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Journey To Jesus: Hope for the Hopeless

Transforming Canada Together BannerEvery day we encounter people who are searching. There are so many all around us who wander through life aimlessly, yet deep within they have a longing for purpose and to be whole. They desire to be accepted and feel loved. True love, as God designed it to be, can only be found as we come to a place of being in relationship with Him.

As a Mission Canada urban worker in Peterborough, Ontario, I have the privilege of journeying with street affiliated people every day and seeing them move from hopelessness to a place of hope in their life.  I get to be ‘salt and light’ in a dark and cruel world. Daily, I plant seeds of hope into the hardened earth and pray for the Holy Spirit to soften hearts so life transformation can take place. And it does, as people far from God hear the Truth of who Jesus is, so they can be reconciled to the Father.

PlantingWhen I first met Jack* a year ago, he was very closed and distant. While I visited with his peers, he was often present but hovered on the edge of the group. I could tell he was listening but had no engagement. Jack did not speak a word to me in our first several encounters. Over the months, he began to open up and his heart started to soften.  He began to receive the kindness being shown to him - a sandwich, a cup of coffee, some conversations.  I began to see transformation taking place – a smile, a laugh, intentional engagement.

Sharing CoffeeIn conversation with Jack one day, he expressed he felt he was broken by the world; he had lost hope that life could ever look different than it had become. Haunted by his past, and not able to see his future, Jack knew he wanted something more but didn’t know how to get it. He wasn’t sure if God was real, but if he was, Jack wasn’t even certain that God was for him anyway.

As our team walked alongside Jack through this last year, our own hearts filled with joy as we witnessed hope returning to this once “hopeless” man. As Jack began helping and caring for others in his community, he would meet us each day with excitement.  Slowly, but noticeably, we watched the Holy Spirit move and soften a heart - a heart that was now searching for something more. It didn’t happen all at once, but little by little Jack became more open to the love being shown to him, giving us opportunities to share the gospel. Our actions laid a foundation for the Truth we shared with him. God’s Truth is absolute, but to have someone trust you in a world where they have been deceived is a challenge.

A few months ago, I had one conversation in particular with Jack where he said, “I am starting to understand.” “What?”, I asked. He looked at me so seriously, and said, “There is a difference between helping and caring for people because of God’s love versus doing it for the love of self”. Jack went on to clearly explain how he could feel the difference in his interactions with people, and how he was starting to feel truly loved.

A few weeks ago, while at lunch with Scott (a fellow Mission Canada worker), a beautiful thing happened! Jack accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour! After that decision, Jack was so excited to find me and share his experience. I had goose bumps all over my whole body as I heard his testimony and reflected on his journey to Jesus!

Bible HandsIn the words of Jack, “I just feel it’s gonna be different now!” The joyfulness in Jack’s countenance was so evident.  He was thrilled to be called “our brother” and to now belong to a family – the family of God. His transformed heart is eager to hear the Word of God, to pray, to be connected with other believers, and to have a personal relationship with a Heavenly Father who loves and cares for him.

Jack’s JOURNEY TO JESUS is only one story of many we are trusting God for.  God has opened doors for me to be salt and light as an urban Mission Canada worker so people like Jack can come to faith and experience all God has for them!

*name are changed for privacy purposes.