written by Angie Draskovic
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
Masterpieces, each and every person, created in Christ Jesus—but why? To hide? To doubt our value? To live in isolation? To rob the world of that which the creator of the universe designed for us to do?
At The Yonge Street Mission, we meet almost 12,000 people each year, who due to life’s circumstances, would NEVER describe themselves as one of God’s masterpieces. And yet, we know different. We recognize that each and every homeless youth, every last single mom or new Canadian family—yes even a person who has grown up in generations of poverty living in subsidized housing and perhaps shabbily dressed—yes each and every one IS one of God’s masterpieces. Each ONE is made in His image full of promise, inherently, extraordinarily valuable, and most of all loved.
And so we show them His love through our embrace, our words and our acceptance. We begin the slow journey to the long-awaited day when a person, once weighed down by a life of abuse, pain, and discouragement, looks us in the eyes and speaks the new-found hope they hold in their heart. The day when THEY finally BELIEVE that they have value, are loved and can take hold of their dream. And no matter how many years it has taken, we say a resounding AMEN in our hearts, rejoicing at the work that God has done because we know that, it is after this day, that everything begins to change for the better in this person’s life.
As a young woman who started life out just a few blocks from Regent Park, living among family and friends who share similar stories to the community that I now serve, I am all too familiar with this journey. And this is why I am excited to Gather on October 1st. Because I know that the journey is possible. I know God’s heart is bursting wide open, waiting for the day when each person living in material and spiritual poverty will cross over from despair to hope. From surviving to thriving. And for many of us who already have, maybe just maybe, part of our Ephesians 2:10 handiwork is helping someone take that step.
Gather on October 1st will be a symphony of stories of redemption, grace and joy. It will be a time to be inspired and to reflect, a time to encourage and be encouraged. But most of all, it will be a time to share dreams and catch a vision of what God might place on our hearts. Looking forward to listening, learning, and sharing the journey with you.
The Yonge Street Mission (YSM), is pleased to invite you to join us during the dinner break at Gather Rise. Dinner will be served at YSM's Evergreen Center for Street Involved Youth, just a short walk from the Winter Garden Theatre. We will Gather for a shared meal, conversation and a glimpse into the lives of those living with poverty in Toronto.
When: Saturday October 1st, 4:30 - 5:30 pm
Where: Evergreen - 381 Yonge Street, Toronto
RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday September 29
Space is limited. Register today!