The Missionary Newsletter

Staying Strong
STP Hard Work Pays Off

Phillip Ford
Phillip Ford

A law firm record specialist, Phillip Ford also runs his own photography and videography business. He and his wife are helping to raise their three grandchildren in their DC home while their son is in seminary. Phillip is an active member in his church, City of Zion, in Laurel, MD. His life is so “normal,” you might not realize how hard he’s worked to get here.

It’s been 11 years since Phillip Ford’s wife dropped him off at the Mission’s Spiritual Transformation Program (STP) in March 2004. He was a “functional” addict—able to hold his mid-level positions in law firms— but his addiction caught up with him in 2002, and he lost his job. The drugs were supposed to dull his pain from being molested as a child, but instead they ruined his life. “I didn’t know how to react at the Mission, but I knew my family didn’t want me at home. It was scary leaving home, but I was on the verge of divorce, my family was falling apart and I was so tired that I was contemplating suicide.” 

Phillip Ford and family
Phillip Ford with wife Shirley, son Philip E., granddaughters Emily and Kaila and daughter Napia. Grandson Elijah is not pictured. 

He appreciated the program’s structure, biblical training and the godly men who instructed him, and he absorbed all the teaching he could. He was encouraged to find that “I’m not going through this alone;” he built relationships and met with other men going through similar trials. After his STP graduation, he had another law firm job lined up when the Mission asked if he would work as the receptionist for a year. Due to his excellent job habits and strong people skills, Mr. Treadwell hired him to be his executive assistant. He also worked as an assistant chaplain and front desk manager.

His job today requires managing the law firm’s files, creating and closing files, doing research and assisting paralegals. He has held this job for a year now. He was laid off from his previous job on his birthday, March 31, 2014. He hunkered down for a long job hunt, but instead, after sending out only one resume, he was hired immediately. He is working part time but receiving the same pay as in his previous full-time job, which allows him time for his photography business, InFoKuz Productions ( /

Ford says his time at Central Union Mission was foundational. He encourages Mission friends to “Please come down to volunteer and assist in the process. Without your support, I would not be where I am today.” 

In March 2004, his wife asked him for a divorce; he held back because he felt God leading him to wait. While he was studying in the STP, God changed his wife’s heart, mind and spirit. A year after he finished the STP, they renewed their vows. He says, “The last 11 years have been a honeymoon the way God has restored our marriage.” He concludes, “It’s all about surrender to God. Don’t look to me as an icon; God is able to change you, too, if you submit to Him.”

Did You Know?

Every year, the Mission prepares at least 120 people for employment through its various work readiness programs:

  • 9 men work part-time year-round in jobs at the Mission through Work Therapy;
  • 16 men and women in Ready To Work are employed full-time year-round in Mission-managed contracts with the city;
  • 35 men in the Work Program are employed full-time, but live at the shelter for three months so they can save for permanent housing; 
  • 30 men and women participate in three-month Culinary Training, a hands-on certification and job search skills program provided in partnership with DC Central Kitchen; and 
  • 30 men participate in the Special Circumstances Program staying in the shelter for up to 24 months while they work part-time or attend school or job training programs.

David O. Treadwell

Committed for the Long Haul

Chemical addiction may be one of the hardest human habits to overcome. That’s why we are especially proud of our Spiritual Transformation Program graduates.

With Jesus as their guide, they left behind familiar, destructive behaviors and learned how to honor Him as effective members of our community. Yet, even with our thorough STP training, it is a struggle for them to hold onto their new healthy lifestyles.
In this issue, we introduce you to an STP graduate who has used tools he learned at the Mission to reconcile with his family and start a successful new life. Phillip Ford is a hard worker who served the Mission well as an employee for several years before he struck out on his own. Eleven years later, he is professionally employed, enjoying his grandchildren and running his own business.

Your commitment to Central Union Mission was critical to Mr. Ford’s recovery, and he is grateful for your help. Please know that every gift and prayer you send our way is the foundation for a new life in Christ. Thank you so much for your generosity.



Internships Available

Would you like to serve Central Union Mission while enhancing your job experience?  We have internships available in areas as varied as administration, community outreach, social media, development and social work. Please visit for job descriptions and more information. Come join us!

Where I’m From
By Jason Addison

I’m from love, kindness and great food,
Surrounded by loving women and cool dudes.

I’m from a small city surrounded by woods—
Maryland suburbs, just outside the hood.

I’m from troubles and depression,
Morning devotions and biblical sessions.

I’m from crap houses, liquor and weed,
Getting dirty money, doing the devil’s deed.

I’m from where Jesus now gives me hope,
And reading the Holy Bible is a means to cope.

The Holy Spirit now makes me shine like a dime.
If you ask me where I’m from, I’ll say a great state of mind.

STP graduate Jason Addison composed this poem for his STP writing class. 
He is currently working part time at the Mission as a men’s supervisor.

Summer’s Almost Here


It’s life changing for our low-income children to experience a summer week in the woods at Camp Bennett. Away from the hot city streets, they can enjoy activities, make new friends and—most important—learn about Jesus.

Your gift of $75 will have lasting impact by paying for an entire day at Camp Bennett for one child. Do you know any children who would like to join us this year? Visit for information and an application. We also need to fill both volunteer and paid positions for camp counselors and assistants. Please see for more information.

girls at Payless truck
Payless ShoeSource really blessed our families this spring. After donating gift cards, Payless opened their store early one day in March so our neighbors could go shopping together. Low-income families never take new shoes for granted. Our “Ready to Work” program received a truck from the wonderful folks at Passport Toyota Automotive Services. Adam Berman and Joseph Stokes helped the Mission find this great truck and handed the keys to our RTW team (pictured here with Sally Cox, Mission chief financial officer.)
Easter family young musicians
Family Ministries Assistant Maria Esther Rodriguez welcomes a new family to our  Easter party held at Camp Bennett in Brookeville, MD. The talented Young Musicians of Virginia (Richmond, VA) gave the Mission men an entertaining concert playing everything from jazz to classical music. Thank you, YMV, for blessing the men with your music.

Join Us!

spring flowers

Hispanic Seniors Luncheon
May 28, 2015
9:30 am

You can help as our Spanish-speaking seniors gather to share lunch and a worship program. 

Executive Luncheon and Dinners
June 5, 2015
11:30 am
May 14 and June 18, 2015
6:30 pm

You are invited to come enjoy a delicious meal, tour the shelter and meet some men involved in the Mission’s STP and work programs. RSVP at

Food PLUS Center Grocery Distribution
May 4 and 7, 2015; 
June  8 and 11, 2015
Anytime between 
10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Register at to help prepare food bags for our community.

Seniors Luncheon
May 15 and June 19, 2015
9:30 am

You can help serve our seniors as they enjoy fellowship and a delicious meal.

Feed the Children Event
May 19, 2015
8:00 am to 1:00 pm

We need your help to distribute boxes of donated food to over 2,000 families in our neighborhood. 

Do More 24
June 4, 2015

You can participate in this area-wide one-day campaign. See for details.

Spiritual Transformation Program Graduation
June 21, 2015, 4:00 pm

Please join us as we support and congratulate our latest STP graduates.

To register for these volunteer activities, please visit

Leave a Lasting Legacy

young man

Some of the hopes we have for investing our money can come up disappointingly short.  Isn’t it a blessing to know that every kind deed, thoughtful prayer and contribution we give in Jesus’ name is a treasure waiting for us in heaven?

What’s even better is that your kindness is also the catalyst for new relationships in Jesus, restored families and successful lives. Every resource you sacrifice plays a part in our community’s renewal. We can’t thank you enough for your generosity and commitment to serving God by helping Central Union Mission’s neighbors.

Executive Dinner

Our Mission
To glorify God through proclaiming and teaching the Gospel, leading people to Christ, developing disciples, and serving the needs of hurting people throughout the Washington metropolitan area.

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