Six months ago, Columbia area regions launched a downtown AO to support the men enrolled in The Oliver Gospel Mission’s residential recovery program. In that time, we’ve developed a strong relationship with the men in the program, as well as the leadership over there.
Here’s an update of what’s been going on…
The OGM has a great mentoring program that provides each man in the recovery program a mentor after they’ve successfully completed the first phase of recovery. In six months, we’ve more than tripled the number of mentors available in the program. When we started this partnership, the OGM had 3 mentors, now they have 10. Our goal is to have 15 mentors from F3 by the end of the year..
If you are interested, contact Mark Davis, mentor coordinator at [email protected].
In July, we held a Q School at the Mission and we had 15 men in attendance. These guys were ready to lead, and soon afterwards we asked the men in the program to take over Q responsibilities for the Saturday workouts (much like we do when we launch a new city). Their response was amazing, and one of them told the pax during a COT:
“Because of where we are in life, most people don’t trust us because of the decisions we’ve made. Thanks for giving us a chance to be leaders.”
They get it.
OGM Men & Other AOs
Men from the OGM have begun to post at other AOs around the Midlands. Due to the rules of the recovery program, men can only leave the OGM in a car being driven by a staff member or their mentor. We’ve seen mentors picking up their mentees in the EARLY gloom, hit a workout then some 1-on-1 time at coffeeteria.
Many of the program staff have posted to F3 since hearing about what we’re doing, and have come in on their days off to workout with the men in the program. One staff member recently loaded up the OGM van full of men and posted at the F3 Columbia Woodshed convergence with 70 other F3 men from F3 Columbia.
Toy Workshop for St. Lawrence Place
In July, the men of The Mission held a workshop to assemble playground equipment for St. Lawrence Place, a local organization that helps keep homeless families together. By lunch we had 10 big-wheels and wagons ready for the kids.
After witnessing a GORUCK welcome party at Finlay Park in July the men of the OGM started to ask about this whole CSAUP thing. One thing led to another, and in October, eight men from the OGM are registered to run their first Mud Run. To prepare for this, the men (self) organized a bi-weekly running group to prepare the men for their first race ever.
After their 3rd post to a F3 workout, we present each OGM man with a sweet MudGear race jersey, which they in turn treasure. These guys LOVE the gear (thanks for the grant F3F).
In addition to the support we’ve received from the F3F, Strictly Running, a local outfitter, along with Brooks Shoes, provided the men of OGM with some great new running kicks, socks and shirts.
In September, we took five men from the Mission to their first 5k, appropriately the “Dry Run”. A run to raise awareness for drug and alcohol addiction.
About The Oliver Gospel Mission
The mission of Oliver Gospel Mission is to see that the broken and homeless are sheltered, given the gospel of Jesus Christ, and equipped to live responsibly.
Our philosophy is drawn from the adage “Give a man a fish and you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish and you have fed him for a lifetime.” Our goal is that the men arriving at our door will receive the tools they need to live fulfilled, functioning and fruitful lives, ready to contribute to and enhance the community.
Oliver Gospel Mission is a Christian-based, 501(c)(3) charitable organization, established in 1888. Today, Oliver Gospel Mission is the oldest rescue mission in the Southeast and sixth oldest in the nation.