Innercity Arts Show 2018

Thank you! 

Innercity Arts would like to thank everyone who came out to our annual art show and auction at the Lansdowne Horticulture Building on May 10th. 

It was an awesome event with a collaborative art piece being created, musical performances, spoken word poetry, and $1860 worth of art was sold!  A special thank you to Koyman Galleries for providing frames, Little Victories Coffee for providing coffee, and Christ Church Bells Corners for providing meals for the youth artists. 

Check out some photos from this awesome event! 

 

One night on outreach…

It was one of those weird weather nights. It was spring and yet we were in the middle of a snow storm.

During our weekly outreach evening down in the city’s core, we met up with Jane. She was being bullied by the guy she was with and she was freezing cold. We invited her to step in out of the cold with us to warm up and put on a warm hoodie that we had on hand. It was very apparent that Jane needed some detox help and, when asked, she said that she didn’t know where she was going to sleep that night.

While we enjoyed our warm McDonald’s coffee together with Jane, we made a few calls and teamed up with the Salvation Army Outreach Van in the area. As we waited for the van to pick her up, we tried our best to make her feel safe in our company. We shared some jokes and a few giggles over coffee. We had a lovely visit and soon she was on her way to a warm, safe place to sleep for the night. Before she left, she gave us a hug and a grateful smile as she made her way into the van.

I so love all the moments we get to share with our street friends even while we assist them with some very real and urgent needs. Every moment and experience is different and unique and always a blessing to be a part of.

-Bonnie, Street Outreach

 

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.

 

 

Week 4 – 30 Days of Prayer

Listen this morning as Executive Director, Ken MacLaren, shares the latest news about the Ministry’s most pressing need:  Office Space. 

Click on the image below and hear Ken speak:

Join us TODAY as staff and volunteers pray for office space for this ministry! 

 

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.

 

Living In The Fullness of What God Has

Inside, where no one can see, there is a gentle, caring, tender soul.  Freddy has a soft spot for animals and yet is intimidated by power tools.  On the outside, where the world can see, Freddy can at times appear to be wound too tight and ready to explode.

Freddy is not a person with multiple personalities.  Freddy just feels that he cannot be transparent about who he really is and survive in the culture of which he is a part.  Burdened with what might be considered PTSD from a dysfunctional family environment Freddy is always, mentally, in defense mode. 

I have experienced both the inside and outside of Freddy over the years and have come to appreciate this very delicate creation of God, the God that Freddy openly acknowledges as the one to whom he gives thanks for watching over him on a daily basis.

My desire for Freddy is that God would begin a transforming work in his life, a work that Romans 12:2 refers to as a change in the mental picture he has of himself, allowing him to live in the fullness of the life that God has in mind for him.

Please take 30 seconds over the next 30 days to support Freddy in prayer, for Holy Spirit to calm his spirit and listen for that “gentle whisper” of God’s voice (1 Kings 19:11,12) that comes in the quiet times after the storms of life.

-Staff, Lloyd

 

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 including a permanent location for our OIM Office as of Aug 1 .

Thanks and God Bless.

 

More Than Meets The Eye

I ran into one of our clients (or ‘street friends’ as we often like to say). It happened as I got on the bus, looking for an empty seat. “There she is!” I heard someone say. It was Ted.

He was sitting alone. The bus was crowded, cramped, in fact. But Ted had an empty seat on his right and on his left. He looked weathered, frail, and slightly intoxicated. He smiled up at me.

I sat next to him and we spent the next 10 minutes catching up.

It was like any conversation you might hear on any bus in Canada. We spoke about Canada Day last year (how chaotic it was!), the weather (where is Spring, eh?), and music (I play 1 instrument; Ted plays several ).

Ted was chatty, friendly, encouraging (“When I was on the streets, your outreach teams helped me out so much! They are amazing.”)

I couldn’t help but wonder how odd the two of us looked to the other passengers eyeing us cautiously. I hoped that they could see beneath Ted’s rough exterior and see what I saw:  the talented musician; the sympathetic listener; the amiable fellow:  a typical Canadian.

A deeply troubled past? Yes. Complex mental and physical health issues? Yes. Making strides? Yes.

And above all, still just a guy, talking to a gal, riding on a bus, on our way home.

-Jelica, Staff

 

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 including a permanent location for our OIM Office as of Aug 1 .

Thanks and God Bless.

 

“I just wanted to do something normal.”

Lindsay walked through the doors of the art room and I immediately felt relieved. We hadn’t seen her in months. I had been asking around about her and checking out her normal hang out spots but no one had seen her. I’d even called the hospitals and checked obituaries, fearing the worst.

We were so relieved she was back, but we were also worried. She looked thin and pale, and exhausted.

As she settled in, I started chatting with her about how she was doing. She said things were really bad but she didn’t want to get into it. When I asked her why she chose to come to art group that night she said, “I just wanted to do something normal.”

So much of her life is not ‘normal’. It’s not normal for a teenager to be on the streets, to be addicted to drugs, to be doing dangerous things to make money. What is normal for a teenager is to be hanging out with friends, eating yummy food and doing something fun together. If all we do at Innercity Arts is provide a little normalcy for her, then we are doing something significant.

-Moira, Staff

 

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 including a permanent location for our OIM Office as of Aug 1 .

Thanks and God Bless.

Week 3 – 30 Days of Prayer

Listen this morning as Executive Director, Ken MacLaren, shares the latest news about the Ministry’s most pressing need:  Office Space. 

Click on the image below and hear Ken speak:

Join us TODAY as staff and volunteers pray for office space for this ministry! 

 

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 You.

Watercolour Journals

A few weeks ago at art group we decorated blank journal covers using watercolour paints/pencils. But there was a catch – we paired each young person with someone they did not know well. They had to answer some questions and get to know one another for about 10 minutes. Then, based on their conversation, they had to choose a few strengths that they saw in their partner. Finally, they had to use those strengths to create a cover of the watercolour journal for their partner.

While some of the youth were a little nervous about making something for someone else, once they started painting they all started to relax. At the end of the night, the journals were revealed to each person. It was such a gift to watch the youth showing each other the journals and explaining what they created for their partner. It was amazing to see the looks on their faces when they saw what strengths had been chosen.

-Moira, Staff

 

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 You.

 

 

A Stranger In Her Midst

I was new to Canada, I had arrived from El Salvador and it was my first winter here. I had only been in Ottawa a couple of months.

One day, while walking downtown on a snowy day without any gloves (something a new Canadian wouldn’t think of!), I saw a woman panhandling on Elgin Street. She saw that I was cold and offered me a pair of gloves. I noticed that she had been sitting on a milk crate in the cold. She, who was herself cold and alone, recognized someone else in need. Her act of kindness has stuck with me. It serves as a reminder that even in the face of adversity, many are able to extend kindness towards the stranger in their midst.

 

-Gaby, Staff

 

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 You.

 

A Meager Offering

God loves a cheerful giver, regardless of the size of the gift.She has little to live on and visits our drop-in each week to get by. She is careful not to share her life story with too many, so when she speaks, you feel part of the privileged few.

Today, she tells me she is waiting for a call from her Band to book a flight home. Two of her sisters are in the hospital. One is recovering. The other is dying. Her brother also has serious health issues. She herself is battling cancer. She cries when I ask “how are you holding up?”

After we pray, I give her a devotional book to read. She leaves smiling, wiping her tears. A few minutes later, she returns with a small donation for the ministry. I protest, but she insists. ‘You all do so much for me. And, now, I want to help you.’

Left alone in my cubicle, I am brought to tears.

I am reminded of Jesus’ story of the poor widow’s meager offering in Mark 12:41-44. Objectively, the offering is little. Two small copper coins. But it is more than she can afford and means far more because of the spirit of goodwill behind her deed.

I may think I am here to help others, but Jesus often shows me otherwise.

-Jelica, Staff

 

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 You.