UGM Camp: Faith Like a Child

Posted by Union Gospel Mission Jul 22, 2018 7:32:00 AM

By Christa Inouye, Youth Outreach

How much can an 8-year-old understand about the kingdom of God? Sometimes, people become discouraged in children’s ministry, wondering if anything is actually making a difference. Are conversations about God only for adults?

Jesus seems to answer that question pretty clearly: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14). Often, God surprises us with how directly He speaks to the hearts of children.

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Why Get Involved in a Church?

Posted by Lynn Yount, Staff Writer Jul 19, 2018 1:08:26 PM

Many of those who come to UGM for help have no family, or their families are still stuck in brokenness and addiction. Years of scrambling to survive may have turned their focus inward: “I need to look out for myself, because nobody else is going to do it. I’m all alone.”

When they encounter God’s love and the good news of Jesus, they know they need other believers for encouragement, accountability, and support as they move forward. They need local churches to step up, befriend and embrace them. They need a new family.

But family life isn’t a one-way street. God’s design for the church is for interdependence, with Christ as our head: “From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:16).

The Body of Christ actually needs UGM residents and alums as much as they need it.

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Long-Term Recovery: The Right Kind of Hungry

Posted by Union Gospel Mission Jul 11, 2018 1:48:25 PM

Having recently celebrated the 2018 LIFE Recovery Commencement, we know the story is just beginning for the honorees. Their time at UGM was a time of preparation for a deeply satisfying life of connection, relationships, and service to others.  Maintaining that rich life requires cultivation of a different kind of hunger than we usually talk about at UGM – a healthy, lifelong hunger.

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Facing Fears at UGM Camp

Posted by Union Gospel Mission Jul 7, 2018 8:06:00 AM

By Christa Inouye, Youth Outreach  

“Hey bud, what’s going on? Do you want to join the others in the group game?”

At UGM Camp, this is a frequently overheard conversation. Every summer, leaders are trained to spot kids who may have a tendency to isolate themselves away from the group.

For many campers, this is their first time away from home. This might be, in fact, their first time leaving Spokane. The five days at camp are packed to the brim with new experiences. For these children, the excitement of camp is often joined with anxiety. The leaders’ goal is always to encourage the individual to re-engage with their cabin for emotional support.

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One Man, Two Careers in Service

Posted by Union Gospel Mission Jul 3, 2018 8:23:00 AM

Greg Barclay has been UGM's Director of Volunteers for more than 13 years and has overseen exponential growth, both in our volunteer workforce and in the ministries they make possible. He recently answered a few questions about his journey into this work and what volunteers mean to him and to UGM.

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Recovery from Abandonment

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Jun 27, 2018 4:23:34 PM

Stephanie sums up her childhood in just a few phrases: “A lot of broken promises, fighting, a lot of neglect, never being told I love you. No affection or encouragement from either parent. No stability. No structure. No safety. I was on my own.”

Stephanie’s parents were both addicts. Her mom hoped Stephanie’s birth father would marry her when she got pregnant, but he didn’t. “When my dad didn’t want to be with her anymore, she hated me for it. She was trying to save the relationship and it backfired, so she held that against me.

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Recovery: Facing Anger at God

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Jun 20, 2018 10:25:37 AM

“I was really angry with God and confused about…Well, if God really loves me, then how come I had to go through all this stuff? You know, there’s plenty of people out there that didn’t have to grow up the way I did or see the things I saw or get exposed to the things I was exposed to…And so, why me?”

 •

Justin Norwood was born in Chicago to an alcoholic and a drug addict. His parents split up when he was five. When he was seven, he had to choose whether to move to Washington with his dad or stay with his mom. He went with his dad. They were homeless for two years.

“We bounced around, lived in his van a little bit here and there. My dad has a lot of family in the Tri-Cities, but they didn’t really want us staying with them for too long because my dad’s an addict and I had a lot of anger issues.”

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The Emotional Toll of Fatherlessness

Posted by Lynn Yount, Staff Writer Jun 13, 2018 11:57:38 AM

A common thread among many people who enter the LIFE Recovery program is an absent or abusive father. Samantha’s story reflects the devastating effects of fatherlessness on children, and on the adults they become.

 Samantha was 6 when her mom took the kids and left her dad, who had abused them all. Her parents were both addicts, using drugs to cope with their grief from the sudden death of another child.

Samantha’s childhood was a blur of moving, running away from problems, never putting down roots.

“We would just move on the drop of a dime. I never made friends in school.”

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Forgiving Yourself as Part of Recovery

Posted by Barbara Comito, Marketing Director Jun 7, 2018 10:52:25 AM

Adam's is one of many inspiring stories of transformation you will hear at the LIFE Recovery Commencement on June 26, 6:30 p.m. at Valley Assembly. We hope you'll join us there!

Shame says…

  • You are ugly.
  • You are stupid.
  • You are worthless.
  • If people knew the real you, they would hate you.
  • Work harder, do more, try to earn love because who you are is not enough.
  • What you have done is unforgivable.
  • You are unlovable.
  • Just give up.

 The messages of shame are anti-Gospel.

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Youth and the Future of Ministry

Posted by Union Gospel Mission May 31, 2018 12:53:05 PM

By Ryan Brown, UGM Youth Outreach Director

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Three and a half years ago, I was called back to a place where God transformed my life: Spokane’s Union Gospel Mission.

I had no idea the blessing that would come would be so substantial and life-changing for this community, and me personally.

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