A Positive PFM Story, Sarah’s Story: The Potters Field Case
I want to share my Potters Field story. I have been heart broken to read all the stories this week. I am praying for healing and know God has a plan for even this. I do believe you! Even though I had such an opposite experience.
I was first introduced to PFR at 16 years old when I was at a therapeutic boarding school called Hope Ranch, just up the road from PFR. The first class class came up once a week to hang out with us. I knew the staff of PFR had a meeting with the director of the Hope Ranch. What Hope Ranch said was that they met to encourage them and offer a scholarship to any Hope Ranch girl who wanted to come to PFR. I decided to do this. Only to find out later that they actually met to confront Hope Ranch, as they were indeed corrupt. With my application to PFR, some of the staff felt like I was not a good fit. Pastor Michael stepped in and said “I am Hope Ranch”. Meaning that he had that kind of testimony. He then paid for the fake scholarship for me to attend the fall class of 05. I turned 18 my second day in. This was the last class with Chet Lowe as director. We did a lot of hard things! But it spoke my language, it was tangible learning.
During my term, God told me not to go back to my home town. Many options came up to where I could go instead, but when Pastor Michael offered for me to stay and work there, I knew that is what God’s will was. He immediately invested a lot into me. Bought me new clothes, groceries, arranged rides and thing. He flew me out to meet up with the PFM tour in California. I kind of helped haha, but they spent more time helping me. I spent Christmas with them, and they became like family. Back at the the ranch, I didn’t have anything I could really do besides clean. So I cleaned, then helped in the kitchen and coffee shop. All of the staff were like family, and I learned a lot from watching them. My childhood was messed up to say the least, so it was the first time seeing how functional families act. I stayed for 3 years.
A few times I went with PFM on part of their tour. One time they flew me out to help especially with a bigger service. Before the service started I went out with a friend. We got caught up and didn’t make it back in time. I knew I should have been there. PM told Dawn Marie to talk to me. We went out for dinner, and did not even address why I wasn’t back. I still remember our exact conversation about mercury poisoning. I felt the love and grace. Such a contrast to the stories shared. Work at PFR was intense. I looked forward to going out after with other staff and students. We even went on road trips on the weekends. When I felt like God was calling me away, Pastor Michael seemed sad, but set it up for me. I went to work at one of the board members Pastor Roger’s church. He became a mentor and father figure as well. I am blessed to have had so many invest in my life. 11 years later it still has shaped my adult life. I sometimes wish everyone had to go through some sort of training such as PFR. Its really difficult working with adults who do not have a work effort like taught at PFR. So many are still so full of themselves.
Here is a picture of my wedding day. Everyone on the picture I know from or was associated with PFR, I’m on the phone with Pastor Michael and Pastor Roger married us and really made our wedding possible in so many ways. Just to show how influential PFR/PFM is in my life.
Though I left 11 years ago, I do not believe PFR is a cult. It clearly needs to get back on track, but I pray God can continue to use PFM to share the love of Christ with many more.
I was honored when Pastor Michael called me earlier this week. He said he is so sorry if he hurt me. He said “ I’ve sinned, I’ve sinned, I’ve sinned”. I told him he did not hurt me, but please for the sake of the gospel, step down. It’s out there now, he said he has. So many pastors around the country are intensely working and praying to make it right. Please stand with them! These stories are not secret anymore, and they have to be faced. I believe that God will use these sins in PFM as a testimony of healing and redemption. We all fall short, and yet God uses us.