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2 min read

A Lasting Partnership: The Belden’s commitment to UGM

Laughs and tears are shared as Jerry and Stephanie Belden recount years of following Jesus together. They are passionate about supporting Union Gospel Mission and being faithful stewards of all that God has blessed them with. Read on to learn how they navigated Jerry's past of addiction and eventually became UGM Legacy Partners. 

 

 

Beldens CircleReceiving the Gospel 

The Beldens’ journey has been filled with faithfulness throughout various trials, and they rejoice in how God has blessed them. Years ago, Jerry Belden walked into a church in California carrying the weight of a cocaine addiction. “I didn’t think that I could ever feel forgiven or accepted because of my shame.” His experience that day proved to be transformative. “I knew that I was a sinner and Jesus died for me. It was that simple.”

Early on in his marriage to Stephanie, Jerry heeded the prompting of the Lord and those in their church to pastor the youth. Jerry was passionate about being mission-minded and wanted the kids to understand the hardships and needs in their community. “We wanted to get the youth out serving…a deeper, more substantive type of ministry.”

 

“I knew that I was a sinner and Jesus died for me.
It was that simple.” 

 

Their church supported the local UGM, bringing groups of students there to serve. This planted in them a heart for serving those in homelessness and addiction. After moving years later to Coeur d’Alene, Jerry and Stephanie started supporting UGM Inland Northwest.

 

 

Generations of Impact

Stephanie’s parents, Bud and Mary Ellen, supported UGM for decades as well. They generously donated their car and ten percent of the funds from their house sale to UGM Inland Northwest.

When asked why they support the ministry, Jerry said, “We’re just thankful for Union Gospel Mission. We know there is a place where people can get help for their physical needs and their spiritual needs…There is no other ministry that encapsulates everything they need.”

 

“I just can’t imagine how many people are in line [at the Mission] and don’t know Jesus yet. UGM takes [individuals] from some of the lowest places and [says] come.”  

 

Jerry’s previous battle with addiction gives him a deep appreciation for UGM. “I wasn’t a good friend, brother, or son.” He also shared that his brother had a more severe struggle with drugs and eventually passed away. The Beldens’ personal experience motivates them to share the gospel. “I just can’t imagine how many people are in line [at the Mission] and don’t know Jesus yet. UGM takes [individuals] from some of the lowest places and [says] come…come be part of this. You guys are building love into them and providing a safe place.”  

 

 

Offering Dignity and Holistic Care

The Beldens value the intentionality behind the structure of UGM, requiring residents to complete daily chores and be clean-and-sober. Stephanie shared, “People need to feel needed and wanted. I think that’s a huge deal. Inviting people into something they have a say about gives dignity.”

Beldens

After attending a recent UGM Connect event and hearing residents share their testimonies, the Beldens were moved. “UGM has given them a safe place to grow, to hear, to respond, and work through issues, and come to a place of peace.”

 

 

Leaving a Legacy of Hope 

They encourage individuals in the community to make a difference by partnering with UGM. “We are going to invest in [UGM] the rest of our lives…I don’t see our giving being used in a better way. We are thankful for it.”

 

“We are going to invest in [UGM] the rest of our lives…I don’t see our giving being used in a better way. We are thankful for it.”

 

The Beldens recently retired from their careers and are eager to extend their support for years to come. With this in mind, they’ve committed a percentage of their estate to UGM to provide for the future of the ministry, making them Legacy Partners. Thank you, Jerry and Stephanie, for being faithful stewards of what’s been given to you, using it to bless those in need.

 

 

If you’re interested in making a lasting impact at UGM, call Gwen Schwartz (509.536.3797) to discuss Legacy Giving through wills, trusts, and other estate planning tools.

 

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