“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. I truly felt as if our lives were over and that my kids would think that I’m the worst mom. I came to realize that to keep my kids safe from the influence of these people, I needed to bring my daughters to the safety of Pacific Garden Mission.
“My husband, Tony, had come to PGM after getting out of jail and had joined the Bible Program to get his life together. After he had been in the program for nine months, I decided to come with the girls—Gina, who was fourteen, and Olivia, who was seven. Our stay at PGM, a little under three months, was a positive experience. But when my daughters and I first arrived at PGM, they were very scared and didn’t know what to expect. When they saw the homeless men and women, they got even more scared. When I was younger, my sister had stayed at shelters when her kids were little. I never judged her, but I always said to myself that earth will freeze over before I ever found myself living in a shelter with my children. Deep down, that memory is what caused me to resist coming to PGM. My kids asked if we could go somewhere else, but I had to tell them I had no other choice. They asked me how long we would have to stay at the Mission. Not knowing an exact time, I answered, ‘As long as it takes to get back on my feet.’ It helped them to know that this wasn’t going to last forever.
“When we stayed at Pacific Garden Mission, I went to Bible studies in the morning with the other mothers while the kids were at school. It is that class that initially got me interested in the Bible and made me want to learn about it. Before this, I had thought that prayer was a waste of time, and I was very angry and bitter. But that changed as I saw God working in my husband’s life, my daughter’s lives, and my own. The girls started to make friends, and they enjoyed doing their homework with the other kids after school. Olivia would play in the playroom with kids, and Gina had another teenage friend that she would hang out with. We learned to pray and about the power of prayer firsthand in our lives. We loved going to church and had never been so excited to attend a service until we started going to a Baptist church. I’ve seen a difference in the girls, and they just loved to pray before bedtime and mealtime. What the Mission is doing for families there is beyond admirable and wonderful.
“My children are very dedicated to going to church and want to learn more about the Word of God now. Their relationship with God is amazing today. They turn to God for pretty much everything. My oldest wants to work with children when she grows up, and that’s from her experience at PGM. I waited a couple of years before I accepted Christ into my heart. When we got our apartment after leaving PGM, we started to go to church that was only a block away from our new place. Westlawn Baptist Church became our second home. In October 2018, I got saved, and a month later, my oldest, who is 17, got saved. Then my youngest got saved in June of this year.
“It’s never too late to turn your life around. You have to put your faith in God’s hands. He put us here for a reason, and now my kids and I are closer to God than we ever were. God never left our side; we just had to open our hearts to Him. I will be forever grateful for Pacific Garden Mission, and I am grateful God put us here.”
Sabrina, Tony, and their daughters, Gina and Olivia, now visit PGM often to attend our Saturday night praise and testimony service. They are part of the Mission family and are thankful for what God has done in their lives. What started as one man’s salvation, led to a family being saved. With Jesus Christ, the healing and forgiveness can continue, and little by little, their lives are made whole again. Nothing is impossible with God, and because of your help, families like Sabrina’s are made whole. Every resource needed is provided by PGM, and once a person is saved, they not only have the spiritual resources but also all the physical resources to begin life anew. We thank you for your faithful support and helping to spread, person to person and family to family, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.