Just Like New

God is in the business of giving us second chances, to recreate, repurpose.“Scratch and Dent”, “Refurbished- Just like new”, “We Buy Junk-We Sell Antiques” are a few well known and in themselves very “worn out” catchphrases, all used to catch the attention of a few people looking for a good deal.  Proverbs 20:14 says it this way, “It’s no good, it’s no good!” says the buyer; then off he goes and boasts about his purchase.” 

The world is historically a society of Junk Dealers and Ecclesiastes 1:9 proves itself true: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”  The catchphrase today is “Reuse, Reduce, Recycle.”  There was a time when everything was made new and created for a specific purpose and function. Then something happened and these items became unable to function for their intended purpose.  Genesis 2:7 says “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” But something went wrong. Adam and Eve sinned, disobeyed God, and the world has been in a continual state of repurposing ever since.

The good news is not only good, it is very exciting!  God is in the recycling business and likes nothing better than to take “Scratch and Dent” projects, recycle them and repurpose them.  That may not sound so exciting, but to those who have been hurt, have some very bad habits, have been hanging onto life by very worn threads or are suffering from some form of addiction, this is very good and exciting news.  

Please take some time over the week to pray that God, in his mercy, will continue His recycling business. He is looking for some well worn projects to refurbish.

-Lloyd, Staff

Thanks to the Canadian Stone Carving Festival!

The Canadian Stone Carving Festival took place this past weekend on Sparks Street. This is the second year that the festival has partnered with Ottawa Innercity Ministries in order to raise funds for Innercity Arts. If you want to learn how we first got connected with the festival, you can read it here.

I spent the weekend at the festival, getting to know the carvers and others volunteering their time and energy to the festival. There is truly something special about this community of carvers, who gather together for their love of carving and their desire to give back to the community.

Several young people from Innercity Arts spent their weekend helping out at the festival. They were busy sweeping up dust, shoveling stones and passing out many water bottles to keep the carvers hydrated. So often, street-involved youth and young adults are ignored or mistreated, but the carvers showed their genuine appreciation for the youth’s hard work.

The carving community also showed that they value these youth by donating 100% of the carving sales to Innercity Arts. The carvings raised a total of $9375!

Ottawa Innercity Ministries would like to thank Smith & Barber Atelier, for organizing the festival, all of the sponsors, the carvers, and the volunteers. We look forward to next year’s festival!

A Bright Star at Night

bright star - my friend, Bob - Street OutreachI want to tell you about a friend who always lifts my spirits when we talk.

I have had the pleasure to come to know Bob, my friend, who has lived on the streets for a number of years. I count it a blessing that he will actually seek me out for conversation. I know that Bob lives in some pretty difficult circumstances as he carries his entire life on his back with the occasional reprieve when he can find a safe location to hide away his belongings. I have also come to learn some of the reasons he lives the life he lives.

We have had some very interesting conversations as Bob’s outlook or viewpoint on life is quite unique. Although he never gets angry or refuses to listen when I discuss Jesus and the topic of religion, even though he strongly opposes my faith. In fact, we could all take a lesson in manners and upbeat positive behaviour from him. The truth is, it warms my heart, knowing that despite some of the difficulties of Bob’s life, he still manages to show a smile, crack a joke and share something encouraging. Bob has, in our more intimate conversations, told me that he admits to having a very dark side, but most of the time he can push it aside and find a half full glass.

I am truly honoured to call him friend and always look forward to our chats. 

-Rick, Staff

 

 

In The Attic

For the 9 years Innercity Arts has existed, we have been lucky to have been welcomed into several churches to run our program. First Dominion Chalmers – where the program began and grew. Then for years, we met in the attic of St. Peter and St. Pauls, where the program thrived. In that attic, there was a small room that was used as the music room. Young people would spend hours jamming together in that room, creating amazing music. One night after art group, one of our musicians (Dan) felt inspired and wrote a poem about creating music in the church attic. After he shared the poem with us, one of our artists (Eric) felt inspired to make a painting based on the poem. The result was an incredible image of youth making music above the church.

While we had to leave this amazing church attic due to renovations, we have been lucky to find temporary space at another church, St. Albans Church. And this poem still rings true. Wherever we go, no matter what the space, at Innercity Arts young people find community, create art, and make a joyful noise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.