John’s Story

“I had a business. I had a family. But once I picked up drinking, everything just seemed to get taken away. I got back into drugs and began losing my family, losing my business, getting into trouble with the law, getting drunk, and just hanging around people I shouldn’t have been around. From there, stuff just started spiraling down. I felt really sad, and I felt I had let God and my family down more than anything. God had helped me so many times, but I would go back out and keep doing the same things all over again. I wanted to get back into a relationship with Him.

“I was homeless, and everywhere I went just didn’t feel right. I knew it was the Lord humbling me. I felt like I was as close to hell as I was ever going to get. After I was hit by two 18-wheeler trucks, fell out of the back of a truck, and overdosed, God finally got my attention.


“Homeless for four years, I was lying on a sidewalk in Texas. I was praying and crying out, ‘Lord help me!’ and, ‘Save me!’ A woman came by shortly after that, and we started talking about the Lord. She came back a couple times to talk to me, and she said the Lord heard my prayer! There was a place called Pacific Garden Mission that she felt the Lord was calling me to go to. She bought me a bus ticket to Chicago, and that’s how I ended up here.

“Being at Pacific Garden Mission, I had to learn how to be comfortable around people again. It was scary out there, and it was scary in here—but I started listening to the preaching and sermons, and I heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ daily. I was also advised to join the Bible program. I went to talk to one of the counselors and decided to join the program.

“It’s one year later, and I feel a lot better now. I know God has healed me . . . it’s amazing what God has done! He brought me from lying on the sidewalks—feeling like I was going to die and that I was on my way to hell—to being delivered, continuing to be in His Word, and staying focused on Him. Now, I share with anybody and everybody what He has done in my life. God cared enough for me to bring me back to Him, and I love Him and thank Him.

“I really like Romans 10:13: ‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ It doesn’t matter where you are or what you have done. God is able to save us. He is able—I know He is able—and that’s why it is my favorite verse. I know that He saved me, and I love Him and thank Him for it. And that’s all He wants to do for all of us.

“I am going to graduate the program at the end of September. I have been clean for over a year now and am walking with God daily. I still have struggles and am learning how to live. It is tough, but I have family here to help me and guide me. I thank God so much for what He has done.”

John is in bright spirits now and will soon graduate into our second-year program where he will find employment and learn how to manage a life as a fully functioning follower of Christ. Many of those who complete our Bible programs have to learn basic life skills, in addition to learning how to cope with emotions and tribulations, while maintaining a close relationship to Jesus Christ. While starting life over from scratch can be a daunting task, your support of Pacific Garden Mission provides the counseling and guidance women and men like John need to be successful. John will now be one more saved soul that will go out into the world where he will share the light of Christ. If you know someone or encounter someone in need of help, always remember that the ministry of PGM you support today will be there for them, just as it has for over 143 years.

Please help support Pacific Garden Mission today so that more men and women can overcome homelessness, pain, and addiction while finding peace in Christ.

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