Friday, February 10, 2012

Ministry of Pacific Garden Mission

David McCarrell is at the helm of the Old Lighthouse and currently serves and the president of Pacific Garden Mission. McCarrell has been familiar with Pacific Garden Mission for several years. He was influenced through his father William McCarrell. The pastor of Cicero Bible Church of Cicero, Illinois was William McCarrell. Pastor McCarrell was involved with Pacific Garden Mission for over fifty years.

David McCarrell served as chairman for nine of the eighteen years in which he was on the board of Pacific Garden Mission. He assumed leadership of Pacific Garden Mission on an interim basis early in 1997. Eventually he was named a President of the Old Lighthouse in the same year. A career development program and a Polish ministry were added under his direction to menu of ministries of the Pacific Garden Mission.

David McCarrell instituted the “Bread of Life” ministry in 2001; donated bakery goods and gospels were distributed to people in the projects of the inner city. Under his leadership and direction renovations in the Medical/Dental clinic and at Gospel League Home have taken place.

Pacific Garden Mission is funded through the financial gifts of individuals, churches, organizations and legacies. It doesn't receive any funding through state, local or federal government.

The length of time in which a homeless person may stay at Pacific Garden Mission varies according to the each individual's personal situation and need.

"It is our desire to bring each one to salvation and maturity in Christ, therefore we work with each person with that long term goal in mind."

"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." — John 6:35

Although trucks from Pacific Garden Mission are loaded with bread, crackers, cookies, coffee cakes and special gifts; the mission desires to provide more than physical nourishment.

Individuals and families living in the projects of Chicago need food to nourish their bodies. They also have a desperate need for spiritual food which is satisfied in the Gospel of Jesus Christ to nourish their souls.

Bread of Life Ministry

Pacific Garden Mission's president David McCarrell recognized the urgent need to reach out to the community with the love of Jesus Christ. In 2000, Pacific Garden Mission initiated the “Bread of Life” ministry. Food donated to the mission by large supermarket chains and distributors are often received with tears and smiles of appreciation. Gospel tracts are distributed with the food to recipients who are offered the opportunity to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Since the inception of the program, hundreds of people have professed their faith in Jesus Christ.

Twenty to twenty-five percent of the food which Pacific Garden Mission serves each day is through direct food donations. Included in this percentage is food from the Greater Chicago Food Depository, local bread, bagel, pastry shops, and restaurants. Non-perishables are provided by concerned friends of Pacific Garden Mission. The remainder of the food is purchased with financial gift especially designated for this purpose.

"Please continue to pray that God will continue to provide the means to distribute bread and the “Bread of Life” to the unfortunate people of Chicago."

Homeless in Chicago

The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless estimates that there are more than 166,000 people in Chicago who are homeless. On any given night in Chicago; as many as 15,000 people are homeless and need shelter.

The face of the homeless population has changed significantly since Pacific Garden Mission was established in 1877. Today, 48% of Chicago's homeless population is single men. Whereas, 38% of the population in need of shelter are homeless families. 14% of the homeless population are single women and 4% young people. African-Americans make up 77% of Chicago's homeless population, 12% of the homeless people of Chicago are Caucasians, 9% of the population needing shelter are Latino.

Consequently, at least 20% of the homeless people of Chicago work full or part-time yet cannot afford to pay rent for an apartment in Chicago. In order to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Chicago paying “fair market rent;” one has to earn a wage of $17.13 an hour at forty hours a week. Tragically, the fastest growing segment of the homeless population are families with children.

There are more homeless American veterans than the number of U.S. Soldiers who died in the Vietnam conflict. 23% of the homeless in Chicago are American Veterans.

The fundamental cause of homelessness in Chicago is a lack of affordable housing. There is a deficit of 153,000 apartment units affordable to families who earn less than $20,000 a year in Chicago. Over 37% of renter households pay more than 30% of their income for rent. Furthermore, over 12% of renting households pay more than half of their income for rent. The waiting period for public housing is over five years and the waiting period for Section 8 certificates is ten years.

Furthermore, there is a lack of descent jobs and sufficient income in Chicago. Between 1971 and 1991, 340,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in Chicago. Unlike most service sector jobs, the vast majority manufacturing jobs that were lost paid living wages. A family of four must make $7.57 per hour in order to bring its income up to the level of the federal poverty level.

In order to meet a basic budget that includes rent, transportation, and childcare; a family of four in Chicago must make $22.63 to earn an annual income of $47,076. There are 114 people seeking every single job that pays a living wage.

Homelessness can be caused by a lack of adequate health services. 13% of homeless individuals became homeless due to problems with their health. The rate of tuberculosis infection among the homeless of Chicago is three times higher than the general population. 10% of the homeless people living in Chicago are HIV positive. 30% of the homeless endure varying degrees of mental illness. Only 5% to 7% of the homeless people in Chicago with mental illness need to be institutionalized. If proper supporting housing were available, as many as 95% of those people could living in community settings.

34% of homeless adults have a substance abuse problem. The loss of a parent to crime and imprisonment, physical and sexual abuse, as well as laziness contribute to homelessness. It has been estimated that 75% of men in prison have come from broken homes. The primary cause of filling homeless shelters is the breakdown of the family due to sexual sin, divorce, and abandonment of family be a male.

Pacific Garden Mission has established a Homeless Outreach to meet the immediate physical needs of food, clothing, and a comfortable safe place to sleep. Counseling is provided to assist those people who have experienced physical abuse, broken relationships, and drug abuse.

The most important goal of Pacific Garden Mission is to meet each persons individual spiritual need for forgiveness of sin through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Men's Division

The Men's Division of Pacific Garden Mission is a steadfast haven for homeless men with nowhere else to turn.

A counselor will interview each individual and determine the needs of each man upon entry in the Men's Division. He is provided with information regarding meals, overnight accommodations, and the possibility of obtaining clean clothing and medical assistance if needed. The guest is provided with a shower, clean sleepwear, and a comfortable bunk in which to sleep.

God has provided facilities to accommodate men on a long-term basis as well as overnight accommodations. Some of the men who have entered the doors of Pacific Garden Mission have stayed for many nights or even months.

“Even though some of these men don't stay long, it is a privilege to have briefly touched their lives with the message of hope in Jesus Christ.”

Resident Bible Program

Several men to profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior after receiving faithful counseling of the Mission staff and the preaching of the Gospel during daily services. The men are cordially invited to attend the Resident Bible Program; an unbending program designed to teach sound biblical truths. Furthermore, the Resident Bible Program has the objective designed to develop stability through discipline and personal responsibility.

Once the Resident Bible Program has been completed by a guest; men are eligible to attend available classes in Fundamentals of Faith, Christian Character, Bible Doctrine, Bible Survey, Christian Manhood, New Testament Christianity, Survey of the Gospel of John, and Soul-Winning

An diploma in Biblical Studies is available from the Old Lighthouse Bible Academy after a student is successfully tested on his knowledge of the subject matter.

The staff of Pacific Garden Mission find it a delight and joy to see many of the men who graduate the Resident Bible Program grow rapidly in Christ, reunite with their families, hold down steady jobs, and remain free from the powerful bondage of former addictive habits.

God has continued to use Pacific Garden Mission as His instrument to reach into the heart and soul of Chicago's homeless men since 1877.

Women's Ministry

Pacific Garden Mission began a small but effective “Women's Ministry” in 1941 through understanding the overwhelming need to reach the homeless women of Chicago. The flourishing “Women's Ministry” has become the fastest growing ministry of Pacific Garden Mission. The new facility of Pacific Garden Mission houses over a hundred over-night female guests each night. Accommodations for longer periods of time are also available for women with children and families..

The Women's and Children's Ministry house was at Gospel League Home at 955 W. Grand Avenue. The building was a settlement house during the early 1900's and eventually became a ministry to needy woman with children. Gospel League Home was made available to Pacific Garden Mission in the 1980's. It was renovated to meet the needs of homeless women and children.

Currently, the new facility has provided more room and better facilities to meed the daily needs of an increasing number of women seeking help. The available facilities are designed to meet the spiritual as well as physical needs of female guests and their children.

Whenever a woman comes to Pacific Garden Mission she is provided with a shower, food, clothing, and accommodations. She is counseled to determine her specific needs and is cordially helped by members of the Pacific Garden Mission staff accordingly.

“But more importantly, she is given an opportunity to experience the life-changing love of God. She witnesses this unconditional love in the lives of the staff she meets and also in the fellowship of the evening Gospel Services.”
Resident Bible Program

Those women who chose to receive God's free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ are cordially invited to participate in the Resident Bible Program.

Women and their children can learn of the God who has taken them from despair into a life of promise by participating in daily Bible classes and evening Gospel Services. Classes conducted at the Mission help each woman mature in her relationship with Jesus Christ, her family and society through practical biblical training. Several women have left Pacific Garden Mission to become wonderful testimonies of God's grace and mercy.

Each person who desires to grow in the Word of God can voluntarily enroll in the Men's or Women's resident programs. The twelve month program offers outstanding opportunities which include spiritual and educational life skill instruction. There are classes which men and women are required to attend and work assignments for persons while residing at the mission. The commitment to the first Bible Program is for a period of 60 days. After the initial commitment has been reached an individual is asked to continue in the Program. After four months have been successfully completed; individuals who have attended the program are tested on the knowledge of the Bible. If one is willing to make a commitment of eight months to complete further steps of study in the Bible Institute; he or she enters a career development phase of the program.

Pacific Garden Mission offers the following bible studies during a program stay:

Christian Character
Romans Road
Additionally areas of study include:

Survey of the Old Testament and New Testament
Soul-Winning sessions
Practical Truths
various other biblical teachings

Additional educational opportunities consist of the following studies:

Completing the requirements for a GED
Attending basic computer class and resume writing
Attending weekly life skills class
Developing strategies for possible job placement
The length of time within the program decides when those opportunities our available.

Career Development

Upon completing eight months of the Program, he or she may enter the course Career Development. Sessions will focus on job application and resume preparation, interview skills, and job search opportunities. Guest speakers bring additional value to the programs. Upon successful completion of this phase of the program and passing a final examination, one will graduate receiving a Diploma in Biblical Studies.

Pacific Garden Mission provides help with counseling, placement and additional support to integrate and ease one from Pacific Garden Mission to the community.

Graduates may seek the Lord's leading to work as a staff member at Pacific Garden Mission. The mission is delighted to assist graduates to continue to represent the Lord Jesus Christ as they endeavor to be productive citizens. Pacific Garden Mission firmly believes that continued attendance at a fundamental Bible believing church is critical and essential to continued growth and spiritual well-being. The graduate is strongly advised to continue to establish quality work ethics and to do all things “decent and in order.” In conclusion, Pacific Garden Mission is most wiling to everything possible to aid and assist each person with their spiritual and physical needs.

Medical Clinic

In 1951 two medical students from the University of Illinois established the Pacific Garden Mission Health Clinic. A small clinic was opened at Pacific Garden Mission by Dean Smith and Jack Pollard. They sincerely desired to meet the physical needs of the people who needed help most. As an influx of patients increased; volunteer physicians began offering their services whenever available. 1968, Dr. Joan Zoellin became the first permanent staff physician in the clinic as the medical needs of the guests became so great. Guests who come to the Pacific Garden Mission pay nothing for the medical care they receive.

“Men, women and children come to the clinic seeking much needed medical attention and are treated with dignity and love.”

Paid and volunteer medical personnel work diligently to meet the ever increasing medical needs of as many as 500 patients each month. Various medical conditions are treated ranging from the common cold to terminal illnesses including AIDS. There are a wide range of people who come to Pacific Garden Mission's clinic for medical care. Unfortunately, the people needing medical assistance are becoming younger each year.

Alcoholic men in their 50's and 60's were being treated in the early days of the clinic. Since drugs especially cocaine, have become more accessible the staff treats more homeless men and women who are in their 20's and 30's. Some of the young addicts are able to kick their habits cold turkey when God fills the void in their lives with his grace, love, and kindness.

Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH) has sent a team of six to eight optometrists and optometry students twice each year to the clinic to screen for glaucoma and prescribe glasses for guests who need them.

Pacific Garden Mission has provided dental services since the inception of the medical clinic. The dental needs of patients are met through the clinic's dentists whether it be filling the smallest cavity or treating total tooth decay and gum disease.

Furthermore, the medical clinic provides a psychiatric, podiatry clinic, counseling services, preventative medical services, vaccinations, crisis pregnancy counseling, and CPR training for full time staff members including Bible Program women and men involved with the homeless.

“By God's grace and through the sacrifice and love of the clinic staff, all the men, women, and children who come seeking help are cared for not only physically but also spiritually. Each patient is counseled by someone on the PGM staff and is encouraged to seek out God and learn of His unconditional love. It is exciting to see God heal both the bodies and the souls of those He brings to Pacific Garden Mission.”

Jail Outreach Ministry

Pacific Garden Mission has the goal to set at liberty through the Gospel of Jesus Christ those who are incarcerated. Hence the “Old Lighthouse” has established the Jail Outreach Ministry.

Pastor Samson Green is a graduate of the Old Lighthouse Bible Institute. Pastor Green directs the Pacific Garden Ministry at the Cook County Jail. A wide variety of inmates as young as 18 years of age from all walks of life have been convicted of a wide assortment of crimes. Pastor Green is able to provide Bibles, conduct Bible studies, and disciple new believers through the resources of Pacific Garden Mission. Pacific Garden Mission has provided the resources to Pastor Green to supply additional aftercare for inmates and their families.

Upon release from jail, former inmates are given the opportunity to join the Bible program and live at the mission. This opportunity sets Pacific Garden Mission Jail Outreach Ministry apart from other ministries. The mission provides an environment of discipleship and discipline to assist men to grow spiritually preparing them to reenter society.

A special component of the Jail Outreach Ministry is the contact Pastor Green has with the inmates' families. Often many youthful and adult offenders struggle with the transition when they return home.

Families are visited whenever possible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is presented to family members in order that when a former inmate eventually returns home they enter an environment of faith in Jesus Christ.

"The Spirit of the LORD God is upon me; because tshe LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." Isaiah 61:1

Polish Outreach

There is a growing Polish population in Chicago; the Polish Outreach of Pacific Garden Mission was established to bring the Gospel to the Polish community which now numbers over a million.

Ed Schoenberger directs the Polish Outreach of Pacific Garden Mission. The Polish Outreach seeks to minister to the Polish homeless who come to the mission, build friendships, and show hospitality.

Furthermore, the Polish Outreach conducts evangelistic home Bible studies, survey and conducts street evangelism in local parks and door-to-door outreach.

At the end of a outreach session of evangelism in a local park; five Polish teens were given tracts and Ed shared his testimony of how God brought him to the Lord through the death of his sister and friend.

One of the young male teenagers declared: 
That's right where I'm at. I lost my dad not too long agi, and also my cousin.”

When it began to rain all of the party sought shelter beneath a tree where Ed continued to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the teenagers. Another Polish teen mentioned that he had just lost his sister in a car accident. The second young man was very receptive to the message of the Gospel.

Ed Schoenberger says:

"Praise the Lord for these open hearts and minds to listen. When we go with the gospel, God opens doors to share our testimony and His powerful truth."

The purpose for which Pacific Garden Mission began the Polish Ministry is to glorify God through proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ to the Polish community. Depend upon God to bring many to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ becoming His followers. Help new believers in the community to mature spiritually and assimilate them into Bible believing churches in which they can grow and mature through discipleship.

A Visit from PGM

Revival teams from Pacific Garden Missions are available to visit local churches,schools, and organizations. One can share the light and fire of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the ministry of the “Old Lighthouse.” You are cordially invited to share with the congregation of your church, student body, and members of your particular organization the message of the “Old Lighthouse.”

Pacific Garden Mission will send revival teams which minister through music, testimonies of convert's and old fashioned Gospel preaching at your request.

The Pacific Garden Mission has sent Revival teams throughout the upper mid-western United States. Occasionally they have made longer trips which depend upon schedules and available resources.

1 comment:

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