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The Mission Message “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has passed away, the new has come . . .” 1 Cor. 5:17

May 2011 Olympia Union Gospel Mission, PO Box 7668, Olympia, WA 98507-7668, 360-709-9725,, facebook

Garden entrance to Olympia Farmer’s Market

In 2011, Olympia Union Gospel Mission will serve about 65,000 meals to homeless and impoverished individuals. Hot meals are provided seven days a week to anyone in need because of the support of financial partners and in-kind donors from within the generous Greater Olympia Community. But more important than meals served are the relationships guests build with staff and volunteers. It is through relationship that we learn the stories behind guests’ faces and discover their true needs. People like Todd, who grew up fatherless and was expected to take his absent father’s place, a role he did not have the maturity or skills to fulfill. He also suffered years of abuse that caused him to fear people and to become filled with guilt and shame. Todd chose to act out in ways that brought him negative attention, and which eventually led him into drug and alcohol addiction. His addictions led him into a life of criminal activity, and eventually, to jail. A year ago, Todd found the Mission and joined our Life Transformation Program. He will graduate in June at our annual Spring graduation banquet. Learn more about Todd and our other graduates inside.

Inside This Issue:

One of the unique priveleges the Olympia Union Gospel Mission has is to be located in the Market District of downtown Olympia. As part of the downtown community, we take seriously the welfare of our business and residential neighbors and work diligently to try and make our facility as neighbor friendly as possible. This means keeping the grounds clean, patrolling our parking lot several times a day, responding to any complaints from neighbors in a timely manner, and looking for ways to improve the appearance of our building, including any future expansion. As part of our efforts, we invite anyone with questions or concerns to contact the Mission at 360-709-9725 and speak with Facilities Manager & Chaplain Tim Langan. Tours are also offered by appointment, so please come by and check us out at 413 Franklin Street NE.

A Word from Skip, Donation Drives, Spring Graduation Is Almost Here!

Contact Us Loren “Skip” Steffen-Executive Director (360) 709-9725, ext. 101 Lori Vandervate-Office/Data Base Manager (360) 709-9725, ext. 102 Tim Langan-Director of Facilities /Discipleship (360) 709-9725, ext. 103 In Costa Rica, Skip took his first ride on a zip line. LOOK OUT BELOW!

Peggy Langan-Director of Men’s Recovery (360) 709-9725, ext. 103

Fasting and Gaining Weight

Marla Root-Director of Women’s Recovery (360) 754-9351

My wife and I just completed a cruise through the Panama Cannel. Our Bible study this year is the book of Isaiah and we both had taken along our lessons. I felt a strong sense of discomfort when I opened my Bible to Isaiah 58 because the title was “True Fasting.” As those of you who have been on cruise ships know, food is everywhere and it would take a super human effort to give up food under those conditions. But as I read through the passage, I began to see that what God was telling us through Isaiah had little to do with food, and everything to do with the heart condition. Given the space, I’m going to paraphrase several verses. In 6 and 7-“Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen . . . to set the oppressed free . . . to share your food with the hungry . . . to provide the poor wanderer shelter . . . to cloth the naked . . . and not to turn away from your flesh and blood.” Sounds a lot like what happens daily at the Mission doesn’t it? In verses 8 through 12, Isaiah lists many benefits from observing a fast pleasing to God, some of which are: then you will call and the Lord will answer . . . the Lord will guide you always . . .” Based on my experiences, I’ve always felt that God has a special place in His heart for the “poor wanderer” as well as those of us who minister to them, whether on the front lines, or by providing support in the form of the finances and other ways that make this work possible. As I look forward to all the challenges and uncertainties of the future, I find great comfort in believing that when we call, He will answer, and that He will guide the Mission always. Please accept my deep appreciation for helping to make this “FAST” possible.

Virginia Schnabel-Director of Development (360) 709-9725, ext. 116 Krina Allison-Development Officer (360) 709-9725, ext. 118 Linda Barrett-Dental Clinic Manager (360) 943-6400, ext. 100 Shelley Case TCDAN Coordinator (360) 709-9725, ext. 117 Jerome Jaeger-Day Room Supervisor (360) 709-9725 Violet Hofman-Volunteers/Vision Clinic Manager (360) 709-9725, ext. 104 Denny Bobbert, Evening Supervisor (360) 709-9725 Marissa Altimarino-Cruz, Medical Clinic Manager (360) 357-6505 Dental Line (360) 943-6400 Medical Line (360) 357-6505

Mission Hours Office Hours: M-F, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hot Meals, M-F, 6 a.m., Noon, 5:30 p.m. Office Hours: M-F, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday Brunch, 10 a.m. to Noon

Hot Meals, M-F, 6 a.m., 12 noon, 5:30 p.m. Sunday, 8 a.m. and Noon

Saturday Brunch, 109a.m. Church, a.m. to Noon Laundry, Hot Showers, 4:30 p.m. Daily Sunday, 8 a.m.1:30 andtoNoon Mission Phone (360) 709-9725

Hot Showers, 1 to 6 p.m. daily Mission Fax

(360) 570-8848

Dental Line

(360) 943-6400

Mission Phone (360) 709-9725 Mission Fax (360) 570-8848

Medical Line (360) 357-6505

Dental Linedrop-off, (360) 943-6400 Donation 9-4:30 p.m.

Located at 413 Franklin Street NE Just 1.5 e-mail blocks south of the Olympia Farmer’s Market Mission

From the Kitchen To all of my fellow servants in Christ: Grace, peace and love to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. As seasons come and seasons go, I’m reminded that it is our Father who cycles the seasons. It is our Father who brings the rain that waters the plants, that not only feed us, but feed the animals that feed us. It is our Father's provisions, whether canned, bagged, fresh or frozon, whether beef, pork, poultry or fish, it is our Father who supplies. When our Lord Jesus gave thanks for the loaves and the fish, He then gave them to the disiples to distribute. He let them share in the increase. As then, so it is now, our Father, who has the eternal resources, allows His children to share in the providing. For those who give should give generously, those who receive should receive gratefully. It is a wonderful thing! It is the heart of our Father. May the love of the Father ever shine in your heart as you partake in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. God Bless You and Be With You, Cody, OUGM Kitchen Manager Donations of food items, especially #10 cans of fruit, vegetables, sauces, dairy, and meat are always needed and greatly appreciated.

Upcoming Mission Events Saturday, June 4, 2011 Saint Martin’s University Worthington Center Annual Spring Graduation Call 709-9725 for information. Tours of the Mission are offered by appointment. Call 709-9725 to arrange a time.

Mission Needs OUGM is seeking new members for its Board of Directors. We are currently in the process of creating a strategic plan and updated job descriptions for Board Members. If you are interested in becoming part of the leadership team for the Olympia Union Gospel Mission, please contact Virginia or Skip at 709-9725 to discuss opportunities. Chaplain Tim Langan is in need of audio visual equipment to complete OUGM’s upgrade of our teaching ministry to Mission guests and Life Transformation Program members. Items needed are: Large, flat screen TV (52”+) DVD Player CD Player Please contact Tim at 709-9725 for more information. The women’s program needs: Kitchen chairs 9 x 12 area rug

Olympia Union Gospel Mission Health Resource Center News “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore, be open handed toward your brothers, and toward the poor in your land.” Deuteronomy 15:11


In the Words of a Vision Patient

“I lost my insurance about a year ago when things got difficult for my family. I found out about possible help with medical and was told about OUGM’s vision program. I was seen within one week and my new frames are beautiful! The doctor was more complete with my exam than my previous doctor, so I know they care here. My glasses were ready for pick up in two weeks. Everyone was so polite, so caring, so understanding. I feel there is a true commitment to taking care of people here. I am so thankful.”

Dixie Ray Garcia

“Marijuana is currently the leading cause of substance dependence other than alcohol in the U.S.” 2009 National Substance Abuse Report

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body”. (1 Cor. 6:19-20) One issue facing the Mission right now is the legalization of medical marijuana in Washington State. Since so many of our guests are dealing with drug or alcohol addictions, OUGM has a no tolerance drug use policy on site, including medical marijuana. We have instituted this policy for the safety of our guests, patients, staff and volunteers. Allowing marijuana use on site could trigger relapse for Mission guests. OUGM is also concerned about the adverse affects this drug is known to have on the human body and is providing the following facts for readers’ information: Marijuana causes a fast heartbeat and pulse rate, bloodshot eyes, a dry mouth and throat. Because marijuana causes dry mouth, marijuana users can experience a host of related dental complications. From gum disease to tooth decay, (or even tooth loss), marijuana users can quickly compromise their dental health. Marijuana can impair or reduce short-term memory, alter sense of time, and reduce ability to concentrate and perform tasks that require quick thinking or coordination, including driving. Marijuana can cause “acute panic anxiety reaction”. Marijuana may cause pshycological dependence, creating problems at work and in personal relationships, including loss of interest in other things. Marijuana can cause adverse affects on youth. Heavy, prolonged use can cause youth to become dull, slow moving, and inattentive, a condition known as burn out. They sometimes become so unaware of their surroundings that they do not respond when friends speak to them, and do not realize they have a problem. Marijuana, when smoked, allows its active ingredient,THC, to be absorbed by most tissues and organs in the body, especially in fatty tissues. THC is a psychoactive drug that crosses the blood-brain barrier and acts primarily upon the nervous system affecting brain function. THC can be detected in a user’s urine for up to a week later. Marijuana can also affect the human reproductive system, the heart and lungs, and has been shown to cause cancer cell growth in human lung tissue, and on animal skin. OUGM is concerned about the health and safety of all of our guests and strives to make policies that reflect our moral and ethical responsibilities. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Loren “Skip” Steffen at 360-709-9725. (Information adapted from the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s Journal extract, PubMed, courtesy of the University of WA School of Dentistry)

Join us Saturday, June 4 for a Tree Firmly Planted! Details at

Spring Graduates

“. . . but he whose delight is in the law of the

LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night-That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3

Hello, I’m Don. I am a believer who struggles with sin such as drugs and alcohol. For 15 years, addictions controlled my life. I experienced all kinds of hurt from this lifestyle such as broken relationships, failed marriage, and loss of jobs. Although I grew up knowing Jesus, I walked away from Him and that’s when all of my sin took over my life. God brought me to the bottom on July 1, 2010. I cried out to the Lord and He led me to the Olympia Union Gospel Mission and I entered their Life Transformation Program. While being involved with the Mission and other support groups, Jesus is showing me how much He cares for me. I know that today, Jesus guides my every step throughout each and every day.


Hello. I’m Patricia Ridge. I came to Genesis Acres because I was really ready to start internalizing my recovery and give control over to someone else. I realized my way of doing things was not working at all. During that process, I found a relationship with God and have met many wonderful people that have not only helped me in my recovery, but also my spiritual growth. While at Genesis, I got my son Nathan back, extended visitation of my son Michael, and began attending South Puget Sound Community College, (SPSCC). I am in the paralegal program. I also paid off fines, got a car, got my driver's license back, and moved into my own apartment. The last three quarters that I have attended South Puget Sound Community Patricia College, (SPSCC), I have made the Vice-President's list for academic achievement. In June of 2010, I was recognized by the addiction recovery community in Thurston County and was presented with the Phoenix award for my strides in addiction and recovery. I plan to continue my education at a four year institution when I graduate from SPSCC in December. Hi. I’m Todd. The lack of guidance of a true father figure as a child left a void in my growth. It caused a great deal of pain that I was unable to understand. It caused me to deny some real important facts of how to be a normal person in society. Now my identity is my realness and how I carry myself as I walk in life now as a child of God! Today, I have a lot to be thankful for. I thank the Mission and its staff for believing in me, and I thank God every day for the many blessings in my life today and a Life Transformation program that continues to transform my every step as a new creation in Christ.



Hi, I’m Jennifer. Prior to entering the Life Transformation Program, I was looking at five years in prison, due to forgery charges and my drug habit, so I fled Montana to avoid prosecution. My husband eventually left me and wound up in prison. My 16 year old son was also using, on probation, and would not stay in school. CPS took all five of my boys. I was homeless and living at the Salvation Army. The Mission was the place I could eat, take a shower, and call my CPS worker. Then I heard about the Life Transformation Program. I was accepted into the program in May of 2009. Now, I have almost two years drug free, due to the help of the program and its director, Marla Root. Marla also helped me get back to Montana to take care of my legal issues. The court saw my transformation and dropped the five year prison term and gave me three years of probation. They also allowed me to come back to Washington State to continue with my program, realizing it was truly rehabilitating me. I have reconciled with my husband, started marriage counseling, have all five of my boys back, my own housing and am in college at South Puget Sound Community College. My goal is to become a chemical dependency counselor.

Heart of a



George Whenes, the second Executive Director of OUGM, came to my church and shared about the ministry at a place called the Olympia Union Gospel Mission. As he shared, I felt God wanted me to get involved. I decided to volunteer an hour a week: before I realized it, he had convinced me to fill in Friday mornings. My primary service was serving lunch. Meals amounted to cup-of-soup made from a water dispenser and sandwiches that were delivered daily. That was about 10 years ago. My service at the mission has taught me much more about myself and God than I have been able to contribute to this ministry. I have come to realize that God is far more concerned about my motive than my service. It is easy to imagine that God needs my help to expand His kingdom; it is humbling to realize that God is trying to transform me in the process, to make me into a servant fit for His use. Whatever I have been able to give to this work has become secondary to what God is working in me. I have found that my greatest pleasure comes from serving God well, regardless of the task. The mission has taught me to love God with all of my heart and to love others as myself. I found it is far more important to obey than sacrifice, even though there appears to be little difference in the activity. Obedience is done for the glory of God and finds its greatest pleasure in His approval, viewing service as opportunity. Sacrifice seeks recognition and views service as an endless obligation.

Many years ago I read a brief illustration that became a guiding principle in my life. It was about two women standing in their separate homes faced with sinks full of dirty dishes. One woman looked at her task and thought how tiresome and endless life had become; the other looked at the dishes with gratitude toward God for food and family and His countless blessings. It was this simple illustration that has caused me to understand how much more important it is to focus upon my gratitude toward God than my perceived dilemmas of life. The acceptance of God’s eternal sovereignty, grace and mercy has become the stability of my life and the primary motive of my service. Note the following Bible verses: Psalm 103:7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! 11 The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah The Mission has caused these three verses to come alive in my heart; to trust God unconditionally when all around me is turmoil and to quietly trust that He is in control. To look at every thing in my life with the desire of understanding what God is trying to do in me. I have learned that God’s ways are not my ways. This does not create resignation, but determination. The Mission service is sometimes tedious, and often frustrating, but always incredibly fulfilling. The Mission has removed all personal ambition other than helping others be all they can be in God. I have noticed two kinds of servants at the Mission: those who serve for their own benefit or recognition, and those who serve to please God. It does not take long for the motive to be revealed in their behavior. We are stewards of this life and all the blessings it brings to ourselves and others. The Mission has given me a wonderful perspective of life and hope. Our service to the needy in our area is an important duty commanded by God; but we must not allow it to obscure the far greater commission of making disciples. My service is not a substitute for my personal growth and devotion to God, it is part of the process. If I fail to exemplify the very nature and character of Christ in everything I do, I have become “sounding brass or a clanging cymbal”. Christ did not die to simply get us into heaven, but to get the heaven in us that we might be light and salt to those we serve with and those we are called to serve. I have chosen to present this testimony anonymously to remind myself that I serve God, not man. This does not diminish my willingness to help or love those I serve, but my contentment comes from my times of quiet meditation when I sense the presence and pleasure of God quietly whispering to my soul, “well done thou good and faithful servant.”

Drives Help Keep

Pantries Stocked!

Matthew O’Leary

Stephen O’Leary

When young Matthew O’Leary was assigned the task of finding a local charity to support, he began researching Union Gospel Missions online. His dad knew there was one in Olympia, so he told his son that they could conduct a collection drive in their neighborhood for OUGM. Together, they mapped out their neighborhood to see how many houses were there, then printed off flyers from the internet, along with a letter requesting donations for the Mission. On the day specified in their letter, they went to all of their neighbor’s houses and collected an entire car full of hygiene items, food, cleaning supplies, and many more items useful to the Mission. We applaud the efforts of Michael and other young students who find a way to make a difference in their local communities. Like students from Community Christian Academy, (CCA), who recently visited OUGM bearing the fruit of their annual food donation drive. In addition to providing hundreds of pounds of nonperishible food to the Mission each year, students from Community Christian Academy tour the Mission, and participate in the lunch meeting by offering a short program and prayer for OUGM visitors. Thank you to the O’Leary Family and Community Christian Academy Students. You are a blessing!

CCA students line up to help carry donations into the Mission.

Learn how to conduct your own drive at on the donate page. OUGM would like to thank Mike Ridgeway, former owner of Colonial Meats for his consistent and generous donations of meat to the Olympia Union Gospel Mission. His contributions kept the Mission well supplied for many years and will be greatly missed. May God richly bless Mike in his retirement and all future endeavors.

Memorials Gift David & Marie Elwanger Mac & Helen Butcher Bill & Chris Johnston Mikell Flothe Linda Hart Stephen Lindstrom Michael & Julia Frick Koelsch Family James & Phyllis Frost Robert & Joan Bower Doris Wilson David & Barbara Vimont Judy Koelsch Laverne Jopling

In Memory Of Fred Schilter Donald Simpson Bob Hamblen Mickey Weeks Mazine Hart Marcella Scheelke Justin Taylor Justin Taylor Justin Taylor Justin Taylor Justin Taylor Justin Taylor Justin Taylor Richard Huber

Honorariums Gift Ralph & Annette Osgood

In Honor Of Chuck & Cindi McReynolds

Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24

In March, guests of OUGM’s Life Transformation Center, (LTC), were treated to music by students from Northwestern College (NC) in Iowa. NC music students were on a ministry road trip when one of their performances was cancelled at the last minute. They rolled up to the Mission in their tour bus and asked for an opportunity to serve, so Cody, OUGM’s Kitchen Manager, welcomed them in. In addition to providing music, they helped prepare and serve lunch, then afterward, moved next door to offer assistance at the Thurston County Food Bank. While we don’t recommend drop in volunteerism, this unique group of students was in a tight spot, so Cody was happy to help. Musicians are always welcome to perform in the LTC, either at meals, or other scheduled times. Mission guests respond well to music, and it creates a joyful atmosphere, so if you are a musician and would like to serve at the Mission, please contact Tim Langan at 360-709-9725. OUGM also has special events throughout the year that require musicians. If you would like to provide music for one of our events, please contact Virginia or Krina at 360-709-9725.

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

“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

Volunteer Spotlight From the time the Mission first opened, Dixie and Jim Arvan have been serving at OUGM. They’ve made lunches for Labor Ready, ushered for our benefit concerts, worked in the kitchen, and Jim mentors men in our Life Transformation Program.


Why? Well Dixie had this to say: “I’m doing it for

the Lord and I love it. I feel that the Lord is here.” Jim said, “When the Mission first opened, the Lord kept telling me every morning to go to the Mission instead of the coffee shop. I didn’t even know where the Mission was. One day, he yelled in my ear, so I found the Mission and walked in the door. George Wehnes and Linda Barrett were the only ones there at the time and they asked me if they could help me. I said I hope so because the Lord sent me-they thought that was humorous because that morning, they’d been praying for someone to come volunteer. I’ve been here ever since” . . . Faithful is definately a word one can use to describe Jim and Dixie, and OUGM benefits from their consistency and joy in serving. Dixie loves to share about the times she’s seen God do miracles in the kitchen. “Two times I thought I was going to run out of food, but the amount grew right in front of me and we were able to feed everyone,” said Dixie.


Sounds like the time Jesus fed 5,000 men with just five loaves of bread and two fish. About OUGM, Dixie says, “It’s a great place to serve the Lord”, and for Jim, his greatest joy is in seeing God work in the lives of the men in our Life Transformation program as they re-enter society and become productive members.

Amen Jim, and thanks so much to both of you for serving at OUGM!

Thank You to the Johnny Lewis Big Band for donating their talents on March 18th at Hallen Hall in Lacey for an evening of fellowship and fun in celebration of Saint Patrick. What a great time dancing, eating and listening to well known tunes from the golden age of big band music. Thanks also to Pellegrino’s Italian Restaurant, Debbi’s Dance, and Washington Center for the Performing Arts for donating door prizes, and to Comerford School of Irish Dance for providing student dancers for this event. See more pics at! Here’s Johnny!

May 2011 Newsletter  

Read about the Street Ministry, Transformation Program, Health Resources, and updates on OUGM volunteers all in this May issue.

May 2011 Newsletter  

Read about the Street Ministry, Transformation Program, Health Resources, and updates on OUGM volunteers all in this May issue.