Acres. In November A great deal of thanks goes to Patty Buckland and Esther Spare, Megan’s who with Don’s help, were able to come along-side the projchildren ect and make huge strides in getting the work done. Former Isaiah and graduate, Mike Converse of Mike Converse Landscaping, has Savanna were Isaiah being baptised given the grounds a nice “manicure” by pruning overgrown baptized by bushes and giving some of the stately fir trees a good trim. Chaplain Tim at There are fewer pot holes in the driveway and the Women’s Mountainview Nazarene Church. Pam’s Life Transformation office has had its own transformation! We son Chase was baptized by Pastor Bill. hope that you celebrate with us as we continue to further the Crystal, one of our single women, was work God has for the Olympia Union Gospel Mission to imalso baptized. In December, a delightful prove the lives of the abused and addicted women and chiltime was had by all at the Westwood dren that He sends to us. Baptist Church Women’s Christmas Dinner. The women were entertained by the music of Joysong and enjoyed delicious appetizers. We have a new program member, Jessica, who recently arrived from California with her baby son, Christian. JEREMIAH HOUSE We currently have four men in the program. Our senior member, David, recently completed his program work and began attending classes at South Puget Sound Community College to obtain his GED. The other program members are making great progress in their transformation. We sadly lost one man who voluntarily left the program. Please be in prayer that he finds his way back to the Lord and those who love him. This means we have one vacancy in the men’s program. We are praying that God will provide a new program member who is ready for the change that is only possible through the power of God.




SHARE THE WARMTH There are a number of ways you can make a difference. Some types of items the Mission is always in need of are gently used pants, shirts, coats, shoes, boots, rain gear, blankets, and sleeping bags. We also have a flyer online at (click on the donate page). Plan your donation drive or start today with our “Share the Warmth” campaign to collect warm winter items! If you would like a collection barrel brought to your place of business or employment, please call our offices at 360.709.9725 and we can have one delivered.

Chuck (l) returning a full barrel of donated warm clothes.

Thank you to the following businesses that have helped to collect itmes for our “Share the Warmth” campaign:

Cardinal Glass Chico’s OBee Credit Union Tumwater Auto Spa Cabinets by Trivonna Twinstar Credit Union

Tom (r) h Jami anding o e, a c lient ut donati o at th e Mis ns to sion.

Some quotes from recent donors... “I appreciate what you do at the Mission . You helped some friends of mine in the past.” “We love to give to organizations that are Bible based and transform people’s lives.”

Linemen, Crews, Electricians, and Operators...


Diane handin from Bonnevig Skip a donation lle Power Adm in.


hese were the folks from the Olympia region Bonneville Power Administration that made the holiday season very special for the Olympia Union Gospel Mission. Diane March, from the regional office, presented a check to Skip Steffen, Executive Director of the Mission. The money was raised through an office party auction. In my naïvety I thought it was a “silent” auction, but Diane quickly corrected me, “No, it was a loud auction!” She explained that since it was a dessert auction, it was not only loud, but there were plenty of bidding wars going on.

Thank you to all the very generous employees of our local Bonneville Power Administration.



e took a little break from the normal activities at the Mission to put on a Christmas Tea for our ladies that come to the Day Room. They were transformed by the warmth and beauty of the room, leaving the hardness of the streets behind. Not only was it a fun afternoon sipping tea, English style, and eating cookies and scones, we were overwhelmed by the number of women volunteers that donated their time and talents to make this a special occasion. There were volunteers that put gift bags together, made flower arrangements for the tables, provided entertainment, and even brought the food. Thank you to all of our volunteers, including the Capital H.S. Cheerleaders and Garden Courte Memory Care Community food services. Comments from the tea... “Women became childlike.” ~ Barb

“The Queen would be proud of the high tea.” ~ Jane (back from living 3 years in England) “One of the women receiving a gift package got some makeup. She commented that she had been at the store and was trying to decide what color of makeup to choose. She said she finally gave up, deciding to save her money. At the Christmas Tea she received the exact color she had decided she wanted. She really saw how God knows our hearts desires - even makeup color!” ~ Cami

and He convicted me of my sin. I struggled for a couple of years, but finally one day said, “OK, God you win”. I phoned the mission volunteer who had touched my life and asked if I could stay with them. This family had a burden for street people and would provide a home on their farm as well as Christian guidance. I lived with them for eight months and then joined the recovery program at OUGM where I completed a two year program -- a program different from the secular programs that I had attended. I had gone to Narcotics Anonymous and others where people had been sober for years but still hadn’t dealt with the hole in their hearts -- the hole that only God can fill. Complete recovery is not about a program; it is about a relationship with God and OUGM helped me develop that relationship. I now have a decent job and I’m part of the community. I believe that God has called me to give back to my community where I have favor with the people on the street. (Even when I was doing the stupid things I wasn’t supposed to, I had favor with them.) In particular, God has given me a heart for the young people on the street. They have spunk and energy and some of those kids are more real and kinder than adults I know. Often I walk the streets and pray with them. Life is different for me now. Because I no longer have a hole in my heart, I have fulfillment. I have the peace of the Holy Spirit that fills me each day as I begin with prayer. God is also restoring many things to me. My most prized gift is the mended relationship with my children. God is the restorer of all things. It has been eight years since I told God “You win”. It has not only been a spiritual transformation but one of physical and emotional healing. I wouldn’t trade the relationship I now have with God for the relationship I had a year ago – or the one a year before that -- because it just keeps getting better and better. Those who are forgiven much, love much.

JOEL 2:25

I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten...

OUGM STAFF Administration LOREN ‘SKIP’ STEFFEN, Executive Director | 360.709.9725, ext. 101 LORI VANDERVATE, Office & Database Manager | 360.709.9725, ext. 102 VIOLET HOFMAN, Volunteer Coordinator | 360.709.9725, ext. 104 KRINA ALLISON, Marketing & Communications | 360.709.9725, ext. 118 KATHLEEN BLANCHETTE, Community Relations Liaison | 360.709.9725, ext. 116 Street Ministry TIM LANGAN, Chaplain & Director of Facilities | 360.709.9725, ext. 103 CODY HOWARD, Director of Food Services | 360.709.9725, ext. 106 JEROME JAEGER, Day Room Supervisor | 360.709.9725, ext. 105 DENNY BOBBERT, Evening Supervisor | 360.709.9725, ext. 105 GLENN RAMOS, Hygiene Center & Donations Life Transformation Program PEGGY LANGAN | Men’s Life Transformation Director| 360.709.9725, ext. 103 Women’s Life Transformation Director| 360.754.9351 LAURIE ANDERSON, Women’s Counselor | 360.754.9351 MATT IHLER, Jeremiah House Supervisor Health Resources LINDA BARRETT , Dental Clinic Manager | 360.943.6400, ext. 100 SHELLEY CASE, TCDAN Coordinator | 360.709.9725, ext. 117 BROOKE HURST, Dental Clinic Receptionist MARISSA ALTAMIRANO-CRUZ, Medical Clinic Manager | 360.357.6505 MARCY FULMER, Medical Clinic Nurse | 360.357.6505 VIOLET HOFMAN, Vision Clinic Manager | 360.709.9725 OLYMPIA UNION GOSPEL MISSION PO BOX 7668, Olympia WA 98507 413 Franklin St. NE, Olympia WA 98501 Mission - 360.709.9725 Dental - 360.943.6400 Medical - 360.357.6505 Vision - 360.709.9725 The Olympia Union Gospel Mission is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible.

Olympia Union Gospel Mission | 360.709.9725 | OUGM.ORG |



Non-Profit Org U.S. Postage PAID Olympia, WA Permit No. 624

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Psalm 19:1

IN HONOR OF... Bob Kelley Family, from Jerry Hall Lowry Family, from Jerry Hall Pattie Drew Family, from Jerry Hall Betty McKenzie & Sue Dahlman, from Jolene Beach & Diane Stiles Richard & Carole Bushnelle, from John & Violet Bushnell Ben & Sandra Straughan, from John & Violet Bushnell Jack Williams, from Linda Dimitroff Ellen Kjesbus’s 90th Birthday, from Eric & Marcia Kjesbu Elaina Pareja, from Lori Davila Georgina Miller, from Lori Davila Jenny Farley, from Lori Davila Don & Mary Ingalls, Robert & Paula Rohn IN MEMORY OF... Frances Campbell, from Donna Massoth Frances Campbell, from Dena Hughes Frances Campbell, from Bruce & Barbara Wollstein Frances Campbell, from Elsie Larson Kathy Talley, from Eva Johnson Jack Tibbits, from Charles Tibbits Jim & Betty Ferguson (Parents), from Shirley Neufeld Leslie Barnes, from Michael Dean Adaline Tallman, from Jolene Wright Deborah D. Johnson, from Erik & Marcia Kjesbu As of January 15, 2013

OUGM Newsletter - February 2013  

Keep up with the most current activites going on at the olympia Union Gospel Mission.