Blanketed in White

Another modern-day miracle occurred early in the history of the Pacific Garden Mission of Chicago, which got its start in the 1880s, when a notorious saloon called the Pacific Beer Garden was leased by a sweet Christian couple, George and Sarah Clarke. Dropping the word Beer, they added the word Mission and launched a ministry to down­trodden men and women.

In the early years, Colonel and Mrs. Clarke bore the cost of the work themselves, but the ministry's growth depleted their funds. Eventually they couldn't pay the rent, and Colonel Clarke had only twenty-four hours to make payment; otherwise they would lose their lease.

Colonel and Mrs. Clarke prayed throughout the night, reminding the Lord of the luckless whose lives were being salvaged. Emerging from their house at daybreak, they gasped. Their yard was blanketed in white. Looking closer, they discovered the lawn was covered with rare mushrooms of highest quality, though it wasn't the season for mushrooms.

Gathering the crop, the Clarkes carted the mushrooms down to the Palmer House and sold them to the chefs for enough money to pay the rent. Years later, "Mother" Clarke, commenting on the experience, said, "No mushrooms were ever seen there before-nor any since."

Robert J. Morgan, The Red Sea Rules. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001, p. 83-84.

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