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Stories of Change

“ The ups and downs were too much for me to handle.”

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“ I would be taking drugs in the bathroom of my parents’ house and then going down for Christmas with mom and dad.”

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“At that time, I had just lost hope… I didn’t even want my life.”

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“Because He lives, I am alive.”

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“The more I walk with God the more I realize how imperfect I am… but yet we serve a holy God that loves us no matter what.”

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“I knew then that God was calling me back to Pacific Garden Mission.”

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“I promised I would seek God the same way I sought drugs, and that’s what led me to Pacific Garden Mission.”

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“When I came to Pacific Garden Mission, my thoughts changed. I renewed my faith…the Hand of God is in this building.”

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“I’m ready to start my life over and let the Lord shine his light through me.”

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“I had nowhere to go…I just wanted to come out of the cold.”

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“I got a wake-up, and God opened my spiritual eyes to discern what was good and bad, how to be humble…”

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“For thirtysomething years of my life, I used crack cocaine.”

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“Things got out of control and I eventually dropped out of school…I was lonely.”

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“My father is an addict. My mom’s an alcoholic, too. I had to grow up really quickly.”

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“I became sick…I lost my job and I became homeless.”

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“When I turned 15 I started getting in trouble again and using heavy drugs. When I was 17 I found heroin.”

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“My life became unmanageable…I burned a lot of bridges. I prayed to God to deliver me from this addiction.”

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“I worthless. Like I didn’t matter to anybody…I was so lonely.”

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“I thought I had failed as a mom. For two years, my daughters and I were homeless, and while my husband, Tony, was in jail, we were bouncing around staying with different family and friends. Some of the people we stayed with were drinking, using drugs, and involved with gangs. I hadn’t realized how toxic and unhealthy some people were until I lived with them…

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From the outside, someone caught in addiction can appear to be simply selfish and seeking self-gratification. But the truth is most of these addictions are just “fruits” masking deeper root problems. A past physical or emotional trauma can turn into a spiritual malady, which can alter the course of an entire life if not addressed. The roots of addition can be many, but often an addiction can stem from this pain and trauma.

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My name is Yvette. I am 29 years old, and I currently live at Pacific Garden Mission with my four-year-old daughter, August. As a child, I grew up in a single parent household.

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Discovering peace instead of pain As Mother’s Day approaches, we have a young mother’s hope-filled testimony of how she was made whole through Jesus You have helped Bethany begin a new life! Delivered from her afflictions, she has recently completed our free 90-day recovery program and gone home to be with her young We hope her story of redemption and freedom from addiction brightens your hearts and minds to the ongoing love and power of God’s God is using your support to powerfully restore many lives at Pacific Garden Bethany “I am Bethany, and I am from Tampa, I came to Pacific Garden Mission because of substance My drug of choice was I knew it was becoming a problem because I would want to drink all day, every I was trying to numb the pain that was inside of “Starting at the age of 12 I would I wasn’t suicidal, but it felt like the pain was leaving me The next day, I would see what I had done to myself and would promise I would not do it again, but I “[As an adult], I also had been hospitalized several times because of my The last time I went, the doctors told my parents that I needed to stop, or I would cause my own “I have a beautiful and intelligent nine-year-old I was in high school when I found out I was pregnant, so I was a young At first, I didn’t see my drinking affecting my I didn’t realize how much it was affecting her until I had a clear “My dad was having heart issues, and he told me his heart could not handle what I, his daughter, was putting him through because he was so worried about “I heard about this place from my I decided to try it, and so I came all the way to Chicago to go to Pacific Garden I joined and completed the 90-day addiction recovery Being here helped me to not only forgive other people but also how to forgive In the past I wasn’t happy with myself, because I thought it was my fault for things that happened to me in my Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy —Proverbs 3:5-6 “The counselors at Pacific Garden Mission have helped me through a lot, and I have grown so At first it was kind of hard to have all of these feelings flow through you, all at once, because I was so used to drinking something to numb the “I am not used to dealing with these emotions, but now I can turn to God and ask Him for I’m nothing but grateful to have If I pray and talk to the Lord, it gives me humbleness and peace—instead of turning to a substance to deal with the “I know when I leave here, I am always going to have He has helped me through I pray to Him almost every day now to give me strength, and He really It’s a great feeling to know that if anything is going wrong in my life, I can just pray about Having a faith-based drug addiction program at PGM is really I don’t think I would have made it through if it “I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders because anywhere I am, whether on the train or walking down the street, I can call upon the I am just really grateful for this experience; it was like I was drawn to As Bethany returns home to her family and daughter as a spiritually renewed woman, she can begin the life God wants for She has found a new life! Amelia, Bethany’s daughter, and the rest of Bethany’s family will now be able to have her back, made whole as a fully functioning follower of You are helping mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters just like Bethany every day through your praying and giving! We ask you to pray for Bethany as she begins her new life and to pray for everyone within the walls of Pacific Garden Thank you for your continued Please help support Pacific Garden Mission today so that more men and women can overcome drug abuse and have a chance at new life in GIVE NOW!
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John cried out to God and he was “I had a I had a But once I picked up drinking, everything just seemed to get taken 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 From there, stuff just started spiraling I felt really sad, and I felt I had let God and my family down more than God had helped me so many times, but I would go back out and keep doing the   same things all over I wanted to get back into a relationship with “I was homeless, and everywhere I went just didn’t feel I knew it was the Lord humbling I felt like I was as close to hell as I was ever going to After I was hit by two 18-wheeler trucks, fell out of the back of a truck, and overdosed, God finally got my “Homeless for four years, I was lying on a sidewalk in 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 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 She bought me a bus ticket to Chicago, and that’s how I ended up “Being at Pacific Garden Mission, I had to learn how to be comfortable around people 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 I was also advised to join the Bible I went to talk to one of the counselors and decided to join the “It’s one year later, and I feel a lot better 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 Now, I share with anybody and everybody what He has done in my God cared enough for me to bring me back to Him, and I love Him and thank “I really like Romans 10:13: ‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be It doesn’t matter where you are or what you have God is able to save He is able—I know He is able—and that’s why it is my favorite I know that He saved me, and I love Him and thank Him for And that’s all He wants to do for all of “I am going to graduate the program at the end of I have been clean for over a year now and am walking with God I still have struggles and am learning how to It is tough, but I have family here to help me and guide I thank God so much for what He has 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 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 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 John will now be one more saved soul that will go out into the world where he will share the light of 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 Please help support Pacific Garden Mission today so that more men and women can overcome homelessness, pain, and addiction while finding peace in GIVE NOW!
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President's Message for September 2020 PGM News From Pastor Phil In Luke 10:29-37, Jesus tells the story of the good It all starts with a question: “But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?” Jesus tells the story and then answers the question: “And he said, He that shewed mercy on Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou I believe that the Church has an amazing opportunity in light of all the unrest happening in our So many are confused, depressed, and frightened by recent Instead of retreating, the Church can be a neighbor to so many in need of During the recent pandemic, I witnessed incredible acts of COVID-19 hit the homeless population extremely We had numerous individuals that were positive with the coronavirus on quarantine in our dorms at How would they eat? Who would serve them? Would the ones serving also be infected? We had many dedicated staff stay and minister to the sick at the expense of their own Two individuals left their family and stayed around the clock to bring meals and clean clothes and to minister to the This is being a good Karen, one of our ladies who was COVID-positive writes, “I am writing to you to let you know how grateful I am for how Pacific Garden Mission took care of me through the COVID-19 These ladies cleaned the overnight guest bathroom, swept and mopped the dorm, and they made sure we got breakfast, lunch, and I don't know what we would have done without Ayanda writes, “The staff could have stayed The food, water, medication, free testing, and a place to sleep—I am grateful for all that has been provided for me in this time of hardship on Lori writes, “I have been impressed with the staff and program ladies who were not sick yet chose to work diligently to get everything us sick people But above all, for the prayers and everyone’s concern and caring, thank you and thank you for keeping a roof over my I want to thank you, our supporters, who prayed and sacrificially gave to make it possible to care for one of the most vulnerable groups in society during a difficult Imagine being homeless during a worldwide But thanks to you, they had somewhere to That is being a neighbor—thank you for your great deeds of mercy! Please help support Pacific Garden Mission today so that more men and women can overcome homelessness, pain, and addiction while finding peace in GIVE NOW!
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September 2020 PGM News - Stewardship Update From Stephen Welch, Director of Development We share the Gospel of Christ many times a day at Pacific Garden And as we care for the hearts of our guests, we also feed, clothe, and shelter those who come through our Here, our mission field often becomes our One way we serve this family with the compassion of Christ and minister with the transforming message of the Gospel is through the food we serve and We are grateful to our donors who make the meals Below is a partial list of the items we will use this fall to feed the multitudes:     The three-month kitchen needs to prepare for Fall 2020 Ground beef — 3,000 Poultry — 7,000 Pork — 1,000 Potatoes — 3,000 Eggs — 1,500 per dozen = 2,250 lbs) Cheese — 4,000 Milk — 2,000 lbs per gallon = 17,200 lbs) Vegetables — 15,000 Dry Beans — 1,200 lbs Long grain rice — 2,000 lbs Some other breakfast/lunch staples include: Breakfast sausage — 3,000 lbs Oatmeal — 1,800 lbs Pancake mix — 1,100 lbs Sandwich bread — 63,400 slices (~4,000 lbs) Luncheon meat — 3,000 lbs The total weight above is 67,550 lbs! We are grateful for the volunteers, donors, and prayer partners that help us create a healthy environment at PGM where Jesus Please help support Pacific Garden Mission today so that more men and women can overcome homelessness, pain, and addiction while finding peace in GIVE NOW!
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