Monday, July 09, 2007

The Warehouse Mission

Yesterday afternoon, Jared (my son) and I went downtown and attended a service at the Warehouse Mission (part of the Salvation Army). About 60 people squeezed into a small second floor room not much larger than my living room and laughed and prayed and worshipped God with the abandonment that only those who have lost everything can display. The crowd was mostly older (ie 40+) street people. Street people means people who are not necessarily homeless but live most of their lives identified with some aspects of the street culture, often accessing services that assist the poor and homeless (food banks, meal programs, support services, drop-ins, employment training, I.D. access, etc.).

It was a good afternoon. The Warehouse Mission is run by Ron and Linda Farr - both Lieutenants in the Salvation Army. (you can check out an article about them written in here.) There is also a personal connection here - Linda used to be my secretary and office manager (then kitchen manager and street youth worker) when I worked at Evergreen. They have been good friends for many years (even though I don't see them much these days). Ron and Linda started this ministry by just going around talking to the people who were hanging out on the street in the St. Jamestown (Parliament and Wellesley) area of downtown Toronto. They are doing a great job.

The service itself was the right blend of down home warmth, country music, Salvation Army culture, and lots of laughter. Ron and Linda have made the Gospel real to these people and have incarnated Jesus in a way that perfectly fits this context. It's worth a visit and worthy of your support.

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