18 months ago I heard about a man named Barak Obama for the first time. A black senator in the US who would express an interest in running for president. I read a brief article about his life in a magazine a few weeks ago. About his white mom, his black father, his travels to different countries. The difficult life he lived. Living with his gramma in Hawaii, drugs, troubles. On Monday his gramma died. On Tuesday, he was elected president of the United States.
My day has been long. I’ve been doing errands all morning, and what I hate about that is the traffic. Is everybody doing errands? And when is a good time to do errands? There’s construction going on everywhere and a traffic jam on every corner. And will my car make it through the winter? It’s a miracle the thing has made it this far.
Earlier today I wanted to go use the Lincoln Alexander (westwood) track to do some jogging. I couldn’t because the police had blocked off much of the school, about 7-10 police cars. There are always cops at that school, because the teens there are always getting into trouble. Guns, gangs, violence. They are so dumb. They ruin it for the good kids that want to do well in life.
October has been a whirlwind month.
Last night I had dinner with Tim at an Indian restaurant in Mississauga. We had really good food and it was dirt cheap. I felt bad paying such low prices for such good food during a dine in experience. David was there and I met his son for the first time.
I find that us young adults who pursue Jesus are all in the same boat. We work, we go to school, we handle our families and our lives, our successes and failures and dreams all in the same day. It’s nice to know other people similar to me. As crazy as I am there are other crazy people out there similar to me.
Yesterday was an 18 hour work day. Very tiring. I woke up and did a tremendous amount of work. I took a 45 minute nap, woke up to do more work and I almost thought I should cancel on the homeless outreach because I wasn’t feeling so good. But at the last minute I decided to just go because it is my commitment to God. I got there at 830pm and I have to stress the fact that I was super tired. It was a good night of reaching out to the downtown Toronto homeless community and sharing my faith with people, some of which are giving their life to Jesus.
On the way home I stopped off at Walmart to get a new electric kettle and old spice deodorant. Right in front of me in the line was Carla, my old pal from high school. I haven’t seen her in more than 10 years. She looks like she did in the 90’s. She is the one responsible for bringing me to church for the first time. She invited me over 50 times over the course of a year. I said no 51 times over the phone. On the 52 time she didn’t bother calling me, she came over to my house and she banged on my door demanding that I go to church with her. I did. And I gave my life to Christ that same night.
I’m just resting today and enjoying some of the fruits of my labour from previous months of incredibly hard work. Anyway, it’s a treat but I’m nowhere near my goals but at least I’m getting ahead.
It’s been a really busy month so far. Last night we went out for our usual homeless outreach.
We prayed and started our outreach. We ministered to just a few because we ran out of food quickly. 2 of the people kept following us, I’m sure they were lonely and could have done with some more food but we just didn’t have enough.
Anyway after that we walked to Young and some other street and started doing some evangelism to the general public. That went well. I find that people are willing to find out about Jesus and who He is.
On the walk back to the parking lot we met a group of young adults who we stopped to chat with for a good while. One a Hindu, one a Christian from Ghana and 2 Muslims.
Jocelin and I chatted with the Hindu, and I think he will give his life to Jesus. The Christian man seemed a bit ashamed, maybe he needed to re-dedicated his life and make a serious commitment.
This is how I usually do Thanksgiving. I got to the restaurant at 5pm and the place was packed beyond capacity. I mean they have a 200 person capacity and there wasn’t one empty spot, even kids sitting on parents laps. The place is owned by Jimmy, a Christian who has done this kind of thing for years. He makes his restaurant completely free on Thanksgiving day from 5-10pm so that people in the community can come and have a delicious meal. What a blessing! I was a busboy at first, busing tables, which means cleaning them off and getting them ready for the next people who would be seated. There were waiters and waitresses who took food orders and delivered the food.
We served about 650 meals at least, probably more. The food was great, we had dozens of kinds of non-alcoholic drinks and great food and pumpkin pie. It was truly exhausting cleaning up and serving so many people in 5 hours. I mean the work just went on and on and never ended, I didn’t think I would make it through the night.
The paid staff there was really hard working and we had volunteers from several great churches in the Toronto area. One of the long time paid staff named Peter has a 2 year old son, he works like this 16 hours a day to provide for his family. He’s a really good guy.
It was so crowded there was hardly any place to walk and we had to move fast to get everything done in time. There were a lot of lonely people there. A lot of people who simply had nobody. Families with children who you could see were poor. Sweet people. One man got up and played guitar for an hour outside on the patio. He was very soft spoken and had a good sound.
There were a few people who were there all alone. I felt extra for them. I know how that is. We took time to chat with the people and give them smiles. There was so much pain in some of their eyes. One elderly lady, probably 75 years old, ate alone. Another younger Asian man, maybe 25 years old ate alone. He stayed for a couple of hours actually. I’m glad he did. There were all kinds of people there.
Later on in the evening I met 2 of the Toronto Argonauts who showed up to sign autographs. I don’t watch sports except for boxing and martial arts, but I was glad to meet Claude Harriott who was born in Jamaica and gave his life to Jesus. He served people their food and helped us out a lot. Signed lots of autographs especially for the children. Him and I sat down at the bar and we talked for a long while about how Jesus is changing the lives of people we know in the carribean.
Around midnight I started my drive home and I was thanking God for such a great evening and opportunity. I live for stuff like this.
Happy Thanksgiving. I have a lot to be thankful about, I’m very fortunate and God has blessed my life.
Okay so there’s this fund raising dinner for an African orphanage I’m going to and I waited till the last minute to ask a girl I have a crush on. There are these 3 sisters who live way up in the country and we are all crazy about them. All the guys go nuts over these girls. Any way I waited to the last minute to ask and I asked the oldest one (Let’s call her B) to be my date and she said she would have gone with me if I asked sooner because now she’s going with her female friend Dianna.
So I asked her younger sister (Let’s call her R) and she said yes. Now I just want to take a moment to mention, these 3 sisters are absolutely crazy-beautiful but most importantly, they are wonderful Christian ladies which is hard to find these days.
Saturday I worked in the morning and then in the evening I got ready and I picked up Kendra (when I have a car, it’s usually full of people that I drive around everywhere). We headed over to the banquet hall. Remember last year? It wasn’t easy to get there, I took the bus for about 2 hours then I walked a very long way, my feet were really tired after. This year was easier.
I’m not really a social person in general, I don’t know why. I think I used to be at one point when I was younger. My mom tells me I also used to be an avid break dancer. LOL. How times change. My date, R, and her friend Natasha showed up shortly after me. I purchased an entire table so I could have B to myself for the night but when that fell through I told R to bring a female friend.
It was my lucky night because we had so many people in attendance that we had to squish tables closer to each other. Guess who I was sitting back to back with? R’s older sister B! If you’ve read my December 2006 entry then you know I had about $1,000,000 cash on my coffee table when I was 17 years old and it felt good to me. But sitting next to these super gorgeous ladies made me feel a whole lot better. I don’t know how the heck their parents made 3 gorgeous daughters, but may the Lord bless them. Every time I see them together I think “Hot damn!”.
We had some guest speakers and food and overpriced drinks. For some reason, even though I paid for my own table, other people were placed at it. I guess it doesn’t matter, it’s all for charity. So also at our table was Moses and his wife who are pastoring a new church. Another lady and her 13 year old daughter who did a contemporary styled dance for us, it was really good! R told me about her job and a bit about her life in the country. She currently works at an Inn, her friend Natasha is currently in college.
Around 9pm the dancing started in one room while the cleaning started in another. I’m not a dancer by any measure anymore, but I do enjoy watching people dance, maybe I’ll learn a thing or two. I gave a flower E, the youngest of the 3 sisters who was working at the banquet that night and I asked her to make sure that R, B and Natasha each get a flower.
It took about 6 of us to clean up the place, we finished around 12:30am or later.
The next day I did my chores as is my custom, and around 7pm I left for the country, heading to B+R+E’s house. B was holding a farewell party for Johnny which is a very sad thing for me.
The beautiful old farm house can be considered an hour up into the country. I love country drives so it was fun getting there.
I pulled up around 8:15pm and greeted the remaining crowd. I walked around looking at the beautiful photos on the wall and the wonderful trinkets decorating the old and beautiful house. B’s father gave me a tour of the inner workings of the house, showing me some of the things he’d renovated over the years. I played with their dog tucker. I thought about the cozy winters there and the balmy summer evenings they spent together. Long quiet prayer walks looking up into the sky, is what I’d do. They probably see millions of stars at night.
A father, a mother, happily married, 3 children, a house up in the country, each family member serving the Lord in one way or another – if I had the whole world I would trade it for this.
B sat beside me on a sofa while tucker and I had a staring contest. After I helped them tidy up a bit and B said I could follow her home since she recently moved into the city for school. I had Kendra in the car as usual, chatting away and I was trying to give her hints to just be quiet and enjoy the beautiful ride home so that I could enjoy it to. This will also be the last time I see Johnny and will also put me in a slight transition also.
Since last year few of my clients were able to pay and this year the economy is in a full downswing, I’ve been giving away some of my services for free and taking equity or commission instead. This way if my clients do well, I do well. If they don’t do well, I don’t do well.
Results? 1,800% more. That’s how much more money I’ve made so far this year than in the same time period in 2007. It’s almost unbelievable but I did up the numbers today and double checked them. To be fair, my income was almost zero this time last year hahaha, nobody was paying me. But hey 1,800% is 1,800% and I’ll take gains over losses any day.
I’ve been in the loop and out of the loop. This time I’m out of the loop. Just when things were running smoothly and on an upswing, yesterday a fellow pastor friend of mine quickly resigned and is moving far away in less than a month. I called him as soon as I found out but apparently about a hundred others were calling him also.
Back in 2001 I was stopped at a red light going up Goreway Drive at Derry and I looked down for like 10 seconds to reach for my gatorade and when I did, an ambulance skidded into the oncoming traffic, smashed into the car directly beside me and both vehicles were destroyed. Then around 2004 someone sped in front of me on the same street, and they crashed into the car in front of them while I drove right by.
Last night Tim invited me to a church in Oakville. The church building was off a quiet country road in the middle of nowhere. After a long drive I got there a bit late. We watched a very well produced documentary called “Invisible Children.” About struggling people in Uganda. Honestly, if you really want to change Uganda I think you have to start by killing the rebel armies that terrorize the Ugandans. At some point you have to fight your enemy. At some point you have to kill your enemy. Sometimes to have peace, you have to go to war. Maybe not right away, but eventually.
Anyway I still support these organizations but I’ll tell you – I would support a Christian military organization 100 times more (financially and spiritually) because they get the job done permanently. I’m so sick and tired of hearing about our missionaries being kidnapped and tortured, raped and murdered. What’s the point of spending billions to do missions and relief when the terrorists and rebel armies just take it all away anyway? Why not just kill them and get it over with, then the people won’t even need our billions of dollars.
Remember how David killed Goliath instead of making friends with him? Sometimes you have to do just that. Sometimes killing is the right thing to do. Canada itself wouldn’t have survived as a country if we didn’t kill once in a while.
After the service I had a nice long chat about this with the 2 young ladies who were travelling with the ministry all over the US and Canada to spread the message.
5 people showed up for community outreach. We had a rough night. We talked to about 20 people in total and we prayed for about 5. While walking around Nathan Phillips square in downtown Toronto a young lady and her group of about 10 friends from a local Christian school walked up to me boldly and told us that they had run out of food for the homeless and she told us where we could find them. I loved her boldness.
Next time we’ll check out the children in the rougher areas. Hard to believe but Canada has many homeless young children who live on the streets and eat out of garbage cans.
Progress from last year to this year has been massive, not dollar wise (I’m still super poor and in debt) but in terms of moving forward in the right direction. Last night was a BBQ for my church group. It was fun, boring at times because of the vast age differences between everyone. Shallow college aged kids annoy me. I like hearing about peoples life dreams. Stan told me about his journey into music and his aspiration for a career in music. Timothy told me about his dream for an Olympic boxing medal. Another person, a newer Christian, Conner, told me about his life in a homeless shelter and how hard it is to be a good example for the non believers. Last year in October we did a big Halloween community outreach for kids here and it wasn’t easy getting here and home without transportation, this year I drove myself and several people here.
Last night my very well educated friend was trying to tell me she thinks the rich have a secret investment that is low risk yet super high yield. For instance she says, they invest $5,000 (five thousand dollars) and gain $2,000 per month in income, zero risk. LOL. I gave her a good lecture but she refuses. From the way she responds I feel she wants to hang on and chase that false dream. One thing many people don’t understand is that if you take low risks, you get low gains. If you take high risks you get high gains. Of course you can also get high losses.
I’m enjoying reading Donald Trump’s books and realizing that every business person goes through the same crap, we all pay the same dues.
Another week gone. It’s Friday. Well I still have a full day of work ahead of me and I’m working tomorrow also. LOL. Of course I’ll rest on Sunday.
Right now I’m drinking some expired instant coffee, hey I’m on a budget an I will be for a few more years! So I buy a few food items from the dollar store, I have to in order to make ends meet.
If you want million dollar victories, you have to fight million dollar battles. You don’t get to leave the ring partway through a fight and declare victory do you?
Well-satisfied. That’s how I felt last night. After I took a nice hot shower I purchased an umbrella at the dollar store, checked my tire pressure, returned some items at the library, picked up Kendra, picked up Chima and got to the church at 8pm.
Have you ever had an entire night that you knew was ordained by God? When I woke up Thursday morning to spend time in prayer and worship, God told me it was the last day I would be using my fall jacket. I thought that was funny because it was a few short weeks old and I was rather attached to it, it was a really cool jacket with a perfect fit. Those of you who know me, know how attached I am to my few items of clothing, I’ll wear them till they fall apart. We left at 8:35pm for downtown.
There were 10 of us, not counting the other teams and other churches that were already there. In Total maybe 40 from all the churches combined.
– Rebecca (it was her 19th birthday that day, she chose to spend it serving God)
We arrived downtown at 9:15pm and after getting organized we started on our route around the streets. Each of our bags of food contained personal testimonies that we had written as something each recipient could be encouraged by. Years ago the children of another church hand made 300+ Christmas cards and we gave those out with our food and we found that most of the recipients cherish them to this day even years later.
The first person we saw was Melvin, someone who we had met before, had been on the street 4 years, ever since his family situation turned sour. The first time I met him a few months ago he told me he was going to kill himself. My mom and Freddy prayed for him, today he looks a lot better and he’s on the job hunt.
While Jocelin and Mike were ministering to someone we met John. John is from Nigeria and he had been on the streets for 6 years. He’s a very soft spoken man, you can see contriteness in his humble eyes. He recognized us right away and started talking to Chima who is also from Nigeria.
Mr. Chong, another regular that we see walked up to me and said “tomorrow is my 60th birthday”. He then showed me his pictured-health card to prove it. He told me his jacket had been stolen and he was very cold at night, and he asked if we had any jackets with us. We usually do but not tonight. I remembered what I felt God speaking to me earlier in the day and I emptied my pockets and gave him my handsome jacket. It fit him perfectly, and he had a smile on his face while he hungrily ate his food. “1 – 2 – 0, one hundred and twenty days I’ve been living here.” He said to me.
The group gathered around John and Mr. Chong and we prayed for them both, that God would give them good health, jobs, housing and in the future – their own homes. John was almost moved to tears and said he would be on the job hunt first thing in the morning.
The entire group was deeply touched and we moved on. After ministering to a few dozen more people we started running low on food and time. It was already 10pm but we each felt the calling to speak to at least one more person.
Jocelin, Mike, Kendra and Catherine found a young couple whose child had been taken away from them. They encouraged them and prayed with them.
While that was happening, Chima and I walked up to a man named Reece and gave him food, he took the food happily but didn’t seem to be very talkative so we bid him a goodnight and kept walking. I told Chima that “maybe we’ve opened the door to talk to him next time, or for someone else to talk to him about Jesus.” Well wouldn’t you know it, a few minutes later Rebecca, Ryan and James walked up to him and began ministering to him. Reece couldn’t stop talking and looked very happy to have some new friends. I walked back up to him and we ended up praying for him. Now He didn’t want us to leave!
I met a young man, Clark, barely 18 lying down on a bench. I gave him my last meal (sandwich, oatmeal cookies, bottle of water, mints and an apple) and he tore into it as if he hadn’t eaten in days. He told me he hadn’t seen his parents in years, he’s been living in foster homes most of his life and he dropped out of school. He had a strong desire to finish his schooling but he didn’t know how with his current situation. He asked me to pray for his older sis (19) who just suffered a miscarriage.
Paul spent a long time ministering to Clark’s friend Daniel, who was 17. Daniel’s mom, a drug addict, kicked Daniel out over a drug dispute. I later told Paul that God brought him with us tonight for the specific purpose of talking to Daniel, there was nobody else in our group who would have been able to make a connection with him. Paul was glad he decided to come.
After that we organized and left for home, around 10:40pm. After dropping everyone off I got home around 1am.
I haven’t mentioned every single person we encountered because I can’t remember all of their names, and each individual in our group has their own additional testimonies. I know that God used us that night. We prayed for dozens of people out on the street in-front of everyone and left them all with a full tummy, a smile, a happier heart, the notion that they have a friend, and most importantly we invited them all to let Jesus into their lives.
Another Monday. It’s Civic Holiday today (I don’t even know what that is). We are going to take care of the homeless this Thursday again and I’m praying for at least 10 people to show up this time because we were really overwhelmed the last few times.
This weekend was fairly relaxing, I did all my chores, some work and rested a good amount. Last night I went to bed at 10pm.
Last night at Tim’s house a young Muslim lady who we call Notion talked about her journey in life, from Afghanistan to Russia to Canada and she broke down crying, which made everyone cry. I’m always inspired by people’s testimonies and I’m glad I have God to always get me back on track and correct my thinking. Jesus is saving people worldwide and He is unstoppable. I bet if America brings back all their troops and sends out the same number of Christian missionaries, the problems they are having in that region of the Middle East would be over FASTER, CHEAPER and PERMENANTLY. Because only Jesus brings about real change. He changes the hearts and minds of men and women.
The superintendent of our building (a man who doesn’t speak English) let some Bell Canada tech into the building. The Bell Canada Tech (an Indian man) accidentally disconnected our phone and internet. So again, I’ve had to go to the library and my work is suffering because of it. Have you ever called Bell Canada tech support? Not 1 English speaking person in the whole damn department. Gurdee gurdee gurdee is all I understood them saying. It’s been 2 more days and the same Indian Bell Canada tech shows up to fix his mistake, and I watched him like a hawk while he fixed it. He actually pulled out our service wires in the utility room to hook up someone else and forgot to reconnect ours. In my opinion, if you don’t speak English you shouldn’t be allowed to work in Canada.
I’m groggy. I didn’t sleep well last night. I tried to but it was really hard, so many things kept making noise. My cell phone battery was dying and kept beeping, the carbon monoxide battery started dying and thus it was beeping (even though the stupid thing is plugged into the wall). Saturday was good, I went to a African missions fund raising BBQ to help out and found out they didn’t get many supporters.
Doh. This happens every year, my internet has been down for about 3 days, causing me such a headache, I can’t get much of my work done and I’ve had to compromise on which work actually gets done. When I call tech support, I only get people with heavy foreign accents, English isn’t even their second language it’s like their 4th.
Yesterday I did what seemed to be an endless day of errands. Today I’m just taking it mostly easy and resting, catching up on some chores.
I saw some really great movies lately: Rambo 4, Stardust, 27 dresses. And I saw The Heartbreak Kid again, that movie is going to be a classic.