I Need Help!
Overcoming Bad Stuff with Good
These are points to help you when things are going bad.
Others Who Can Help
If possible, try to find help within the county where you live--or the county that you want to go back to if that is where your friend, family and job opportunities are. Transportation between counties is not easy to find (there is no bus service) and many programs can only help people in their own county. You can find emergency food and other aid here. Info about housing is available here.
Do not forget your local count Health Department. (Huron County: 989-269-9721; Sanilac County: 810-648-4172; Tuscola County: 989-673-8114. They provide a number of emergency services, especially to families with children. The WIC program (Women, Infants, Children) provides food staples. The maternal Infant Health program helps with sleeping arrangements, car seats, transportation, safety issues, family planning, mother and infant health, etc. Some health services are provided and they will help find cost effective options, even for those without health insurance.
Do You Need To Stay at PABC?
Port Austin Bible Campus (PABC) has provided a home for hundreds of homeless men, women and children since 2010. Our Guests stay from one day to over a year-averaging 70 days. PABC is a church ministry. It does not receive any government funds. It will not receive another dollar from anyone if we accept you to live with us. Rather, the PABC ministry must spend its own time and money to give you a place.
Why do we do this?
Life is precious, and you desire a good and meaningful life. We believe you are made in God's image just like everyone else on Earth. You are important to God and therefore important to us.
This is very different than the popular teaching of "evolution" today. Evolution claims human life came about by chance and life is simply a matter of "survival of the fittest". This belief allows leaders to feel good about starting wars for their own wealth, having babies aborted or getting rid of the sick and elderly.
A belief in "survival of the fittest" explains why some do not care what happens to poor or homeless people. If that belief is true, they are probably right-the fit should live and the weak and struggling should die. But if God has made all of us, and if we are responsible to God, then every person is important.
If you come to live at Port Austin Bible Campus, it is because we want you to have a chance for a better life. We want you to have a place to live and food to eat now. Later, we hope you will have your own job, support yourself and have your own place for you and your family to live. We will also help you find the people, groups or government agencies that can help you.
Making a Difference
Most of what happens to us in life is a result of both the things that other people do and the things that we do. Most of the problems in our lives are partly a result of other's sins and partly our sins. If you do not want to think about this, then your life will probably continue as it has been. If you come to PABC, you will often be asked to think about how you got where you are, and how you can make things different. The purpose of PABC is not to help you continue as you have been, but to help you make your life better.
Many of our problems have been caused by others. We should have loving parents, but sometimes they abandon us or abuse us. It would be nice to have a perfect body, but many of us have physical and mental defects. Everyone wants good friends, but some of our friends have hurt us, stolen from us, betrayed us or gotten us into trouble. The Bible teaches that land should be fairly divided among the people of a nation, but today, a small group of people own most of the land. It would be nice to have a fair chance to get a job, but many employers are not interested in us.
We cannot change these things that others have done to us. We cannot quickly make our world and our governments fair. Those changes are worth making, but they take many years. All we can do about these things now is go to ask God in prayer to deliver us from illness and people who hurt us. We can ask God to give us a fair chance in life.
But if we want God to heed our prayers and protect us from the sins of others, we also need to ask God to help us not to sin. We need to stop hurting others and stop hurting ourselves. After all, it is our own lives over which we should have the most control. If we do not ask God to stop our own sins, why should God protect us from the sins of others?
Where You Are Now
Becoming homeless almost always involves the sins of many people. We do not need to try to figure out exactly how much was the fault of others and how much is ours. The Bible teaches that all people sin, and that they all need to repent. Each one of us can get better only by asking God to change us personally and to protect us from evil.
Part of our effort needs to be devoted to learning what is good and what is bad. If we expect God to help us, we need to read His instruction in the Bible. We have included the "two greatest commands" given by Jesus and the Ten Commandments at the end of this article. They will help you get started. We cannot expect God to help us do things that He tells us we should not be doing.
PABC is a non-denominational ministry. That means we do not have a religious creed for you to accept. We do not try to "make you one of us". We point you to God and the Bible. The Bible teaches that God will judge everyone, small and great. Judgment is about what you do, not your church membership.
If you do not have a Bible, we will give you one. If you do not believe the Bible is accurate or true, we will try to help you understand it better.
What Happens If You Come to PABC?
We ask everyone who comes to PABC some background questions and about where they hope to go in life. If you do not have any plan or goal, how can you succeed? And how can we help you succeed? We ask about your family, your work history, your medical history and your criminal history, if any. We will ask you what help (such as transportation) you might need from us and how you can help PABC if possible. We will ask about your financial situation. We accept people to PABC who have nothing, but we expect those who can pay for their own utilities to do so-up to $200 per month. We will not give you money.
We almost never refuse people from PABC because of their past. But we do refuse people for lying about their situation. We cannot help you if we do not know the truth about you. Also, it will be hard for you to change the negative things about yourself if your main goal is to cover them up. You cannot lie to God, so please do not lie to us.
Even so, many people who come to PABC treat us like they treat so many other people or agencies. They try to figure out, "What do I have to do or say to get what I want from PABC?" Many just tell us what they think we want to hear, even if it is not true. We usually find out the truth, either from people who know or because God shows us in some way.
We hope you will treat us differently. We want to be your friend and help you do what is good for you and others-good as God defines it. We do not offer you a place to stay so we can make a profit from you or increase our statistics. If we were interested in money, we would never have started a ministry to the homeless. We received much more money when we simply produced religious literature!
Some Guests think like this: "PABC people are Christians. That means they give me free rent and utilities because it makes them feel good. I accept their deal. I'll listen to them and pretend to agree with them. They can feel good and I will take the free stuff as long as I can. I've got better things to do with my money."
Sometimes PABC Guests continually ask us to do more for them. They may tell very sad stories or think up complicated plots to try to get more from us. Some of them get upset with us when we do not go along. Some think that they can cheat us, but we will not do anything about it because we are Christians. Others think they can commit crimes here and we will not work with police. They are shocked when we do not do what they expect!
Our purpose is not simply to do things for you or give you things because life is tough for you right now. Our purpose is to help you escape evil that others are doing to you, and to give you a chance to improve yourself. If you hope that we will help you continue in ways that are hurtful to yourself and others (drugs, alcohol, theft, immorality) you will be disappointed here.
When we find that PABC guests are hurtful to themselves or others, we try to teach them the biblical view. We try to give them chances to repent and change. Biblical laws are not the same as our governments' laws, but a person who is obeying God is good to other people and is usually not a problem to governments. When Guests are trying, we help them. If they do not want to change, we require them to leave PABC. Guests staying at PABC are legally Guests; they do not have any rights as a tenant. The PABC ministry can ask them to leave at any time for any reason-though we will usually cooperate with reasonable requests in finding a new place.
The Bible contains many stories about people who sinned. Most were taught the right ways by God's prophets or ministers. Sometimes they listened and changed, and things went better. When they did not listen, God usually allowed a worse situation to come upon them, so that they would listen and change. We know that God looks at all of us and wants all to come to Him. If the PABC ministry can no longer effectively help you, we will require you to leave, knowing that God will work with you wherever you go.
We do not expect to live your life for you, but we hope to help you make your life better. We will encourage you to overcome the difficulties you know you have. We will try to teach the Bible to you. This life we have now is a gift and we encourage you to make the most of it. Living a godly life can be a source of great joy and lasting happiness! That is what we want for you!
These are two of the most important quotations of the Bible, from the New International Version:
Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself'" (Matthew 22:37-39, NIV).
And God spoke all these words:
More on PABC Homeless Ministry