From Darkness to Marvelous Light

Lori sitting outside the Yakima Union Gospel Mission

How a Lost Son Saved a Mother’s Life.

“I thought we just died when we took our last breath. I had no hope for anything, no future, no dreams, nothing.”

Lori Ivy

Lori’s life was never easy. With alcoholic parents who were rarely there and no other stable adults present, she soon found herself in two different abusive marriages with a son to care for.

When an urgent need to move arose, Lori gathered her courage and drove toward Zillah, where she was granted a place to stay with relatives. But Lori’s beloved son was spiraling out of control and she had no power to stop him. At his request, she dropped him off at a pot farm and drove away.

Soon after, Lori found herself in church where she begged the Lord to help her son. That very same night, she received a phone call from her son admitting he needed to change his life.

After helping her son join a program at the Mission, Lori’s own life began to grow darker and darker, inching toward either prison or death.

Then everything changed.

It was as if her son was an entirely different person; the Lord had saved him and made him new! It wasn’t long before he invited Lori to join the New Life program at the Mission.

In February of 2016, Lori joined the Women’s New Life Program, where she participated in countless bible classes, hours of mentoring, and for the first time, quiet. A quiet, stable living, where she no longer had to be strong for others.

“The first night I was there when I closed the door to my room, the chaos was silenced for once. No cell phone, no one needing something from me or visa versa. I will NEVER forget that feeling.”

As Lori continued in the program, she felt her eyes open and life change as she understood Jesus to be her Savior.

“I had no hope for anything, no future, no dreams, nothing. Because of the Mission, I now crave learning more about my Creator. It is absolutely mind blowing.”

Now, as a graduate of the New Life Program and a passionate supporter of the Mission, Lori has come full circle and taken a Job at our Thrift stores, where she hopes to love people in Jesus’ name. What amazing grace!


Letter From Mike

As We Grow


I’m so grateful Lori gave us a generous window into her growth! It’s important that we keep growing… and it’s important we remember that needing to grow just means we’re normal.


Roger and Rick Phillips led this Mission through a lot of growth, and we keep growing to this day! Just like Lori or anyone else we help, God is constantly working on growing the Mission’s ability to give and receive His transforming love in Jesus Christ.


We daily invite people to join the transformation journey we are already on: following Jesus by helping people move from homelessness to wholeness.


We share with others because we have been given so much!Growing is good! Growing together is a gift from God.

yugm staff photo, mike johnson

In Him,
Mike Johnson, CEO


Article from the YUGM March 2021 Newsletter.

If you would like more stories about our program, feel free to sign up for our email newsletter list located at the bottom of our website.

If you feel moved to help support our program, head over to our Get Involved page to learn how you can make a difference in someone’s life here in Yakima, WA.