At Pacific Garden Mission, our main concern is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those who come through our doors. After that our focus is to see a sustained change in people’s lives that reflects a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. The story in this month’s issue is an excellent example of what lasting change through the power of God looks like. Your support of our ministry makes stories like Martin’s possible. We hope you are encouraged by your daily impact on people’s lives.
“I was born into sin in June 1957, and for 40 years before salvation, the sins of gang affiliation, pandering, drug sales, drug use, bad decisions, and the multiple death attempts on my life led me to seek God. I had a praying grandmother who always talked about Jesus, and my oldest brother, Franz, who is saved, told me that 'if you really want to change, pursue Christ, and He’ll make Himself known unto you.'
“Well, I was born again in April 1997, and I began serving the Lord at the Apostolic Church of God under then-pastor Bishop Arthur M. Brazier. It was there that I began to understand God’s Grace and Mercy and that He was the true living God. . . Father, Son, and Spirit. For years I wanted to serve the Lord as staff at the church, but that door was never opened to me. So, I served the Lord through the other ministries of the church, the nursing home, the feeding the homeless for Christ, the banquet hall, and the men’s choir, where I began to understand serving, interceding, and how to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others.
“I thank God that the doors of PGM were opened to me
when I needed to rededicate my life to the Lord.”
“After years of serving Christ, the zeal for the church began to fade, and I took a job delivering nuclear medicine to hospitals, driving from state to state. That stopped me from serving in the ministries, going to Bible studies, and attending Sunday services. I was making good money with these deliveries, and I found myself serving the blessings of God and pushing further away from Jesus. I ended up getting four speeding tickets in three months, and that was the start of my journey to homelessness. My driver’s license was suspended as a result of the four tickets, then I lost the job.
“I remember crying to the Lord about how I needed these things to live. I was using my savings to pay my bills and depleted the account. Then I got evicted from my apartment. As I continued to cry out to Jesus about losing this stuff, I was convinced that I needed these things to live. I heard the Spirit say often, 'What you need is to be restored in Jesus to live.' I believe that because I had made these things gods in my life, God had allowed them to be taken away so that I could return to Him.
“I began to live in my car for about six months, and one night I decided to spend the night at my brother’s apartment on 79th St., and that’s when my car was repossessed. Even though I lost my possessions, I really didn’t feel homeless until I lost the car; it was my everything at the time. I lived with my brother for a while and looked for a job at age 52, and was rejected often. The Spirit continued to encourage me to have faith in and trust God. I decided to contact 311 for emergency services, and they gave me a referral to a mission, but my spirit wasn’t satisfied with their choice, so I researched online and was led to Pacific Garden Mission’s website. As I viewed the website, I felt it was talking to me as I read about the three services a day, joining a Bible Study program, and possibly becoming staff after graduation. My faith came alive again as I desired to serve Christ there.
“It was October 2010 when I first came to PGM and sat in the day room with the other hundreds of men. During this time, the Holy Spirit would often remind me of 2 Corinthians 5:17, 'Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.' This Scripture became one of many life verses for me.
“It was December 8, 2010, when I joined the 12-month Bible program, and during these months, we had daily prayer, Bible study classes, and a work assignment. God used me, and I joined the Men’s choir, where we went on deputations to various churches to sing songs of praise and to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I visited churches and met people that I never would have if I wasn’t a part of PGM’s choir. I was an intake counselor and was given the opportunity to share the Gospel with the men daily.
“After graduation, I worked in the library as the Librarian and eventually switched jobs with another graduate who was working in UNSHACKLED! For the next 10 years, I would work as staff in the UNSHACKLED! radio ministry, earning the right to perform sound effects for the Saturday live recordings and have my name added to the credits on the scripts. For the past five years and currently, I am the MC and song leader for the Saturday Praise & Testimony service. For the past year and currently, I’m the Media Assistant for PGMTV, and on October 14, 2022, I was promoted to Manager of Donor Development. By faith, I will continue to serve with the compassion of Christ at this Gospel Rescue Mission.
“Another life verse for me, Hebrews 11:1, 'Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.'
“I thank God that the doors of PGM were opened to me at the time when I needed to rededicate my life to the Lord. And I thank God for the donors who continue to provide, financially and otherwise, to the ministry of Pacific Garden Mission as we reach the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Martin has been a faithful and humble servant at Pacific Garden Mission for the last 13 years. He went from being homeless to renting his apartment, having his car, and being trusted and relied upon by others. Martin’s story gives us hope that lasting change through Christ is possible, and daily, he witnesses to others in situations he once experienced and shares how actual lasting change is possible through God. Thank you for being a part of our ministry, and allowing a place like PGM to share the Gospel openly with all who come to us for help.
When you give today, you reach more people like Martin, providing them with the opportunity for new life in Christ
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