When I speak to new volunteers about what they can expect, I often say that even the smallest gestures – a smile, a conversation, a shoulder to cry on – can mean so much to someone in need.
I was reminded of this recently when a former client called us from Toronto. She and her husband had been struggling with serious housing and health issues and decided to move to Toronto to be closer to family. While still in Ottawa, they turned to us for basic needs: food, gift cards, personal care.
Quite honestly, at times we felt inadequate to address the seriousness of their problems. What could our support do to address the bigger complexities of their needs?
Apparently – to my surprise – a lot.
“OIM,” the wife explained “did more for us than anyone else.” Puzzled, I stammered, “well, we did very little except to give what we had.” “No, no, you don’t understand,” she insisted. “You were the only ones who supported us through our ordeal. We had no one. No one. I was afraid that one day you would say ‘no more.’ But we kept coming and coming, and you never turned your back. We are so thankful for that.”
I’m still unpacking this today – amazed, perplexed, reflective. And I am reminded that only in God’s economy can the smallest of gestures have this kind of impact on people’s lives.
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.