Karen’s Story

Her Depression was Manifesting in Her Soul, but She Found Freedom in Christ . . .

Alone and afraid . . . two of the most commonly used words people share when first describing their experience with homelessness. Transcending the gigantic hurdles of homelessness may seem like a daunting task—but you, as the donor, help to change those words of fear and despair into words of hope and happiness.


With joy, we can share such a story—one that conveys lasting hope and transformation in Christ because of partners of this Mission like you.

Meet Karen. She may have come through our doors depressed and lonely, but as you read her story, you’ll see that with your help and God’s grace, she is now walking daily in freedom and fulfillment as a fully functioning follower of Christ.

“I ended up at Pacific Garden Mission after the building my cousin and I were staying in was foreclosed. I didn’t have anywhere to go. When I first went to my cousin’s, I was depressed. All I did was stay in a room, lay down, and watch TV. I did nothing else. That experience, when they came and set everything out on the street, was scary. I couldn’t go with kinfolk . . . there wasn’t room for me to go with anyone. Then, my brother came and said we were going to go to Pacific Garden Mission.

“When I came here, I didn’t know what to expect—I really didn’t, so I was just quiet. I was scared and hurt, being homeless for the first time . . . that was really an experience for me. So, I know what it feels like to be homeless and not have anything. I knew I was depressed. I didn’t talk to anyone. I didn’t care about how I looked or anything. Then one day, a staff member approached me and said she thought it would be a good idea for me to join the Bible program, and after several weeks, I decided to join.

“Those women care about us, and they treat us like they are our family. The Bible program is great! It helped me, and everything I know about the Bible is because those ladies taught me. I knew there was a God, but I didn’t know anything about the Bible until I got into the Bible program, where I started reading the Bible and learning to understand the verses. I would tell any woman to join. It is not easy, but you can get through it.

“While I was in the Bible program, I ended up working on security—that was my ministry assignment. I did that for a year, and then I graduated. I give everything to Him; He has done all this for me, and PGM took care of me. PGM is a great learning experience for people who are homeless. And for those of us who work at PGM, it is great—I have learned to love people . . . people I don’t even know.

“When the ladies come in, they have so many problems . . . abuse and so many other things have happened to them. They might come in sometimes with an attitude, but I was where they were, so I can understand and love those women. Sometimes, people come in scared and crying. Recently, I did one lady’s intake, and I explained to her that I too was an overnight guest who was scared and didn’t know what to expect. But I told her it was going to be all right. She stayed for about three weeks at PGM, and before she left, she thanked me for talking to her and making her feel like she didn’t have to be scared.

“After 10 months working on security at PGM, I saved enough money to move out. I moved last Thursday and have my own place now. I have peace and joy in my life through God, my Father. I am happy to this day. As long as you have God in your life, you’re going to be all right. I love Him. I know God is there. God will take care of you if you put all your trust in Him.”

Karen, with a new life in Christ, is now ministering and witnessing to those she encounters during her daily ministry here on the PGM security team. Because she can relate to the experiences and hardships of the women who come through our doors at the Mission, God uses Karen in a mighty way to display His power to redeem, restore, and set free all who trust in Him. The evidence of Karen’s transformation is not only witnessed in the words she speaks, but it’s reflected daily in her actions and treatment of others. Friends and partners like YOU are central to testimonies like these at PGM—because your generosity helped transform Karen’s life. And now, she boldly communicates hope to other lost and hurting women, helping to turn fear and loneliness into peace and freedom. This would not be possible here without you. Thank You.

Please help support Pacific Garden Mission today so that more men and women can find refuge and freedom.

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