In my circles I meet a lot of peculiar people. One smiles back at me in the mirror each morning! The question rises “What might it mean to be God’s “peculiar” people?” I suspect that in this world of ‘indifference’ we are to live in a way that makes a difference. Our chief goal, in Street Hope, is to encourage and equip people to live differently, and to make a difference in their communities. Part of doing this is modeling this ‘different’ and difference making behaviour.
I believe that to make a real difference in people’s lives I need to do a lot of listening, listening to people and to God. To this I add asking a lot of questions to both my friends and God. What are the important needs? How can I help? What is my responsibility? What peculiar resources can I bring to bear? What are others already doing? All these questions need to be asked and re-asked if Street Hope is to become a difference making community.
All these questions and prayers have led us to our Christmas Breakfast Project for 2014. We believe we can, and we encourage you to join us in, being difference makers in an indifferent world.
How would 21st Century Magi carry their gifts? How would the Holy Family carry their belongings as they fled into Egypt today? How would they be equipped for their nomadic and homeless existence in current day Canada? I imagine they would be sporting backpacks!
Last Christmas our theme was “Swaddling 21st Century Style”. We hosted a sumptuous Christmas morning breakfast for approximately 100 people with nowhere else to be that morning. The breakfast itself is a real treat with waffles, bacon and eggs … the whole works but last year we added a little warmth to the festivities by giving each person an electric blanket. Many of our friends live in drafty rooming houses and the blankets helped keep them warm through a very long and cold winter. This year we plan to give out back packs stuffed with all sorts of necessities and luxuries for our nomadic and homeless friends.
Again many folks live in rooming houses, so when they leave in the morning they do not want to return until bedtime. A sturdy backpack allows them to carry with them the things that will tide them over for the day. Sometimes they hold all of our friends’ belongings, keeping them safe from theft while they are away from ‘home’.
Our goal this year is to provide 100 backpacks and fill them with ‘goodies’ including warm socks, hats, toiletries etc. We estimate the cost as being $50/filled backpack. In order to do this we will need to raise a minimum of $5,000. Past experience tells us that God will supply through the generosity of his people. If you would like to sponsor 1 or more backpacks cheques can be made payable to “Street Hope Saint John”. Please mark ‘Backpacks’ in the memo section. Visa payments can be arranged by calling Threshold Ministries at 506 642 2210 or toll free at 1-888-316- 8169.