I have decided to highlite one mission each week. So to start off this hopefully soon to be tradition, I decided to pick a domestic mission that is rarely glamourized by the Church.
When one thinks of a rescue mission, immediately a picture of skid row enters your mind where drunken bums lie in filth, intoxicated by any numbers of mind numbing drugs. Our initial reaction is to turn away in disgust not wishing to become stained by their filthiness and rank odour.
I remember when as a boy while waiting for the bus one time, a drunken man who had obviously urinated in his clothing came into the bus shelter and lay down on the bench to take a nap. Of course I was immediately taken back at his appearance wondering why on earth people would stoop to such a state. Of course, we were no worse than these visibly sin racked individuals. Perhaps the only difference being our sin was hidden and carefully manicured. But underneath it all, the depravity of the human heart can lead each one of us to this miserable state.
Pacific Garden Mission is the longest continuous running rescue mission in America. Since 1877, the "Old Lighthouse" has been meeting the spiritual needs of some of Chicago's most down and out individuals.
Famous evangelists such as Billy Sunday and Mel Trotter were both won to Christ through the faithful preaching of men serving there. D.L. Moody was also involved in the early days of PGM.
I first heard about this mission through a weekly radio program they produce called "Unshackled", dramatizing the lives of men and women who came to Christ. Incidentally, Unshackled is also the longest running radio show in history. I was very impressed with the quality of both the show and the content of the message.
I encourage you to check out for yourself the ministry of Pacific Garden Mission. You can listen to a past drama online right here.
Praise God for faithful men and women who were willing to go and minister to the outcasts of society.