In the art room there was an old couch that we were going to throw away. It was stained and falling apart and we didn’t really need it anymore.
But we never got around to throwing it away so it just sat in the corner of the art room.
No one ever used the old couch, unless they were really upset and needed to speak privately with someone. Unintentionally, it became the place where youth would sit with volunteers and, sometimes, cry and pour their hearts out.
I can remember many conversations on that couch. Comforting many young people as they cried about something that was going on in their lives. Something that would often happen as I sat on the couch comforting a youth is that the other youth in the program, one by one, would come by the couch and offer a kind word, hug or smile to the youth who was upset. Sometimes they would say “I’ve been there man” or “I’m here for you” or they would offer the loving gesture of a cigarette.
That old couch, as dilapidated as it was, became a safe space where tears were shed, trust was built and people were loved.
30 Days of Prayer, 30 Seconds Each Day, In Honour of Our 30th Anniversary
This story is part of A Special Series this month in honour of OIM’s 30th Anniversary. We hope to raise awareness, challenge misconceptions, and honestly reflect the lives of those who call the streets their home. As you reflect on these stories, please take a moment to PRAY EACH DAY – just 30 seconds – for our ministry’s needs.
Thanks and God Bless.