Thirteen years ago, I began working as an Outreach Worker in St. James Town. This upcoming May will see an end to my time in this ministry. I look back with immense gratitude on the privilege of being part of the work in this neighbourhood. Families have entrusted their children to our care. Teens have entrusted us with their journeys during a crucial time of growing up. Parents have invited us to birthday parties, grads, and summer picnics - in short, into their lives. I have had the opportunity to see people encounter Jesus, discover scripture for themselves, and feel the call to pour back into their own community as leaders. There are big moments when I see former teens plug into churches, get discipled, and come back as adult interns/volunteers. There are small moments of seeing a grade 2 kid learn to read after helping him day in and day out with homework. There are even moments I am not grateful for now but will one day look back on and feel gratitude (think walking kids in the harsh winter cold).
Lastly, I am very grateful for the community of believers who have come around St. James Town. We've had committed volunteers who show up every week for years, friends who surround us with faithful prayers, generous brothers and sisters who financially support me and the work (even amply supplying us with paper for Sonshine to feed our little paper monster campers!). It has truly shown me that it takes the greater body to show Christ's love in the city.
Thank you Sparks and thank you families of St. James Town for these thirteen years. I leave trusting that a good work has been done and that God has not abandoned His people. He will do an even greater work in this upcoming season.