June Newsletter - Tales of Triumph - Ryan's Story

June Newsletter - Tales of Triumph - Ryan's Story

Here is the link to the whole newsletter:



Showing up changes everything. In October of 2013, there was a man who was coming into the Union Gospel Misson here in Salem Oregon. He had a tattoo on his forehead of the “F” word and a giant “U.”

He also had a pentagram on his cheek. As one of our men was serving hurting men at the UGM, he saw this man and was frightened. He came back to our The Most Excellent Way men and said he needed prayer to know how to approach a man like that with the gospel. We did pray for him, and for the tattooed man, and then God allowed the following to unfold.

Two weeks after our prayer I was needed to drive at 6:30 a.m. to pick up men from the UGM for an early morning Bible study. On the way to pick up donuts and the men, I saw one of our TMEW men, Josh Lair, walking to the church because he was about a year out of prison and had not yet been able to get his driver’s license back. Josh had been a part of the prayer time for our tattooed man.

When we arrived at the UGM, the men began to pile into the church van and Josh disappeared. As I was looking for Josh, through the darkness I saw him on a knee talking to “FU” guy! (There is a wall near the UGM where people use, and our guy was there… high.) As I walked over Josh said,

“Here’s Pastor Matt. He will tell you.” Josh had told him we wanted him at TMEW and at church. I asked him his name and he said, “Ryan.” “Ryan, we do want you at our church. Do you want to come to church this morning?” We worked through it, and he eventually said, “Come pick me up.” We went back at 8:30 a.m. 

Ryan walked into Salem Heights Church and, boy, did he turn heads. I was pulled aside by one of our men and told, “We can’t have him here!” We talked for a few minutes and worked through that this was how Ryan was going to get saved – our love for him – and how he would now have the opportunity to come to TMEW and have the opportunity to come to know our Savior.


This “Tale of Triumph” is long and amazing, and I could go into amazing detail, and will soon in a video, but know this all of you who lead TMEW, and all of you who are involved in TMEW, and all of you who pray for us who are, Ryan did come to know our Lord Jesus as his Savior. The picture attached is of him at his baptism – Don, his mentor, baptized him!


Also, two Salem Police officers who know our Savior and who had many run-ins with Ryan, paid for Ryan to have laser surgery to have the words and the pentagram removed!

I spoke with Ryan just a few days ago – this is 10 years later – He is clean, and living on his own, and thankful. The Most Excellent Way is love. No one said it was going to be easy, and loving Ryan was not easy, but God showed up with His love, and He moved through His people, and Ryan will never be the same.


Please consider sending us your “Tales of Triumph.” We would love to share more accounts from around our nation and the world. May the Lord richly bless your ministries, because showing up changes EVERYTHING!!


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