A Blueprint to a New Direction
Incarceration has multiple negative impacts on the lives of inmates as well as their families, loved ones and community. Among the challenges, though, are many stories of hope and restoration. HOPE Uncovered is a new forum hosted by our ministry. Our webcast will explore issues surrounding incarceration and reentry, and seek out the hope hidden within. Join us for vespers on June 4, 2021 at 6:30 pm and meet Connie Johnson, who will share her story of incarceration and what she's done with the hope she found in Jesus. You can view this webcast on the following platforms:
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Willard Loewen began serving as the Prison Ministries Coordinator in the Oregon Conference soon after retiring from ministry in 1999. In this capacity he combined the Good News of Jesus, the Holy Spirit's power, and Willards own unconditional love to inspire scores of inmates to turn their lives around. Many became life-long friends, and remain faithful to God upon release. Some younger inmates even called him Dad.
Willard ministered with his wife, Kathy, by his side and together they discovered a whole new mission field where they ministered to inmates on Death Row, the penitentiary, several mens' prisons, two womens' prisons, as well as youth prisons.
As Prison Ministry Coordinator, Willard trained & oversaw Adventist volunteers who served in correctional institutions throughout Oregon. In addition, his gentle friendly manner made friends of countless correction officers & chaplains. What brought the most meaning to Willard, though, was teaching inmates & answering their Bible questions.
Willard was saddened to finally retire from approximately 16 years of prison ministries due to his severe scoliosis & Parkinson's Disease. Washington Conference was blessed to have Willard and Kathy as members these past few years when they moved to Washington to be near family. He sadly passed away in August 2020. A memorial service will be planned in his honor in 2021.
Willard was excited to hear about the soon-to-open HOPE House of Tacoma, where inmates will become acclimated to life-after-prison in a Christian setting.
As a tribute to his legacy, the family invites friends to send contributions To HOPE House of Tacoma in Willard's honor, in lieu of flowers. Click on the button below to donate.
If you'd like to send a note of encouragement to Kathy, please email it to email@example.com and we will pass it along to her.
There has been many different-types of talents involved with the development of HOPE House of Tacoma. And one of the talents is Peter Vukshich, Architect, who shared a passion for prison ministry and his belief in the reduction of recidivism through a Christian process. When he heard of the development HOPE House, it immediately got involved, Growing up in Belgrade, Yugoslavia Peter’s father was a well-known architect and Peter followed in his father’s footsteps.
From remodel design concept to swimming through various building permits; through construction and to include work bees, Peter was there. What used to be a Dental Clinic Peter redesigned the remodel into a 6-room family-style residential living facility. “Peter’s continuous use of imagination both in problem solving, and artistic expression is definitely a blessing to all those involved in HOPE House., state Nelson, Chair of HOPE House. Charlie Williamson, HOPE House Director says, “Peter is a pioneer which he re-designed this facility and his efforts is greatly appreciated by everyone. We had some pretty tough scrapes with regards to the design, but Peter got us through”. And Danny Houser, Prison Ministry Chaplain and HOPE House Director stated” I was always amazed that Peter was involved in every work bee of construction work for this building. He always had a saw in his hand reconfiguring the rooms to meet his designs. He was definitely more than what you would find on paper, which he was not afraid to get his hands dirty.”
On February 23, 2021 Peter passed went to sleep and is now resting until the Jesus’ return, which Peter’s name will surely be called. Peter’s involvement with HOPE House will always serve as a reminder that God can and will us anyone for His glory and to remind us of the importance of transitional housing. Peter is survived by his spouse Branka Vukshich who currently serves on the Board of Directors.
HOPE House of Tacoma is a 6-bedroom residential program developed by the Washington Conference of 7th~day Adventist, in partnership with the community, to meet the needs of Pierce County and Tacoma residents who are returning home from incarceration. In what was once a Dental Clinic, HOPE House of Tacoma offers men the opportunity to develop new life strategies to prepare them for community reintegration.
To assist with reentry, clients will be offered a range of services in conjunction with other established transition house groups in Tacoma including case management, education, job skills development, cognitive therapies, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, employment and housing assistance, parenting skills enhancement, and family support services. A daily regimen of structured activities helps clients develop a sense of responsibility and self-sufficiency; facilitates their ability to pay rent, restitution, and taxes; and provides opportunities to establish critical ties to family and community. While in residency, clients can receive visitors at the facility.
Cognitive Skills class addresses the major thinking errors that lead to criminal behavior and ways to correct these errors. The class focuses on helping clients develop responsible and productive thinking patterns that lead to a more successful and productive life.
Clients in need of educational assistance have access to community programs and are encouraged to advance.
All clients receive employment readiness training and are screened for job skills and interests. These services are provided by the local Workforce Development Employment as well as by community supporters. Based on job skills and interests, other career training opportunities may also be available.
As Christians we believe that Jesus—Himself brought to trial, executed, buried, and brought to life again—offers hope, healing, and a new purpose for each life. Even the most broken people and situations can be made whole again. Through an amazing awakening to new hope and life purpose, those who once broke the law are transformed and mobilized to serve their neighbors, and the cycle of crime is replaced by a cycle of renewal.
Whether you help through monetary donations, volunteering your time, or spreading our mission through word-of-mouth, thank you. We couldn't accomplish our goals without the help of supporters like you.