“Due to the color of my skin, I was to keep my head low and try to be invisible…In my twenties, I really didn’t talk to people because I felt that I had little to no value to someone else.
“I pressed into the Lord, and I began to see myself as having value and importance. I also discovered that I had a voice. …
“It brings my heart joy to know that God is using me to mentor people. I don’t always have the answers, but I know someone who does – God. Each day, I get to work with and pray for those who are troubled, grieving, fatherless, motherless, homeless and oppressed. I hold them accountable, and I allow others to hold me accountable – to call out my blind spots.
“So, now, when I look in the mirror, I do not see a black man with little to no value. I see myself as God sees us all – ‘fearfully and wonderfully made.’”
– Lee, UGM Director of In-Kind Services, high school football coach, mentor and former professional football player
“In August 2018 a dear friend finally found the freedom she had been seeking in the bottle, dying from alcoholism. Jill loved God and was one of the most spirit-filled people I have ever been around, when she was sober. I would wake up to messages of hope and encouragement, scriptures and praise on my phone.
“But over a two-year period, I knew that there would be many weeks where Jill would disappear back into her addiction. Jill always felt she had another drunk left in her, convinced it would be followed by another successful recovery.
“2017 was my year of an actual spiritual awakening – just really making the decision for a different and better life. And since I made that decision, every moment after that has been surreal – how God has been working in my life, feeling completely convinced that God is there with me and for me.
I put myself in a position that broke my dependency on all these things of the world – putting people on a pedestal, putting living situations on a pedestal, food. I just broke my relationship with all this stuff so that all that was left was God. And there were ways that He revealed himself to me through nature and a few other times that felt probably the most personal than I’ve ever felt anything in my life. And I never want to lose that. You know what I mean?” – Adam, Spokane
“My passion for this ministry is never changing. It is to follow the will of God and to ignite the fire of His love to all people! To feed their mind, body and, souls. To heal their brokenness with compassion, and understanding. My friend Linda Ontiveros who loved the Lord, but lost her battle said, ‘The reason we are so methed up is because we are so messed up with no hope!.’ She wanted The Roadside Chapel to be a reality to get kids off the streets!
“I was always tough and angry, just real rough around the edges, and the enemy still tries to lie to me and tell me that I’ll never be elegant because of my tattoos, but that’s not true. People tell me all the time, ‘You’re softening right before our eyes.’…I’m unique and special just the way I am. I’m a good mother. I’m a faithful friend. I’m a daughter of the King.” – Starla, graduate of Union Gospel Mission’s LIFE Recovery in Coeur d’Alene