• New Life In Christ

    2019 - 24 Decisions
  • New Life In Christ

    2018 - 563 Decisions
  • New Life In Christ

    2017 - 567 Decisions
  • New Life In Christ

    2016 - 609 Decisions
  • New Life In Christ

    2015 - 562 Decisions
  • New Life In Christ

    2014 - 494 Decisions
  • New Life In Christ

    2013 - 489 Decisions
  • New Life In Christ

    2012 - 438 Decisions
  • New Life In Christ

    2011 - 434 Decisions
  • New Life In Christ

    2010 - 275 Decisions
  • New Life In Christ

    2009 - 213 Decisions
  • New Life In Christ

    2008 - 168 Decisions

Upcoming Events

UGM Winkler Dessert Fundraiser
Sun May 05 @ 7:00PM -

Praise & Prayer

  • Pray for those who will attend the Easter Street Meal.  Pray that their hearts will be open to the saving grace of Jesus.

  • Praise the Lord for the ongoing support of Union Gospel Mission.  Your support is allowing us to reach more and more people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as well as giving them a helping hand.

  • Pray for our students who are graduating through both our Christian Education and our Adult Education Programs.  The Lord is doing amazing things!

  • Praise the Lord that more individuals are seeking help from our men’s and women’s addiction programs.

Prayer Warriors

Please join us in bringing praise and glory to God by becoming a Prayer Warrior.  You can receive our Prayer Warrior bulletin five times per year.  To sign up:

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Subject line:  Prayer Warrior
Type your first & last name in the message

Street Ministry

Grief--Loss

"Jane" came to the Mission very upset.  She was crying and shaking and was wondering if she could stay in our chapel for about an hour.  She was trying to get away from drug dealers who had been threatening her as she wanted to quit using the drugs they were selling her.  She said that she came to UGM as it was like a church and she wanted some peace and safety. 

I talked with Jane about the Charis Centre and the women’s recovery program that we have.  I urged her to make the steps needed to get into that program asap.  She said that she would try to do so soon.  I pray that she has. 

I took the time to pray with Jane and let her stay in the chapel until her friend was able to come to pick her up.  She said that she was tired of the life she was living and how her addiction had ruined her life.  She was wondering if there would ever be any peace or rest for her.  I told her about Jesus and what he said in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” 

May the Lord give Jane that rest along with all those who come to Union Gospel Mission looking for peace in their lives. 

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Christian School Program

Christian school blog

 

The Christian School Program is now accepting applications for the 2019-2020 school year. Although we are in the middle of a deep freeze in February, I’m thinking about the fall of 2019.  Getting our 75+ students re-registered for the fall is always a challenge.

The home visitations increase this time of year to make sure parents are filling out the appropriate paperwork.  It’s also a very good time of year to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the parents. When one is getting something for free, they will sit through anything you have to say. 

With this in mind, on home visits I make sure I have Bible tracts and Bible in hand.  After the normal formalities of asking how everyone is doing, we get down to serious eternal questions.  It’s always a pleasure to sit and encourage the House of Saints; however I believe it’s more of a privilege to share the Gospel with the unsaved.

I’m always put to the test, with many valid questions as to why someone has to have a personal relationship with Jesus in order to get to Heaven.  Sometimes the truth falls on deaf ears and other times there is a spark of interest.  At times after pouring my heart out and there seems to be no interest, I have to remember what the Lord said through the prophet Isaiah…."So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11).

Please pray with us that all students get re-registered and that we fill the Kindergarten class to the maximum capacity!

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126 Hits

Looking to Volunteer?

volunteer you

 

Looking to volunteer at Union Gospel Mission?  So many different options depending on what you enjoy doing - sorting, receiving, sharing, cooking, serving, teaching, administrating, etc.  We also have different timeslots, depending on your availability!    

The best part though?  Your service makes a difference in the lives of those struggling in your community.  Check out  Volunteer Opportunities.

Email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. now and join the fun!

 

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295 Hits

Christmas at Charis

Christmas at Charis

 

This Christmas season at Charis Centre was full of people who were eager to serve and show Gods love to those in need.  We had many exciting things happening for the women and children at our Centre.  The season of celebration of Christ’s birth started off with the ladies in our program giving back to the elderly in the community.  The ladies bused to a senior’s residence where they sang carols to the men and women residing in the residence.  This was enjoyed by all!

On Christmas day, a group from SALT Community of Believers came to Charis to cook brunch and Christmas dinner for the ladies and children in our program.  The Reimer family joined in to help out and spend time with our residents.

Later in the week, the Reeve family entertained the ladies and children with food and fun winter activities.

We are truly blessed to have such amazing people involved in our ministry.  We thank God for those who desire to show God’s love to those who need it the most.  Thank you!

Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (NIV)

 

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173 Hits

Children's Ministry - Gifts

christmas-gift

christmas gift

An office of the Provincial Government chose the Family Life Centre to donate new toys to at Christmas time.  Reflecting on this, the kids who came to the drop-in program received a nice blessing.  They seemed so pleased to open a gift specifically bought for them. 

For some of them it may have been the only gift received; or maybe the only brand new gift received.  But by far, it was not the best gift.  The best gift they could ever receive is the gift of Christ Himself.  This was emphasized many times.  Hopefully it has or will have an impact.  How eagerly the kids opened the beautifully wrapped gifts.  At the same time, how dismissive some were of the gift God sent them.

My prayer for 2019 is for the kids to realize how precious and wonderful the gift of Jesus truly is; and that they accept this gift wholeheartedly!

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157 Hits

Thank You!

Thank-you-letter

THANK YOU for your support of Union Gospel Mission’s Seven Ministries Under God.  Through volunteering, financial support and prayer, you have helped serve over 100,000 meals, given away almost 100,000 pieces of clothing, educated over 50 adult education students, and helped over 80 children receive a Christian private school education. In addition, we had over 85 men enter our Men’s New Life in Christ Addiction Recovery Program. We also had over 50 women enter our Women’s Addiction Recovery Program, and on a weekly basis over 50 ladies have sought help and spiritual guidance through UGM’s Family Life Centre.  But it did not stop there!  Over 1,300 children & youth went to one week of Bible camp, and 10 to 20 children participate on a daily basis in our after school clubs.

In every ministry, the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been taught and preached on a daily basis, and through your support, over 535 individuals made a decision to follow Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior in 2018!  Volunteers, donors and prayer warriors like YOU make this all possible!

 

Thank you for your support in 2018!

Frank Ulrich, Executive Director

Union Gospel Mission (Winnipeg)

www.gospelmission.ca

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242 Hits

New Year's Day (Christmas) Street Meal

Turkey-roasted

Image may contain: 1 person, indoorFinal report on the #ugmwinnipeg #newyearsday2019 #christmasmeal . We served over 250 guests a hot turkey dinner. Each guest received a Christmas gift, a warm hug and a Gospel message. We received over 37 prayer requests and over 24 individuals made a decision to follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in 2019. Praise the Lord. Thank you to all who volunteered, donated food and gifts and prayed! May the Lord bless all who where involved, especially those that made a first time decision to follow Him as Lord and Savior. @ Winnipeg, Manitoba

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186 Hits

Merry Christmas!

Nativity-General

Merry Christmas from Union Gospel Mission.

Please continue to pray for our guests, residents in recovery, volunteers and staff through the Christmas season.

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Struggles - Street Ministry

Man-struggle

Marvin came to me in a bad state.  He has been struggling with an addiction to crystal meth for two years now.  He came to me just as he was coming down from the “high” of meth, when people are usually in a state of psychosis.  As is the norm for someone in that state, he was feeling paranoid and irritable, but also very tired of living such a chaotic lifestyle.  He came to me asking for prayer to find peace with God.  He desperately wanted a moment of peace, even if it was for one day. 

I let Marvin know about our addiction recovery program at UGM and he said he would think about it.  Then I told him about Matthew 11:28, where Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  I told Marvin that if he really wanted peace in his life, the only way to find that peace was by surrendering his life to Jesus. 

I prayed with Marvin that he would give his life to Christ and know what real peace is.  I took him through passages in the Bible that talk about God’s protection in Christ and how we can face the hardships in life with Him, instead of numbing everything with drugs.  Marvin left my office a lot calmer.  I never saw him after that, so I am glad that he heard the Gospel that day.  I’m hoping he gave his life to Christ and found the peace that surpasses all understanding. 

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251 Hits

Battles - Christian School Program

Soldier-Kneeling-Prayer-Cross

Remember the TV show called “Land of the Giants”?   Seven people from earth found their spaceship caught in some kind of time warp and ended up on a planet where everything was twelve times larger than on earth.  Each week they battled giant cats, children, and soldiers.  It was a little strange but raised an interesting question.  What would we do if everything and everyone was a giant….except for us?

The truth is that we do live in a land of giants.  There are things that are bigger than us which seem to stand between us and where God wants us to be.  In the Christian school program, I encounter family members that are facing giants every day.  These giants come in the form of addictions, poor choices, worrying about things that are out of their control.  These giants are very real!  This is why it’s so important to pray for the Lord's wisdom and guidance before every home visit I make.

When talking about the giants they face, we go to the scriptures.  One example is Hebrews 12:1-2:  “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

This gives us the ultimate answer for all the giants of life – look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.  The truth is we have a choice, and we are faced with a question, who are we relying on to defeat our giants?  All of the giants that we battle are designed to bring us closer to God.  We can’t think that we’ll fight the giants of our lives under our own strength, we must look to the Lord.  I go to every home visit with the mindset of conquering giants, and I think to myself, onward Christian soldier marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before.

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284 Hits

Operational Needs

Milk2

Items needed for operational areas of the Mission:

    Food - Milk, canned meats, ground beef, cereals

    Paper Products - Toilet Paper

    Cleaning Products - Dish Soap, laundry detergent pods

    Clothing - Mitts/gloves, scarves, toques, long johns, winter jackets, boots

 

All donations can be brought to 320 Princess St

 

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241 Hits

Men's Addiction Program - Testimony

addiction-recovery-768

I grew up in a dysfunctional family and experienced all kinds of abuse.  I turned to drugs at 12 years of age, and suffered from mental illness throughout my whole life.  By the age of 15, my life was completely out of control, so I left home.  I was an addict and did every kind of drug you can think of; ecstasy, LSD, mushrooms, cannabis, DMT, cocaine and crack, even chemicals most people haven't heard of like 2-CI.

In my early 20's I became a gang member.  By then, my addictions and problems in life were so severe (violence, overdosing, toxic relationships, the list goes on) that nobody thought I could recover.  When I first got clean, it was very temporary.  At that time, I didn’t know about detox or treatment facilities.  I went to my doctor for help, and he told me I needed to stop before he would help me.  I was let down by the very health care system that was supposed to help me.

My sobriety only came through running out of sources for my ecstasy.  With the withdrawal, I suffered many seizures and only after two weeks I started getting better.  My sobriety did not last very long.  I have not remained sober for longer than a few months in my life since I was 12, especially in my early 20's.  I was too messed up to realized how messed up I was.

In 2014, I became addicted to meth and used it daily for years.  I was more desperate for help than ever before.  I went to UGM and the door to faith in Jesus Christ was opened up to me.  My eyes were opened to the enemy’s lies and onslaught on my life.  Throughout my whole childhood and adult life, I had encounters with demons, both when intoxicated and sober.  The harassment stopped completely when I turned my life over to Jesus Christ.  I was delivered from the desire to use meth completely.

Praise Jesus!  I am forever changed, and even ended up finding my wife Erin.  Through the power of Jesus Christ, I showed Erin the way to salvation away from her life of hopelessness and addiction.  My wife and I are currently both residents of the Men's and Women's Treatment Program at UGM.  Our prayer is to be an example to others of the miracles that happen through Jesus, God with us.  

Please send us your prayers for continued strength and guidance from God as we continue in our recovery.  UGM has helped change our lives!  I give thanks to God for having a plan for my wife and I and we hope to continue to have involvement with Union Gospel Mission after we graduate.

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Charis Centre

Woman-with-coffee---hope

God has blessed UGM with a beautiful facility for women recovering from addiction to stay and we have a desire to maximize God’s gift to its full capacity.  Our prayer at the Charis Centre has been for God to lead women who are struggling with addiction to our doors.  Here we can provide a safe place where each lady is surrounded by God’s love and covered in prayer as they begin their journey.

God has heard our prayer and has been sending women our way.  This month, Charis Centre has reached the highest number of individuals that we have ever had registered in our program at once. In November, we reached a total of 24 women registered in the program, plus 4 children.  Applications continue to come in.

Due to the growing number of residents, and to ensure that we keep up with the needs of the ladies that enter our program, Charis has hired a new case manager.  Virginia Spence began her new position Nov 14th.

We have been truly blessed!  Please continue to pray for Charis as we continue to grow and seek God’s will for our Recovery Program.

Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

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Children's Drop-in

Childrens--Drop-in-Candies

     There is a format that we follow at the Family Life Centre for the children’s drop-in program.  First, there is playtime.  Playtime is followed by a Bible lesson.  Then finally, there is a snack just before dismissal.  The other day, a little girl asked if we could skip the Bible lesson and just have the snack.  That would be a lot easier for everyone.  But the purpose in opening our doors to the kids is to teach them the Gospel.  Aside from what they are taught at our drop-in, it’s doubtful that the kids who come here are exposed to any Biblical teaching whatsoever.  It’s probable this is the only spiritual truth they are exposed to.  So then, we actually provide the most important education they receive.

     In this fallen world, resistance to the Gospel is always the norm; it’s to be expected.  So, can we ever skip a Bible lesson and go right to the snack?  We cannot; we will not; we should not.  God expects the Gospel to be proclaimed.  At times, it would be easier to just have the snack.  But leaving Jesus, the Bread of Life, out of the conversation must not ever happen!  

#BeMissionAware 
#WalkWhereJesusWalked 
#ugmwinnipeg

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218 Hits

Street Ministry

hope-new-plant

Joe is one of our regular guests at UGM from the street.  Some of our staff remember Joe before he was obsessed with all sorts of conspiracy theories that seldom make any sense.  He uses our payphone to tell the operator his frustrations.  Joe has said some things that caused us to pray for him in a deeper way. 

One evening he had a moment of clarity and we had a meaningful conversation.  He told me, “Even though there was a lot of bad things in my life, I can see how God’s used it for good.”  He spoke with a true affection toward Jesus as we talked about the hope we have in Him.  Since then I’ve heard him say, “UGM’s the greatest place on earth.”  This is so encouraging!  We know that this is not because of us, but God’s work in his life.  We are very privileged to be a part of God’s work in Joe’s life.

Please continue to pray for people like Joe.  We are dealing with broken people.  Hearing how they have found hope through the Gospel makes everything we do worth it!

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251 Hits

Study - Women's Ministry

Bible---Spiritual-milk

Jean has been attending Family Life Centre Bible studies for quite a few years now.  In a recent study she shared, “I used to come here just to get out of the house and have coffee.  But now I come to Bible study to learn about the Bible.  I’ve been trying to read the book of Acts in the Bible and I’ve had to reread lots of parts to get the people straight – there’s so many characters.”

It is tough to read and understand the Bible when you’re only being introduced to it as an adult.  What an encouragement it is when women are committed to reading God’s Word and thereby grow and mature in their Christian walk.  When we commit ourselves to studying His Word, God is faithful to bring understanding and application.

1 Peter 2:2 “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation".

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250 Hits

Christian School

Kids-in-class-at-Pritchard

The 2018-19 school year is well under way!!  We are thankful to all of our prayer warriors and donors who have helped us enroll 79 students at 3 different Faith Academy campuses.  Most students have adjusted well to the new school year, and others are having a difficult time spending a whole day at school. 

Our Kindergarten students are trying very hard to remain engaged all day, however for some, the task is extremely exasperating.  These little minds are experiencing a brand new adventure away from home and at times the emotions run very high.  It takes a unique individual to be able to cope with the ability of controlling a classroom and also handing the tears of the little ones.

Please pray with us that the students adjust to the new school year and that the teachers continue to look to our Lord for the wisdom needed in retaining control of the classroom.   

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309 Hits

Thanksgiving - Charis Centre

thankful

Most of us look forward to Thanksgiving as it is a time to get together with family and friends to share lots of food and laughter.  We all have our traditions that we follow which often include saying what we are thankful for.  Holidays can be difficult for many of the ladies that come through our program for many reasons.  Some miss their families and children whom they cannot spend the holiday with, while others may remember holidays as a time of trauma because family gatherings didn’t go so great for them growing up. Sometimes it’s difficult to identify anything to be grateful for when life seems to have thrown the worst at you. 

This year, we at Chairs are so grateful to a great group of volunteers who came in to make Thanksgiving Day special for the residents.  A group from Waverly Church volunteered their time to come to Charis and cook a great meal to serve our residents.  On a normal day, the food would be cooked and the women would serve themselves. On this day, the ladies got VIP treatment as they sat at their tables and the food was brought to them.  We are so beyond grateful to people who so kindly take time on these special days to serve and show God’s love to those who are struggling and trying to find their way.  The residents loved the meal and are talking about the great time they had.  I know that this year they were thankful for each volunteer who came and spent time with them.

Psalm 106:1 - Praise the Lord.  Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever."

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400 Hits

Thanksgiving Dinner

UGM-Thanksgiving-2018

We had a great turn out for our Street Community Thanksgiving Dinner!  240 guests came for the dinner and chapel service.  50 volunteers gave of their time to help make this event a success.  48 guests shared their prayer requests, in which each one was prayed for while they were here.    36 guests made a decision to follow Jesus Christ after the chapel service.  Praise the Lord!!

Please pray for each of our guests, that the Holy Spirit would work in their lives as they grow in their relationship with the Lord.  Pray also as they walk through each of their struggles in life, whether it be homelessness, physical or mental health problems, or addictions, that Union Gospel Mission can share the Light of Jesus Christ to them.

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921 Hits

Men's Program Field Trip

Fish-Fry

For the second year in a row, the residents and staff from UGM Men’s Recovery Program went on a fun outing to Gimli Bible Camp.  The purpose of the trip was to enjoy the day in fellowship.  The campgrounds were beautiful and the men quickly ventured out to the lake and the various activities around the main building.  One resident moved in behind the piano and entertained us with his own compositions.

A highlight of the day was a lunch of fried pickerel and homemade fries.  The main event was after lunch, with the baptism of one of our residents in the lake.  Senior Chaplain Mark Kelm and Mario Grande bravely walked into the cold lake.  After Mario confessed his faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior he was baptized.  Great joy was expressed from Mario and the witnesses on the shore.  We take great joy in seeing how God can change a drug addict into a new creation in Christ Jesus.

Later in the afternoon, the group had a devotional led by Chaplain Mark.  He spoke about Lazarus, how Jesus brought him back from death to life.  In reality, all of us are like Lazarus.  We need Jesus to bring us from death to life in Him.  Everyone at UGM wants to thank Gimli Bible Camp for the great food and fellowship!  It was a Divine appointment.

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551 Hits

Restoration

Mended-heart---reconciliation

Peter, youngest of three brothers, was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In 1977, Peter took his first valium and ever since had been chasing the inducement of feeling on top of the world. Due to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder he quit school and went to work. Peter quickly fell into experimenting with drugs. It escalated from taking valium, to smoking marijuana and then main lining cocaine, speed and morphine. Peter started to get into trouble with the law from 1977 until 2003. He had 4 counts of armed robberies, breaking and entering, and fraudulent prescriptions. 

In 1982 Peter gave his life to Jesus Christ after being in lock down for 23 hours due to armed robberies.  In 1989 he found the love of his life and his best friend. In 1990 and 1992 God gave him two wonderful children. At that time, he thought he had his addiction under control, but he was living a double-life and caused his family severe pain with his deceit and hypocritical lifestyle. His wife kept bringing him back, believing in him that he would be the example of a godly man for their family. Peter went in and out of treatment centers, Teen Challenge six times, and even graduate from Teen Challenge in 2013. Sadly, after graduating he went back into his old addiction ways.

His son Scott was also suffering from depression and drug abuse. His wife raised their kids with the hope that one day they would have a sober father. Peter’s life took a shocking turn for the worse when his 26-year-old shot himself with a shotgun in the head, a result of dealing with his addiction and depression.  Two months later Peter’s niece shot herself, also in the head resulting from depression and drug addiction. The trauma stopped Peter in his tracks. On August 1st Peter came to UGM to rededicate his life to Jesus Christ and to break the cycle of addiction.  Peter believes that his family has forgiven him for his negligence and the trauma that he had caused them.  After three overdoses, Peter believes he is still alive because God has a plan for his life.  Philippians 1:6 and John 10:28 say that God started the work in him and therefore nothing will snatch him out of His hand.  God has proved that!  Please pray for this work to continue.

Peter’s main focus is to have Jesus Christ at the center of his life and to have reconciliation with his family. Joel 2:25, “God says, I will restore what the locust have eaten”.

 

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597 Hits

Proclaim Christ

FLC-Kids-Clubs-2010-Table

      Where did God come from?  Who created the devil?  What if Jesus never came into the world?  

      These are great theological questions, aren’t they?  But what’s really great about these particular questions are that they came from the minds of seven and eight year olds. At the Family Life Centre’s drop-in program for children, we have a Bible lesson every day. And although it may appear the kids are tuning the lessons out, some of the kids are listening enough so that they are actually thinking about the things of God. Their little intellects have been stimulated by some Godly truth. Now their hearts must follow.

     The facts and the invitation of Christ can be presented, but only the Holy Spirit can open a heart to the Gospel. Our part is to proclaim Christ, and then to pray for those who heard. This is a duty we must be vigilante about.  Please join me in prayer for the little ones who participate in our drop-in.

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477 Hits

Audrey's Stolen Bike

Stolen-Bike

Audrey comes occasionally to Ladies Day at Family Life Centre.  She comes on her bike with a basket.  On this particular Wednesday, she was participating in our programming with her bike locked up outside our building, when Gilbert noticed someone riding away as fast as they could from the Centre on that bike.  He came into the meeting and made the announcement and of course Audrey was disappointed and sad.  However, she was about to see the blessings of God. 

By the time Ladies day had come to its conclusion, funds had been donated to get another bike.  Cassie was on the internet finding a suitable one for Audrey.  As I drove Audrey home that day, she was no longer sad; she had a story to tell.  As I was helping her with her bags to her front door, I overheard her telling her neighbor the story of how her bike was stolen and how she was getting another one.  On Thursday morning, Audrey came by and picked up her new used bike.  All glory to God!

Romans 8:28  “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  

We love God and we are called to spread the Good News in the North End trusting God to work all things together for good.

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772 Hits

Street Ministry

prodigal-son

The doors open for Union Gospel Mission’s morning chapel service at 11:00, but on Tuesdays, street guests can choose to go to the Bible study at 11:15 if they would like to.  Susan usually chooses to go to the Bible study.  She’s very attentive and contributes well to the class discussions.  One day she stayed behind because the Bible study touched on something she was struggling with in her personal life.  We had been studying the story of the prodigal son in Luke chapter 15.  This story touched her because her own son had left home at 18, but not to go to college.  Her son was addicted to drugs and was hanging out with a bad group of people.  She had to kick him out of the house recently because he had stolen money from her for his addiction and she could no longer trust him. 

The story of the prodigal son gave her hope that someday he may turn his life around and come back to the family again.  The Lord used the class as a reminder for her to keep praying for him and that there is always hope in Jesus.  May the Lord continue to use the chapel services and the Tuesday morning Bible study classes to remind people of the hope that is found only in Jesus.  He is the only one who can really change a person’s heart and bring them back home.

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632 Hits

Back to School

Back-to-school

The teachers are back in class getting ready for the 2018-19 school year.  There are only a few weeks of vacation left for the students; where did the summer go?  I have been speaking to parents who are anxious to get their children back into the school routine.  The inner-city can be a dangerous place when one has too much time on their hands.  With the multiculturalism, different religions and philosophies, it is very easy to stray away from the cross if you are not rooted in it. 

Proverbs 14:12 reads "there is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death."  Every home visit the message shared is that Jesus is the answer to all our troubles.  Jesus says that we are the salt of the earth, the world says salt is not good for us.  So much confusion in today’s fast paced society that if you are not focused on the cross, you’re an easy target for the evil one.

All of our students and family members have a tough go at life and need all the prayers they can get; don’t we all need as much prayer as possible?  It will take a few weeks for students to get back into the swing of things and adjust to a new school year.  The teachers are preparing for the spiritual battle that is coming and we ask you to continue to pray for all of our students and families.

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515 Hits

Community

Community-Cutouts

I am sure most of us have had the experience of leaving our home community and moving to a new location where faces and scenes were unfamiliar.  It can be both scary and exciting; feel lonely and exhilarating all at the same time.  

On July 3, 2018 at 8:30 am, I walked into the Charis Centre and joined my new community.  All of the faces were unfamiliar, the routines were unfamiliar.  I didn’t know anyone’s name or what brought them to this community.  Now, not even a month later, these faces have become familiar.  I know when I arrive at 8:30 am, various ladies will be doing their cleaning routine, devotions or classes will begin shortly after, and most importantly I am beginning to know each lady and their story.

I recently watched a video where the speaker talked about studies on addiction and what causes addictive behaviors. New studies show that addiction is about lack of connection or bonding, so in essence it’s a lack of a sense of community.

In the past two months, one of our residents was reunited with all 4 of her children.  What an exciting event!  I asked one of the little boys if he was excited to be back with his mom, brother and sisters and he looked at me with a big smile on his face and said “yes, I cried.”  I knew from the big smile that those were tears of joy.  That little boy’s family community was now reunited.

All of this makes me reflect on how important my new community is to those currently living here and those who will be joining us.  If a sense of belonging replaces the addiction, how unbelievably important is our jobs for those of us who work here every day.  Those who enter our program will be scared and excited to start their new journey.  They will have many times of feeling lonely.  They will feel the desire to numb the emotional pain that they are now feeling and learning to process as a sober person.  In the course of moving along this journey, when life begins to come together, they will see that a connection with those around them, their peers, counsellors, children, and hopefully and most importantly, their relationship with God will replace the need for the addiction.

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Men's Program

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David was born on the island of Trinidad.  He grew up in a neighborhood that wasn’t kind to single moms.  His family loved partying, and his drinking started when he was only 6 years old.  Older men would pour him drinks for fun.  Being a single mom, his mother went through difficult times.  One day his mother told him that he should have never been born.  If she knew that he would have been a boy, she would have killed him.  Fifty years later, he still hears those words.

“I don’t drink to get a buzz, I drink to kill the pain that I had to live with, and it is a lifetime of hurt”.  David went to Church as a child and he remembered how he felt in Church.  He enjoyed the singing and learned about the Love God has for His people.  He heard there’s a heaven and wanted to die so that he could go there.  He also learned that killing yourself is wrong, so that’s why he is still alive.  Drugs and drinking became the tool to numb the voices in his head.

He came to UGM about 10 years ago and had a good run for about 3 years without drugs and drinking.  In 2017 he came back to UGM for 7 months and then moved into his own apartment.  Unfortunately it all came crushing down.  David is now back at UGM.  He wants to learn how to keep Jesus’ peace, not for a day or year, but for a lifetime.  David wants God to heal him and not let the world get him down. “I want to love God, He has been merciful and loving to me.  He has been my only Friend.  UGM is a good place to learn.  I pray to God to heal me, to show me how to live with my pain and to never forget others in their pain or pass on His love.”

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Kid's Clubs

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    At the Family Life Centre’s drop-in program for kids, a Bible lesson is taught every day.  The ultimate goal, naturally, is to have children accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour.  Some kids are hearing this for the very first time, and they don’t really understand it.  They need to stay tuned and hear more.  There is a group of kids who say Jesus died on the cross for their sins, but they say this because they know it is the right thing to say.  It hasn’t taken hold of their hearts yet.  Still others have actually professed to having accepted Jesus as their Saviour.  This is a group is small and they are in various stages of faith,  but it shows the Holy Spirit is at work.

      No matter how slow we may think the process is; for God, the timing is perfect.  For those who God draws to Christ, their spiritual eyes will be opened when God wants it to happen.  So, Bible lessons will continue to be taught  and prayers for the conversion of these children will continue to take place. 

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Clean the Fridge

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So, what did you do at Family Life Centre today?  My answer, “I cleaned the fridge.”  After inspection earlier in the week, we found it in unacceptable condition.  So, there was nothing to do but get out the soap and water and give the fridge a good cleaning, before the fresh food came in for the week. 

Our Heavenly Father does His inspections too.   In fact, we are challenged to invite Him to do inspections.  Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”

God is faithful to search our hearts and it is our duty to take a look at what He shows us, to confess any sin He may reveal, to give to Him any worries and anxieties we are carrying.  Note, God does do the cleaning, we just have to ask.  Praise His Name!

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

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Summer Time

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The 2017-18 school year is in its last week and the students are looking forward to the summer holidays.  Some of the students will be returning to the Reservations to visit family members, while others will never leave the North End.  Most students will be returning to Faith Academy in the fall, but there are some that will not be returning due to a variety of reasons.  

Please join with us and pray that all students and family members make wise choices this summer, and look to our Heavenly Father for the wisdom and direction needed to have a safe and happy time.  We ask in Jesus’ Name that the students keep the Cross in arms reach at all times!  

The world looks enticing and has lots to offer those who are not on solid ground. Wherever the world has taken God out of the equation, evil runs quickly to fill that void. Our young are vulnerable to a great fall.  Summer vacation should be a time of rejuvenation and not a time of turmoil.  Father God, may you keep our students and family members safe, so that they may enjoy the summer of 2018!!

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True Rest

June-2018-Blog-Pic

Matthew 11:28  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”

With Summer upon us here at the Mission, I am reminded of these words of Christ Jesus as I see people finding rest for their bodies on the grass around 320 Princess. 

Much like the grass that needs cutting, the weeds that need pulling and the garbage that’s routinely picked up as part of Operation’s, I’ve enjoyed the thought of how we find our TRUE rest in Christ.  He also comes in and trims the grass and plucks the weeds out of our hearts daily, as we commune with Him He clears the fleshly garbage out of our lives. 

I would encourage you all as you're driving or walking by the Mission through these next few months, seeing our guests resting on the green grass during the day, to look beyond the physical and see people who are loved by God, and like me and you, are in need of the TRUE rest that can only come from Jesus.

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Men's Program - Freedom

Freedom-in-Christ

Psalm 20:7 says, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” 

It has been a privilege to be a part of God’s work at UGM.  What a blessing to see lives saved from the pit.  Not only does God restore people, He blesses them beyond what they hoped for.  I’m especially happy to see one of our residents who used to be a crystal meth addict now living for God. 

This man came here out of detox to get free from his addiction.  Shortly into the program he gave his heart to Christ!  He says, “I’ve been at the bottom.  I didn’t know God before.  Since surrendering my life to Him it has been a big change.  I know God is always beside me, especially in my addiction. Whenever I think of drugs, I just pray and the thought is gone.  My wife and daughter are especially happy with the change in my life.  My wife and I feel like a new couple.  My daughter thinks I should be a preacher.  The change in my life comes from God.” 

We praise God for stories like this, but not all of our residents in our addiction program have this fervor.  Please continue to pray for them as true freedom is only possible through Christ.  Thank you for your prayers!

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Help my Unbelief!

Belief-Unbelief

Unbelief is the opposite of faith, and a very powerful force.  I’m thankful that the kids who attend the Family Life Centre drop-in program believe there is a God.  That’s a good start, but it’s not enough to obtain eternal life.  So, re-enforcement of God is a constant, and teaching about Jesus; who He is and how eternal life is obtained through Him, is an essential.

There is an undercurrent of unbelief in these little ones.  But there is also a desire to believe.  The children receive continuous Biblical teaching.  This is accompanied by prayer.  Prayer, of course, is not only fundamental, but also our duty.  Let’s not neglect this requirement; let us do it with passion!  The father of the demon possessed boy in the book of Mark exclaimed to Jesus, that which I pray will be exclaimed one day by the children at F.L.C.: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)

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The Elements

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The Family Life Centre is located in the heart of gangland Winnipeg in the midst of Satan’s stronghold.  The confusion and darkness can be overwhelming.  The neighbourhood is regulated by the sun.  Once the sun goes down, children are brought indoors, the blinds are shut and the doors are locked. 

The scientific community tells us that we need 4 basic elements to survive this world, water, air, food and light.  What does the Bible tells us about our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? I am the living water, I am the breath of life, I am the bread of life, and I am the light of the world.  All the elements that we need to survive this world can be found in Jesus!

This is what we do at the Family Life Centre, we teach Jesus. The ladies coming to our programming may be thirsty for peace in their heart that surpasses all comprehension, and we will direct them to the well where they will never thirst again.  The children come in droves looking to fill their little bellies.  After physically feeding the children, they are taught to search for the food from the Holy Scriptures that will satisfy their soul. 

I can’t help but think about the passage out of the Book of Ezekiel where it reads (Ezekiel 37:3-4) And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live?  And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.  Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord.  This is our answer to all the individuals that come through the front doors of the Family Life Centre, “Hear the Word of the Lord”

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The Greatest Love

Love

One morning I arrived at work, preparing to settle in for another day as Chaplain at Union Gospel Mission.  I was in my office for about ten minutes when John came to my door.  John has been on the street for about a year, after having lost everything due to a severe form of depression.  He was obviously having a rough morning, as there were tears in his eyes and he said he really needed to talk.  Mother’s Day is coming soon and his mother had died about five years ago.  Her death triggered his depression, so he had been living on the street off and on ever since then.  John was feeling very alone in life and wanted to feel loved again, as he was by his mother.  His mother is gone and he felt like her love had left him as well.  He thought things were hopeless and believed that he would never be loved like that again. 

I then began to explain to John how the love that God has shown us through His Son, Jesus, is the greatest love to ever exist.  Jesus Himself said in John 15:13 – 14, “Greater love has no one than this; to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.”  Jesus laid down His life for us on the cross, so that we could know peace with our Father in heaven through Him.  And this love that we have in Jesus is always with us through the Holy Spirit, who Christ has given us if we give our lives to follow Him.  I told John that if he does that, then Jesus has promised that He will never leave him.  God promised us this in Hebrews 13:5 when He said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  John felt peace in knowing that this is the greatest love, that this love in Christ will never leave him.

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Christian School Program

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Some of the children that attend our Pritchard Campus come from homes where so much is going on, that sometimes you need to take a moment and count your blessings.  Please pray for the teachers of this Faith Academy location on Pritchard!  Teaching academics is only one part of their job.  Teaching the children that come from homes filled with dysfunction and turmoil is not an easy task.  On any given day, some of the high maintenance students can have an outburst that will lead to kicking, screaming, punching and hitting.  At times a student is so out of control that I am called in to try and settle the student down. 

Ministering to these troubled students day after day has to be a gifting that can only come from our Lord.  I constantly pray for these teachers to have the courage, wisdom and perseverance to carry on.  As difficult as it is to minister to these little ones, we have to believe that life changing seeds are being planted.  We don’t know how long some of these students will remain in the sponsorship program; so it makes it so much more urgent that during the trying times, we continue to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Through Union Gospel Mission’s Adopt-A-Student program, we are bringing the little ones to Jesus.  You too can be part of this valuable ministry for $50 a month or $600 a year.  Please call Gilbert at 204.943.9904 ext. 306, and I will be happy to give you all the details.  To God be all the Glory!

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Adult Education

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Isaiah 33:6 – Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation; The fear of the Lord is His treasure. 

Faith Learning Centre is in the middle of Mid Term Evaluations.  Students are pursuing to earn senior credits and build up more credentials to graduate this year or next.  Students continue to learn about the Saviour and are advancing their knowledge and skills which will prepare them for employment.

Please, pray for the students to do well in all courses. Pray for us as well, for God to help us in all our challenges.

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Men's Recovery Program

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The year 2017 was a tough year for Jamie.  His alcoholism had taken over once again and he found himself living on the streets of Winnipeg.  Then, to make matters even worse,  while he was on the street he found out that his 11 year old son had died.  This news was too much for him and he fell deeper into depression and alcoholism.  Jamie found the pain of losing his son so unbearable that he tried to stay drunk in an attempt to numb the pain. 

By the end of 2017, Jamie knew that he could not continue to live on the street in an almost constant drunken state.  He also knew that he needed help to not only overcome his alcoholism, but do deal with the overwhelming grief that he was feeling.  Jamie had spent time in the men’s recovery program at Union Gospel Mission before and he knew that going back into the program at UGM was what he needed to do now. 

Jamie came back to UGM just before Christmas of 2017 and he has been finding more and more of the peace he was looking for in Jesus.  He has found the story of how King David handled the loss of his son in 2 Samuel chapter 12, to be helpful in moving forward with the loss of his own son.  Jamie has also found the community of brothers in Christ that he has at UGM to be very encouraging for him.  He is also finding in his grief that Jesus is fulfilling the promise He made in Matthew 5:4, to comfort those who mourn.  May the Lord continue to comfort and heal Jamie and bring glory to His Name by bringing people like Jamie from the bondage of addiction into the freedom of His salvation.

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Children & Youth

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     Encouragement is something that is always welcomed and appreciated.  Not long ago, I received encouragement from an unlikely source.  During Kid’s Club we always stop for a Bible lesson.  Not surprisingly, there are a few kids who are disruptive.  The other day, one of the more disruptive of these kids told me she often thinks of things that were said during our Bible time when she is trying to fall asleep at night. Another child affirmed that she has the same experience.  This encourages me!

     Thinking of the things of God in the quiet of one’s own thoughts is an important step towards a meaningful relationship with the Lord.  The Holy Spirit uses times like this to affirm truth, so that an individual can absorb and accept what is correct.  A child’s heart is fertile soil!  So it both encourages me that little ones are contemplating Bible truths, and it motivates me to pray all the more that these truths will effect real change in the lives of the children who attend the Kid’s Club drop-in.

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Easter Community Dinner

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What a fabulous day!  We had an great turn out today for our Easter Dinner. 

We were blessed with 50 volunteers to help prepare & serve today.  275 guests came and enjoyed a delicious ham dinner after hearing the Easter message.  There were 58 prayer requests that were prayed for by the prayer team, and 20 decisions to serve the Lord were made today.  Praise the Lord!

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Adult Education

School-hallway

Semester 1 at Faith Learning Centre finished well!  There were 26 senior credits that the have students earned in different areas, such as English, Math, Science & Social Studies.  2 students came up for graduation and will be receiving a high school diploma.  The second semester has started and is soon advancing to the mid-point stage, with Mid-Terms around the corner happening in April! 

Keep praying for us, as we depend greatly on your prayers.  All glory to God!

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Christian School Program

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We recently had a parent remove their two children from the Christian School Program.  The teacher at one of the Faith Academy campuses had to make a call to Child and Family Services, due to the fact that the children were coming to school with no lunches and were complaining about not having food at home.  The children were concerned about the amount of drinking going on in the home and were worried about mom and dad.  This family struggles with alcohol and they make poor choices while under the influence.  

Upon CFS's entrance, there was enough evidence to apprehend the children.  It’s not that mom and dad don’t sincerely love their children, it’s the grip of addiction that seems to be greater at times.  The children were returned to dad a few days later and this is when he removed the children from the program.  I pleaded with dad not to remove the children from the program, that nothing was done with malicious intent, but by law the school is required to report all appearances of neglect.  My plea fell upon deaf ears and I was asked to remove myself from the home.

Please pray with us for the families of sponsored students, that their hearts are softened and through the work of the Holy Spirit, they receive Jesus as their personal Saviour.  Please pray that this particular family doesn’t fall through the cracks and the seeds that have been planted, take root and flourish.

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North End Family Ministry

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The North End has the largest Indigenous population in Western Canada.  This particular part of the city also has the highest child poverty level in the country.  The neighbourhood is rampant with drugs, prostitution and gang activity.  My vision for the Family Life Centre is people getting saved, marriages being restored, and give hope to people who believe there is no hope.  This can be achieved by building solid trusting relationships, and loving those who are hard to love.

My belief is all addictions are nothing more than filling an empty void in one’s life.  The challenge is filling that void with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!  Seeing many souls come through the front doors, I find that most people are open to the fact that they need more to life than what they have now.  Many communities in the city of Winnipeg try to push out the drug dealers, gangs and prostitution to other neighbourhoods.  The people of the North End don’t need to be pushed to different areas, they need Jesus!! 

Through fervent prayer I have been asking God to sweep through the North End creating a revival.  I pray that God does a major restoration in Winnipeg, and it would start in the most violent part of the city.  We need prayer for wisdom, patience, perseverance, protection and most of all, the mighty hand of God to be with us.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16)

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Street Ministry - Peace in Mental Illness

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John has come to the Mission for years and has been on the street for most of his life.  He suffers from mental illness and often when I talk to him, his thoughts are all over the place.  He seems to have a hard time focusing on a particular train of thought for more than 30 seconds.  But there have been a few times when his mind is more calm than usual and in those moments, he wants to talk about the peace of Christ.  His eyes well up with tears as he talks about how there are times when he can feel God with him.  He usually thanks me for taking the time to talk to him in those moments and reminding him that Jesus loves him.

At those times, I am reminded that Jesus is still doing what He did two thousand years ago when He would take the time to talk to the outcasts in society and let them know that their Father in heaven loves them.  Just as Jesus was able to calm a raging storm while in a boat on the sea of Galilee with the disciples in Mark chapter four, He is able to be present in the midst of the storms in our lives today and say as he did in Mark 4:39, “Peace! Be still!”  Whatever storms may be raging in our lives, or as in John’s case, in our mind, when we call on Jesus He will calm that storm in a way that nothing and no one else can!

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Change

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Change. That word causes a lot of us to cringe.  We don’t necessarily like it.  It’s uncomfortable.  Unfamiliar.  Unknown.  When it happens it is no respecter of persons, it affects the little people like me, and those with greater responsibility, as well as those they serve.  However, something God has shown me in all of the change we are going through, is that it can strengthen a community or destroy it.  It has been so precious to see our ladies here at the Charis Center also learn alongside us.  As they see each staff member pitch in and serve as needed, watching as some of our leaders carry heavy loads, yet still display a joyful countenance.   

The other day in devotions, I had the opportunity to have a conversation with our ladies about this thing called “change”.  As we talked on the realities of why “I” don’t like change came home to each one.  How we like to think that we are in control and how change makes us feel like we’ve lost that fragile hold on our situations.  We spoke of how our fear of change is an indicator that we are striving to control our situations and not trusting God, trusting that He can use all things for His glory.  His perspective is so far above ours, and His heart and desire for us all is so much greater than anything we might see.  As we talked, the realty began to unfold that we are strengthened when we see God for who He is.  This is the beginning of trusting Him.  His perfect love casts out fear.  As different ladies added to the conversation, I too was challenged to see from His perspective and leave behind my own view to gain the single perspective, vision and goal of God Most High.          

I truly love working here with our team, which shall be growing in the near future and with that, bringing even more change.  As well, working with our residents.  These ladies continue to blow my mind with the pithy things God has been showing and teaching them, because nothing matters so much, as how much you are seeking and pursuing God with your whole heart.   For then you shall find Him,  and He is worth all of the change, the unknown, the uncomfortability, and the trust.  For the fact of the matter is, God’s got this!

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Operations - The Kitchen

Kitchen-help

MATTHEW 14:18-21 

“Bring them here to me,” he said.  And He directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then He gave them to the disciples and the disciples gave them to the people.  They all ate and were satisfied and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.”

Jesus fed a whole lot of people with just a few fish and some bread.  He also had help distributing that food to the people.  Food Services is one of the branches of Operations here at Union Gospel Mission where we are providing for peoples physical nourishment. 

We are blessed to be able to provide hundreds of healthy and nutritious meals daily, thousands of meals a month!  Many are hearing the Gospel and making use of our services, but we could always use some extra hands helping out in the kitchen.  It’s a great way to help take what the Lord has given and share it with those who come through our doors.

If you have a couple hours available one morning a week, we could definitely use your help chopping up some meat or veggies, to help the cook prepare lunch.  Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details.

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Winnipeg Film Festival

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If you did not have a chance to see this amazing film, there is another chance coming up on February 22nd, 23rd and 24th at the North Kildonan MB Church.  There is also a chance to have a Q&A with Frank Ulrich, Executive Director of Union Gospel Mission (Winnipeg) after the film.


For more details (location, cost and times) visit www.winnipegfilmfestival.com

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Struggles - Men's Addiction

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            Joe has struggled with addictions for most of his adult life.  He has tried to overcome the addiction time and time again, but something would happen every time to pull him back into the addiction to drugs and alcohol.  Joe finally reached a point in his life where he was so sick and tired of the way he was living, he decided to come to Union Gospel Mission and surrender everything to Jesus.  He says that he is tired of sitting at home, feeling like a zombie all day long, because of the drugs.  Joe realized that was barely living and that the next step would be the grave.  So, he came to UGM because he knew that a Christ-centered recovery program was the only hope for gaining victory over his addictions. 

            In Psalm 73:25 the psalmist writes this about God, “Whom have I in heaven but you?  And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.”  Only the Holy Spirit connecting our hearts to Jesus can make us have such a desire.  When God in His mercy satisfies our souls with all that He is for us in His Son Jesus, only then are we are set free from the bondage to drugs, alcohol or anything else in this world.  That is what Joe wants for himself now.  I pray that is what God will give to all those who come to UGM seeking freedom in Jesus!

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Start of a New Semester

Adult-ed-class

Faith Learning Centre has just launched the second semester of the academic year.  Registrations are coming in of new students who would like to attend our school.  We trust in the Lord that it will be a good semester and that souls will also come to Him. We need your prayers, especially for our program to remain as an outreach to this community.

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Children's Ministry

FLC-Kids-Clubs
    It warms my heart when a child asks sincere questions pertaining to the things of God.  A lot of queries are based upon false information and half-truths that they heard from friends and family members.  They also think Hollywood is an honest and accurate source.  So you can imagine how mixed up their minds can get.
 
    When answering questions, I like to start with, “The Bible says....”. This lets them know I am not answering out of my own thoughts, but rather from God’s Word.  In the event I get a question I am not sure how to answer, I intend to tell them plainly that I don’t know, but I will find out for them.  I have no problem telling kids, or anyone else, that I don’t know everything, but God does.  I thank Him for the Bible.  Everything we need to know about God while we live on this earth is contained in the Bible.
 
    2 Timothy 3:16 tells us plainly, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”
 
    I allow the Bible to answer spiritual questions, and then afterwards I pray that they accept the truth and live by it.
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