The Mission – July 2016

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I hated my mom, because she started it all. I hated my grandmother for everything she did to me. And I hated my siblings, because they all ran off and left me alone with her.

My family was messed up. My mother slept with my grandmother’s boyfriend and had a child. Then my grandmother made life hell for my mom. It was so bad, my mom tried to commit suicide when I was 3. She ended up paralyzed from the neck down, which meant all us kids were left with my grandmother. All the rage she felt for my mom, she took out on us. She beat us so bad, we thought she’d kill us. There were times I prayed she would.

All my siblings ran away, leaving me alone with my grandmother. When I was 15, even she left. All I had left was my hate. I was on my own, living on the streets, drinking and sleeping from pillar to post. Eventually I learned how to use and manipulate women to get what I wanted. It was the pattern for the rest of my life.

I never married, never had kids, and even though I was a raging alcoholic, I had all the girlfriends I could handle. I always worked, too. But in 2007, I hurt my back and couldn’t work anymore. I ended up living in my van, depressed, angry, and drinking three bottles of vodka a day, trying to drink myself to death. Seven years later, I asked God to take this monkey off my back. He led me to Union Rescue Mission.

Leaving the Past Behind

My path was pretty clear. I learned, for the first time, how my childhood shaped me, why I hated myself, why I lashed out, and I learned new ways to deal with my anger and hurt. Then I confessed every terrible thing I’d done, and I left them at the cross of Jesus. I had to learn that not only God forgave me, I had to forgive myself.

And finally, the hardest part, I’ve had to go back to people I’ve hurt and ask them to forgive me for every rotten, dirty thing I did to them. I also had to forgive my mom, though she died long ago, and I wish I could ask her to forgive me for all my hate.

But it all changed me. Union Rescue Mission gave me a family I never had. I’ve learned that God is everything He says He is. I don’t have any more hate.

Fred_cmyk1Fred came to URM after more than 20 years in prison. Thanks to the support of his chaplain, Fred was able to complete something for the first time in his life: our one-year life transformation program. Watch Fred’s amazing story at


Thanks to YOU!

In addition to addiction issues, many guests come to Union Rescue Mission with many other difficulties, including health, dental, legal, and emotional issues that threaten their future. Thanks to the UCLA Primary Health Clinic, the USC Dental Clinic, and Pepperdine’s Legal Aid Clinic and Mental Health Clinic — and thanks to YOU — our guests are able to get the help they need right here on site. Here are some of the ways David benefited from these services:

Health care: “When I got here, I was diagnosed with degenerative joint disease and a torn rotator cuff. I also had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and hepatitis C. Now I’m getting ready to get both my hips replaced, have reconstructive surgery on my shoulder, and I’m getting treatment for the COPD and hepatitis C.”

Dental: “Because of all my alcohol and drug use, my teeth were rotting, infected, and bleeding. The dental clinic gave me all new implants, top and bottom. Now I got beautiful teeth again.”

Legal Aid: “Over the past few years, I had some hefty fines for several violations on my driving record. There was no way I could pay them. Worse, I had at least five warrants out for my arrest and I was looking at jail time. But because I was committed to staying here at Union Rescue Mission for a year, the people in legal aid were able to get all my violations expunged and got my fines reduced so much, I can take care of them in small monthly payments. Now I can get my driver’s license back.”



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I was born to Christian parents in 1914, in Southern Illinois. But despite my upbringing, I left home at a very young age to see the world and to experience the thrills that I thought life could offer me in Southern California.

But California was not as good to me as I had hoped. I ended up friendless, broke, and homeless. Fortunately, someone told me of the Union Rescue Mission. So I came here seeking food and a place to sleep.

But one evening during a worship service in the spring of 1933, God spoke to my heart. When the invitation was given, I made my way to the old altar where God forgave all my sins. Shortly after that, God called me into the ministry. I served as a pastor for 15 years, and I later served as the executive secretary of the Arizona Baptist Convention, working with some 50 churches.


Your gift today will provide shelter, meals, and the real help hurting people need to live transformed lives.

URM 16.07 July Newsletter (16URM07N)_Pkg.inddThere’s no one way to help people escape homelessness. Some need recovery from addictions. Others need counseling and
spiritual renewal. Many need education and job training. But they all have one thing in common: they need another chance at life.

Thanks to generous people like you, these same precious people find that chance for new life at Union Rescue Mission. They begin to live life the way God always intended, filled with joy and gratitude, and surrounded by friends.

Your generous gift of $25, $35, or more will help provide nutritious meals, safe shelter, and the real help broken, hurting people need to put their lives back together. So please send the most generous gift you can today. Thank you!

For more information, or to put your gift to work even faster, go to

NOTES FROM ANDY: You’re the Fuel


People experience homelessness for many different reasons: addictions, lack of affordable housing, broken family
relationships, childhood and domestic abuse, and mental-health issues. Then there’s unemployment and underemployment, lack of job skills, lack of education, and legal issues.

That’s why Union Rescue Mission —thanks to you — offers a holistic program that addresses every area of a person’s life to help them escape homelessness. You help provide people with safe shelter and a nutritious meal. You help provide classes dealing with addiction, healthy relationships, financial management, and more. You help sharpen education and job skills. You support counseling services and spiritual nurture. And you make sure people get the health and dental care, and the legal services they need. And most important, you make sure people are surrounded by loving friends and a loving God. It takes an entire community to offer folks all these services.

It takes all kind of partners and strategic relationships. But in this community, no partnership is more vital than you. You are the fuel that makes everything that happens at Union Rescue Mission possible. Your financial support and prayers are changing lives — today and for eternity. Thank you.



To read Andy’s blog, please visit

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