The Salvation Army exists to share the love of Jesus Christ, meet human needs and be a transforming influence on the communities of our world.
It’s been a week of major ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ in our shelter world. I’ll start with the ‘downs’.
This week at Toronto’s ‘Homeless Memorial’, a service was held to remember the 42 people that we know of who died on Toronto’s streets in 2015. 42 people, mostly John and Jane Doe’s, died on the streets in one of the most affluent cities in the world.
That is just not right!
We at The Salvation Army want to do something about it.
Which leads me to the ‘ups’.
This week, after more than 2 years of scouring the city looking for a building to replace our Hope shelter, we finally found a potential new space. With unwavering persistence and hope, led by our ED Bradley Harris, we have found what most likely will become our new Hope Shelter. Check out this article in the Toronto Star for more details.
If all goes well, and there’s still lots that needs to happen so please pray, we will have a new place to provide shelter to 80 men who find themselves homeless in Toronto.
As we continue our focus this month on our mission statement, it’s crucial to acknowledge that this whole venture fits perfectly into every word of it. We will be meeting human needs by providing food, shelter and a vast array of supports to 80 men. We will be a transforming influence in that community by building relationships with the neighbours. And we will be sharing the love of Jesus Christ in so many ways that I can’t even begin to spell out.
And it is sharing that love that will win the day. In sharing Jesus’ love with each other, with our supervisors, our families, our neighbours and with those who come through our doors looking for help, nothing can stop us from not just lowering the number of street deaths in 2016, but bringing new HOPE and life to ourselves and the people around us.
“And now these three things remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” – 1 Corinthians 13:13
Let’s keep on striving to be The Hand of God in the Heart of the City.
Dion Oxford, Director of Mission Integration
O God of love, we pray thee to give us love:
Love in our thinking, love in our speaking,
Love in our doing, and love in the hidden places of our souls;
Love of our neighbours near and far;
Love of our friends, old and new;
Love of those with whom we find it hard to bear,
And love of those who find it hard to bear with us;
Love of those with whom we work,
And love of those with whom we take our ease;
Love in joy, love in sorrow;
Love in life and love in death;
That so at length we may be worthy to dwell with thee,
Who art eternal love.
– William Temple, 1881-1944 (Archbishop of Canterbury 1942-44)