An Asif Zamir Christmas

Best Christmas ever. No, I didn’t get any ‘presents’ like you’d think. I didn’t have a tree or decorations or even Christmas dinner. I rarely ever do. I just don’t care about those things.

Yesterday, aka Christmas day of 2008 I woke up, drank my coffee, prepped my schedule and went out to do my Christmas day prayers. It took me about an hour to pack up all the gifts my friends, family and church donated, about 200+ fantastic gifts in all. Clothing, books, personal items, toys, stuffed animals, nic nacs, video games, board games, you name it, really nice stuff.

I drove to David’s house first. I haven’t had a conversation with David in over 6 months. Time flies by and we haven’t had those Wednesday night bible studies like we used to. We drove up and picked up Ryan, who had even more presents, even though we didn’t have the room to hold them. Finally we picked up Kendra and went to the church. You should have seen the car, I should have taken a picture. We all had presents piled on us and around us, even around our feet. If you were just passing by you wouldn’t know there were people in the car, just beautifully wrapped presents.

We had some good conversations in the car. Kendra was thankful that she still lives with her parents, things are well for her. She’s job hunting for an office job and I told her that it would be in her best interests to hit the library and start reading up about business, office work, administrative assistant type work. Ryan is looking for an apartment because where he lives right now is dampening his spirit.

We left for downtown around 7pm, and got to the Covenant House around 7:45pm. We spent time there with the staff members chatting with them and finding out about what we can do in the future. One suggestion was we could perform a church service for their 100 youths (not that they can promise that anyone would show up). I think it’s a great idea and I’ve begun to pray about it. Taking the church service right to the people, instead of expecting the people to show up, I like this idea. The staffs eyes lit up and they told us how their care closet was empty (they showed it to us, it was really empty) and because of that some of their youths would go without this Christmas – but not anymore. Nothing brings me more joy than to do something like this every Christmas.

Around 8:30 we left to go park in our ‘normal’ spot. We walked around the square and stopped at Timothy’s coffee house to get some beverages and to warm up. We walked back to the car and then met another church group and started our trek to minister to the homeless at Toronto City Hall. Richard was our only regular homeless friend that night, we didn’t see Billy or Cubby or anyone else. We saw new people though. Richard (who has no legs and lives on his wheelchair in the brutal cold) told us how a family picked him up and he had Christmas at their house. He showed us the presents he received from them including a portable dvd player.

I drove everyone home, and then I drove home, actually, first I drove around town for about an hour, got some pizza even. I turned off my stereo because I was happy about the best Christmas ever.


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.

Going somewhere

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.

2006 by Asif Zamir

Each day I’d wake up, do my work, do some school, practice guitar. Of course I’m at church 4 or 5 times a week. If you only go once a week then you’re an amateur, and if you go less than once per week you’re a Catholic. Tuesday Mason takes the bus to Brampton and I’d drive him home, sometimes we’d hang out at Margaritas house eating delicious Jamaican food and playing boardgames. Thursdays I drive downtown Toronto to pickup Mason and Cassie and drive them home. Saturday is party night. Now by party night I don’t need booze and drugs, I mean movies and pizza and planning our volunteer and ministry work. What I like about my friends and the people I hang out with: If I invite them to feed the homeless with me, they don’t argue, they just show up. If I challenge them to stand on a street corner with me to share our faith in Jesus with strangers, they rise to the challenge and sometimes out do me.

We do weekly homeless ministry, special kids ministry events, and mostly I work with teens these days. I’ve started reading fiction books again! It’s because of my sister. She left this annoying looking book called “King Jerry” in the bathroom cupboard where I keep my books. I ran out of Archie’s so I was desperate. I picked it up and I couldn’t put it down! Next I found myself reading “How I paid for College”. I actually stayed up and read that for 7 hours. Now I’m back to reading new Gordon Korman books. I know they are only for young people but who cares. Youth is wasted on young people. (By the way Son of the Mob 1 and 2 by Gordon Korman). I haven’t read fiction books in over 10 years. I’m loving them again. On the other hand I read non fiction books daily. I read at least 1 per month on any topic. Business, real estate, finance, investing, marketing, law, Canada, history, American history, firearm safety, survival. You name it. Church is my favorite place to be. The library and bookstore is my second favorite places to be.

This week we are taking a group of teens paint balling. Then Mason and Eggbert will go off to London for their Christmas vacation for 18 days.

Don’t believe the hype

I was invited to a church on the east end several times and after some nagging I decided to check it out. When I drove up to the ultra massive building, many parking attendants guided my car to a parking spot. The place was so big, staff were driving around the parking lot in golf carts to keep things organized. On the inside of the main sanctuary, there were many tv cameras (I think I counted 6 real tv cameras). The music was good. To be fair I’m good with just about any kind of worship music. There were many announcements. Finally the speaker, a guest from Brazil, went up to the podium and began to speak. About a few words into her sermon I knew this was going to be a big nasty prosperity gospel money grabbing message which would make me angry, so I dint’ bother getting too comfortable.

20 minutes into the message, the speaker did something I’ve heard about but never seen in person. Gold colored material appeared on her hands and arms. She then made a claim it was pure gold and even had written verification from a supposed expert company, this letter was projected on one of the several large screens, it said that even diamonds were there too. lol. At that point hundreds of people ran up to the front and began rubbing her, as if she was a genie in a bottle. I couldn’t believe I was seeing this. I recommend people to churches all the time in different cities and even countries, and I was glad to scratch this church off my list. I just wish I could scratch it out of my memory.

I was waiting for the big kicker and it happened after a few more minutes. She proceeded to tell us that God just told her that we should all give her $100 today and if we do, God would bless us, but if we disobey, we would be in trouble with God. Hundreds, maybe more than 1,000 people ran up to the front and started throwing money at the lady. The room had maybe 3,000 or 4,000 people in it at the time, maybe more. I got up and walked out of the service. I’ll never return to this church but I know others who will, and I won’t try to convince them not to. I won’t say a word about it.

There are people who are dumb enough to believe the hype. Most of the people who ran up to rub the lady’s hips for her gold did it because they saw other people doing it first. The people running up to give their money, most do it because they see others doing it. Just because other people are doing something dumb doesn’t mean you should join in. The person who invited me is a well educated, super smart person who comes from a family of smart people, she’s regularly skeptical of everything. So it’s not just stupid people who fall for this stuff.

God doesn’t do these bizarre gold related ‘miracles’. They are not from God. But if you tell a person to just live faithfully and forget all that mumbo jumbo they get bored. People want the insanity. They want the hype. They prefer a sensational story instead of the plain truth. They want gold dust, they want a good speech about prosperity, they want to be lied to if it makes them feel good. They don’t mind if it puts their walk with God in jeopardy, as long as they stay entertained.

Today’s society hears the truth and refuses it. They prefer to buy into the lie, even if it costs them their eternal soul.

Giving is living

Most of the missions / giving / church / ministry projects I do turn out very well. I aim for 1 major mission project a year and several small projects each year. If I’m feeling rather rich, I’ll do more, if I’m actually financially poor, I have to cut back and do less, but I always do something – even if it means cutting back, for instance not having a car for a year, cutting the cable, etc.

Some of the major projects can include digging a fresh water well for a village in a 3rd world country or sponsoring a 12 month mission trip. A smaller project would be sponsoring a missionary to go on a 1-2 week trip, making sure they have enough money and supplies to reach as many with the gospel as possible. One of my favorite missions project included this one where a team of missionaries would go into remote villages in India and setup a makeshift portable movie theatre and play a movie called the Jesus Film. It’s a film about the life of the Lord and the purpose is so that many people will give their life to Him. This isn’t as simple as it sounds.

My friend Wiebke went on this one where a cruise ship was converted into a ‘mission ship’. It traveled around parts of the world for 2 years (talk about a long mission trip), and they would play the Jesus film on the side of the massive sea vessel and evangelize in areas that are hard to reach by land alone. She told me about her many adventures. We try to trade stories and hers are usually better than mine. She’s been a missionary since she was born, her family has traveled all over the planet, starting churches everywhere.

Regarding the Jesus Film missions project, aside from the ship, most teams have to carry portable equipment, including a power generator, by bike because there aren’t roads everywhere in the world. They go into remote tribal areas that haven’t been reached before, and the film is voiced over in most languages. People sit on the ground and the picture quality isn’t really good. There are dangers of being kidnapped, raped and killed. We do a small get together when people come back here safely and hear their stories about being spat on, stoned, beaten up, shot at, and sometimes worst. We consider a project successful when people give their life to Jesus and there are positive changes in the community. I get to hear this kind of good news regularly and then I share the good news with my friends. Interesting fact; wherever Christianity spreads, crime goes way down, economic problems go down, suicide, murder, rape, all goes down. Education, health, well being, quality of life all goes up. This can’t be said about other religions or atheism.

On the other hand, sometimes missions projects just don’t work. People take advantage and do their own thing, money goes missing, people misrepresent what they want to do. It doesn’t happen often, these failures are a SMALL percentage but when it happens it hurts everyone and can be discouraging if a lot of hard earned money and TIME was lost. When you are expecting lives to be changed and found out that instead of that – dope was smoked or a new wardrobe purchased or house was renovated, well it makes me furious and discourages everyone. Recently I wasted some valuable time and money on this exact thing, what can I do but say oops and move on?

Can I ramble on?

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” – John 3:8 (Jesus speaking)

The above scripture is one of my favorites, right out of the mouth of Jesus, in front of witnesses. I used to doodle this everywhere. This scripture has caused me to have many problems and wild adventures.

Today I am thinking about a girl named Sarah who was born 4 years ago. She was born premature and when she was 2 weeks old she was sooo tiny. I don’t remember if I mentioned this before before but her grandma brought her to church (she simply couldn’t wait to show everyone her beautiful new granddaughter). On that day she asked me to hold her in the sanctuary and I was soo afraid. I had plenty of experience with babies but never held a baby so small. I held her in both palms of my hands as if I had just scooped up some water. I was so nervous, but happy. Sarah fit perfectly in my hands.

Nowadays shes 4 years old, and when I talk to her she smiles and buries her face in her cute little hands. Once in a while when she’s not feeling shy she’ll jump on me and smother me in kisses. :o)

Remembering what it felt like to hold a miracle in my hands, makes me want to press on, to see new miracles. I am desperate for them. Desperate.

The first half of 2001 has been tumultuous. (First time I’ve ever
used the word tumultuous). January-Feb started with gigantic momentum,
I mean every day was a non stop amazing rollercoaster ride.

I work during the day, do a full course load, and then try to pack in a few hours of hard ministry work. At the end of the day I would just curl up on my sofa (which I purchased in Jan from Ikea after 6 months of saving) and watch tv.

Before Jan, I really lived in my bedroom. Infact, since I became a teen I started doing everything in my bedroom. I would eat there, and hang out there. I had
a small tv and radio so it was cool. I finally moved my stuff out to the rest of the apartment and got furniture this year. It was a fun transition. Still growing up.

I got a candle a few days ago, and while it was burning I thought how nice it would be to have some incense. So I took some montreal steak seasoning and poured
it into the ditch at the top of the fat candle. Ummm, I figured it would fill the house with the gentle smell of steak.

Instead the spices caught on fire and really messed up the candle. The candle looks like it went through serious torture (dont worry, this candle contains no animal products). So much for my bright ideas.

As I was saying, Jan and Feb were months in which I took on a lot of things, too much in fact. Anyway, March came around and things began to slow down to the point where I could breath again. Not for long though. I was satisfied with Jan and Feb. It was, a legacy. People from all over still call asking about it. I’d rather close that chapter, and begin writing a new one.

I am left drained. March was the beginning of trouble that I could not handle.
I knew it. God warned me so many times earlier. I still cant handle it.
Its not that I took the warnings as a joke, and I’ve learned never to consider
a joke, what so many warn about. Especially what God warns about.
I guess maybe it was just something that I thought could never happen.

I’ve always wondered about people who said they prayed for ‘hours at a time’.
Now I’m one of them, and its not so hard to believe. May started off very well and went well until the middle of the month and crashed. In June my spiritual growth
took a huge upswing.

Sometimes I think about moving somewhere quiet. Like Prince Edward Island. Maybe I’ve watched too much Road to Avonlea?

A few nights ago, I was logging into scribble and saw someones scribble entitled “looking for a sign” so I checked it out, and messaged the guy on AOL. Anyway it turns out hes a christian and he loves this girl at his church but is kinda having trouble with his relationship with her. He got his sign. I was his sign. Brian, keep me updated ok?

I was praying about if I should move or not, and that same minute my landlord slipped a letter under my door. It said that his inlaws, who recently moved upstairs are cramping his style, and with his 3rd baby on the way he needs the basement apartment for the inlaws, and that if possible, he would like me to move by the end of July. I’ll miss all the fun I’ve had here. The time my glasses fell in the toilet, the time I had 3 mice here and I had to tuck my pants into my socks till I got them, and of course, all the other fun stuff. I really grew here, but now I need new soil for a while.

I’m not poetic..and I don’t make the best first impressions, but you’ll find that I am completely genuine. I hate when nobody is at my disposal when I’m usually at every ones disposal. I am disappointed in the lack of availability of everyone who I used to help. To many people I associate with on a regular basis know me as some sort of super-guy. I go out of my way for my friends and when I need help with something, I can’t get a return call.

It’s not all bad though. I remember when Stephenie beat the crap out of me (figuratively) in 1999 because I told her I won’t go to college. She wouldn’t let it drop, she forced me to go. You know that feeling when you have a lump in your throat that feels it can weigh down your whole body? That’s the kind of lecture she gave me. I signed up the same day. I haven’t even graduated high school yet and the college has no clue. I’ll have to get my GED soon.

Although I’m too old, I often think about going back to high school. How long would it take for me to lead everyone to Jesus? How many lives could be saved in one school year? I wish Christian teens would think this way, but I don’t think they can, they already have too much on their plate.

A few months ago I went to the museum with a local school (they asked me to come help supervise) and Amber says to me ‘Asif, everyone want to be in your group’. I told her, “why didn’t this happen to me when I was in high school?”

Which girl do you think I love?

Lydia told my sis that I love her best friend. My sis told my mom. My mom told the church. Now everyone is snooping for pictures and information.

So I gave into the pressure somewhat – I handed over a couple dozen really good pics, that contain a lot of different girls in them. If you didn’t know anyone, you would never know who is who. In fact, I only sent the pics that were very evasive…no poses, no clues, you’d never guess. At the office everyone was looking at the pics and decided that the girl with the long blond slightly crimply hair…deep in the background was the one. To my amazement they were right. They were even planning out my wedding. A bit premature but amazing nonetheless.

Black and White

“Dragon Whips his Tail”

His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth… – Holy Bible, Revelation 12:4

Woke up. Lounged around. Found out that the wedding was at 1 instead of 2. I did a mad rush to shower and get to church on time. The ceremony was great. It was so nice to see my best friends S and R get married. After a very sweet and long courtship. They are just 2 lovebirds and it was nice seeing them take vows. Its so cool to see my Christian friends court. Because everything is so pure and sweet and without DRAMA. I remember the many times S said she ‘slept over’ at R’s and I’d say “WHAT??”. And she’d explain how she slept downstairs and R slept upstairs and PARENTS supervised.

After the ceremony I met a lot of people I haven’t seen in a while. I go my pics taken with the
bride and groom, my mom and sis. And a bunch of other people. My personal highlight of the day? I even got a kiss from a female friend I haven’t seen in a while, on the cheek of course, thanks L. What is it about a kiss from a beautiful girl, makes your whole day better :)

I took a taxi downtown Toronto. Anyway I go there right when the bus was about to leave at 9pm.
Halfway through the trip to Ottawa we stopped so people could get food and use restrooms.
I went into the restroom (the bus had a bathroom as well but I wouldn’t dare use it) and the stalls were filled, and so I figured I’d use a urinal for the second time in my life (other than when I was a kid
and used the kiddy urinals). The urinals were spaced to closely together, like 16 inches
apart, and this trucker guy to my right was looking over at me excessively. And he was not looking at my face!

Afterward I got a tuna sandwich and twix and fruit punch for the rest of the ride and arrived around 130am. Got up at 7am. It’s nice to wake up with gentle sunlight splashing on my face. Its harshness weekend by the drapes. I ordered breakfast for $25 and it was very very disappointing :( I did try some ‘yogurt’ though, something I haven’t really honestly done.

Showered, and left for church. Pastor G preached about really knowing God. He talked about evaluating yourself and then coming to God in sincerity to repent and follow Him. About how some people know God, but get stuck in a rut and then begin to wonder, especially if Satan gets into their lives. Some ‘evaluate’ their current relationship with God and go back, while others dig deeper and deeper into troubles. He is using the book of 1 Corinthians and says he has one more sermon left
in that book. He preached that sermon because he was ordaining 2 deacons that day and there were some unsaved people in the service. Good stuff pastor! Kinda funny cause its the same kind of sermons we get at any other church. Except our pastors do not do much chronological teachings, it could be one topic this week and another next week, from one end of the bible to another.

After service so many people came up to talk to me, and to make things even more awesome, this was my first time in this church, and everyone was white and I was the only brown person, which I personally love. The people I sat beside when I arrived moved right away when I sat beside them. No big deal, another family invited me to a BBQ. This is what I love about church. You walk in. You’re family. Okay okay there are rotten churches to, but you know what I mean.

Another couple was moving to Nova Scotia for good and it was their last week there. Sorry to see u go!
They were serving lunch downstairs but I had to leave, I had other things on my schedule.

Hopped on the #85 back to the Hotel. I decided to do something I rarely do – to stop and smell the roses. So I got to the hotel, but then decided to walk around Ottawa, enjoying the downtown, Rideau Canal and all the great sights. And I figured my manly direction skills would get me there. Instead I ended up going west back towards the church instead of east to the canal, and felt so silly after I asked for directions. I was walking which made it worst.

So I saw beautiful Parliment, Rideau canal, which is s dirty, I mean there is lots of green stuff growing in it. I was thinking it would be like fresh spring water. Whilst walking down Rideau lots of those white flower things were blowing all in my eyes and annoying me. I had my camera to snap pics and I ended up at a park. Ok walking down the park holding a camera, during a hot day. well there were a lot of people bathing in the sun. Girls wearing skimpy bathing suits, some wearing thongs for some reason. I learned that there were 2 large colleges nearby, and then I clearly understood. I was wearing my long pants, t-shirt and favorite shirt which happens to be a very furry sweater type shirt.

So anyway I felt awkward there with my camera, cause I was the only one not nude. Well, I decided to just get out of that park, cause I was just pretty much walking through anyway. On my way out, some girl strips down to some sort of invisible thong type bikini, and my right hand unconsciously slapped me in the face so hard that it stung. I just turned around another way and laughed and laughed cause I couldn’t believe my own hand would slap me.

I stopped at a bench to let my aching feet rest, I had been praying and walking for 5hrs straight.

Walked back to the hotel, got my bag, went to the via rail station, ate some burger king, got on the train.
Train pulled in the Toronto station at like 10:30 pm. Took the subway to the bus station, got there at 11pm.

Ran up to get the 11:03 bus home, missed it. I didn’t actually miss it, the bus didn’t stop
at its usual place but stopped at a new place across the parking lot because of construction or something. Doh! There was another girl waiting there named Angela. She was a young single mom. (I never met her before). We had to wait for the midnight bus so we started chatting. She told me about her weekend and I told her about my weekend. It started raining so I insisted that she take my favorite shirt and wear it till we get in the bus (I found out we live a few streets down from each other in Malton).

Anyway I had crouched down on the ground next to her and her son, age 11 comes and says “hey mom ask him for his phone number, hes the nicest guy, not like the others.

I’m not really good at exchanging / asking for phone numbers. Back in grade 3 I liked this girl named Kaitlin, and I hid in the corner of my school while my friend Ronald asked her for her number for me :) I got her number but now I’m used to having my friends hook me up. I still remember that number to this day.

Anyway the boy really wanted to be friends. He was sticking around me and asking me questions and stuff while we waited. I even left for 5 minutes to make a phone call and he came looking for me in the station.

But anyway I got on the bus, enjoyed the drive home with my new friends, walked home, went to bed.
I’ll remember this trip for the rest of my life.

I was riding my bike yesterday and a little girl with very nice crimply strawberry blonde hair
jumps out from behind a short bush I tree type thing and says ‘BANG.’ And I stop (I wasn’t going very fast) and she says ‘what are u doing here’. And I said ‘I’m riding my bike is that ok?”
She said ‘yup’ and continues to play.

I purchased a bunch of good plants because all of mine have died because of lack of sunlight (Although I have a gorgeous one on my desk which has flourished) I purchased them and left them in the car, the next day the sun was out and it got very hot in the car, because when I went outside the plant was dry and withered, almost cooked. I wont be coming to Ottawa this weekend, I have so much work to do here. But I thought of something, wouldn’t it be interesting to live there for a while?

Contemplate: to view or consider with continued attention: meditate on

– Asif Zamir

Good memories

I was remembering some of the fun times I had over the past few months…not just 2001 but also in the last part of 2000.

I remember the time I was walking to my moms house and a van started speeding towards me with its tires screeching…making me go ahhhhhhh. Only to find out it was 5 of my very good friends who have fostered over 130 (yeah, one hundred and thirty) children and currently have 9. They were playing a joke on me. And when you’ve raised that many children’ you do need an outlet, I’m glad they had good brakes :)

We had a good laugh about my ‘near death’ experience and they gave me a ride to my moms house in their mini van. I was also thinking about this large prayer assembly I went to a good while back, in which churches of all denominations were invited to pray for each other and different important issues. I sat beside 2 young girls from our church (sisters). (i forget their names only because there are so many children I can’t remember all of their names no matter how hard I try.

We had a full 2.x hrs to pray and I asked one of the girls if she wanted to come with me to walk around the ultra massive Toronto church building and pray for people with me.
She was nervous and asked me to teach her how to pray. This is something you NEED to teach your children to do. It seems like these days the kids now how to bully, beat up, steal, lie, and so other bad things but they lack good skills like reading, math and praying.

She took my hand and we went around the church praying for dozens of peoples needs.

Oh she was so happy and she didnt want to let me go, I think she held my hand most of the night. I’m soft hearted for stuff like that.

I was so happy to know I had helped to plant the seed of prayer in her life. I never did see her again though, her family moved far away :(

I’m wondering how shes doing.

I wonder about all of the children of my life. Most seem to remember me even when I don’t remember them, and some do not remember me even though I remember them so well. But
I love them all so, so much. Sometimes I’ll be at Westwood Mall or Woodbine Centre or Square One and the parents will say “Hey Asif, do you remember my son / daughter so and so?” It’s amazing to see them growing and doing well. It’s a bit embarrassing when I don’t recognize the child or the parent :)

I’m so busy I can’t keep up with anything anymore

I’m so busy I can’t keep up with life. Wake up, push food down my throat so I can get some nutrition, hurry off to work for 9, get off at 430, hurry to school, get off at 8, hurry over to church, get home by 10pm, and this 6 days a week.

Prayer Rally

Friday we had a cool time at a large Toronto church. The drive was a bit long but about 1,000 of us gathered from different churches and denominations to pray for causes such as pastors, children, youth, marriages, family, unsaved love ones, healing, political leaders, revival and more. It was excellent and I think we should do it more often. Even though these kinds of events are usually one time, I had 2 young proteges (aged 6 and 8 approx) who I was teaching to pray. The only downside was that it was only for 2.5 hours. A bit short for such a fun event. The time flew by because it was so much fun and it’s nice to spend time with people who we only see when we are doing community events together like handing out food and supplies to Toronto’s homeless or working in soup kitchens or food banks together, and the power of God was working in our hearts as usual. Time for sleep!

Too Many Children!

2:42am? Yikes, I’m not supposed to be up this late, but it seems like there is never enough time in the day, and always more to do. Even when I rush, prioritize my schedule, and work hard all day long, it sometimes seems as if I haven’t accomplished anything. Well, today was one of those days so I’m still up, but after I write this, I’ll be satisfied with my day.

Because of some special events happening in Mississauga, I’ve been taking care of children’s church not just Sunday morning and evening, but also Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evening this week. The crowd gets bigger and bigger, and I’m in desperate need of more helpers. One of the small children (3 years old) is way to young to be in my class. She should be in the nursery, but the nursery is overcrowded, and she wants to be in my class anyway. The hardest part is when the smaller children want me to pick them up but I can’t because then all of them will want me to pick them up. This is okay when I’m taking care of 5, but when it’s 30, 48, 100+, it doesn’t matter how many helpers I have, I just can’t do it.

Anyway, back to the 3 year old. She is full of energy, and always on the move. We were all sitting quietly drawing pictures and playing with legos, and she was running around and making noise. I told her repeatedly “sweetie, come and sit down.” She didn’t listen, but instead she ran into a storage room, knocking down its contents in the process. She ran under a table, knocking down the items piled on top. I cleaned up the messes, and reached under the table, exhausted, “I am your friend, come out of there.” Well, she got so excited and happy that she tried to leap into the air with joy, forgetting that she was under the table. She hit her head, but being so young, she was resilient, and it didn’t even make her whimper. It did shut her up for a few minutes though, lol. She came out from hiding with a smile on her face (rubbing her head a bit), and she gave me a tight hug (don’t worry, her parents knew about the bump on her head). A few minutes later she was causing more trouble for me again.

Thank God for kids. When I think of the way that child acted, I think of us adults. We disobey God, then we go into a sort of hiding where we stray further away from God. In the midst of this, we get hurt. God saves us, then we start the whole thing all over again. Sometimes we have to be stopped in our tracks to find out how much God loves us, but we might have caused so much damage in our lives that God has to spend much time mending our hearts and helping us to clean up the mess. Jesus said that life brings enough trouble on its own, there is no need to make more for ourselves.

El Shaddai

“El Shaddai” by Amy Grant

El-Shaddai, El-Shaddai [means “God Almighty, God Almighty”]
El-Elyon na Adonai [means “God in the highest, Oh, Lord”]
Age to age, You’re still the same
By the power of the name.
El-Shaddai, El-Shaddai
Erkamka na Adonai [means “We will love You, Oh, Lord”]
We will praise and lift You high

Through Your love
And through the ram,
You saved the son
Of Abraham.
Through the power
Of Your hand,
Turned the sea
Into dry land.
To the outcast
On her knees,
You were the God
Who really sees.
And by Your might,
You set Your children free.

Through the years,
You made it clear,
That the time of Christ
Was near,
Though the people
Couldn’t see
What Messiah ought to be.
Though Your Word
Contained the plan,
They just could not understand,
Your most awesome work was done
Though the frailty of Your son.


I was introduced to this song in 1999 while driving to a bookstore around midnight (yes, I’m that kind of book fanatic). The song was made famous by Amy Grant. Read the words carefully and meditate on them. God is awesome, and worthy of your praise and respect. The atheists will learn this the hard way one day — they spend all of their waking time trying to prove that God doesn’t exist. As an example, I don’t believe in the Easter Bunny, and guess how much time I spend arguing against him? Zero. An Atheist claims they don’t believe in God, yet can’t keep quiet about Him.

It seems like time flies by so fast during my leisure time. I really need to get good night’s sleep tonight so I can operate at full energy tomorrow. Last night I tossed and turned in bed, and I couldn’t sleep properly so I’ve been tired all day long.

Yesterday a man walked into my food bank after closing. He had his little son with him. Tears were frozen on his face because he had walked a good 40 minutes in the blistering -36c cold, and would have to walk back home with his son and heavy food. I will always remember his face like it was a stunning National Geographic photo. His son was very small, maybe 7 years old, and I can only imagine the hardened man he will become because of his circumstances as a youth. He reminded me of myself when I was young. Never enough food, never enough money, and always a problem. Teachers yelling at me because my homework wasn’t done, and I could barely hear the lecture because my stomach was growling so loudly.

He tried several times to wipe his tears away with his scarf, but they were completely frozen. His voice was cracked and obviously very sad. I gave him the best box of food I could, stuffing it with as many extras as possible, and invited him and his son to church.

I’ll work harder towards building up the food bank supplies so we have more to give. We run out almost every week these days, especially in the winter, and people are complaining that I give out too much spaghetti — believe me, I agree.

It breaks my heart to see these situations. Running a food bank is more than giving out food, it’s about caring for people, and giving out hope. But listen, most of the time their worst problem isn’t a lack of food; these people are telling me that their biggest problem is a broken spirit. If you have to walk an hour to get food, walk an hour back home, when you don’t have money for even a bus fare, what do you do? I’ve been there so many times.

I have to stop reading the news. Today at the office I read on Yahoo News about the Christians that are fleeing Indonesia right now because people of another religion have executed war against them. They have already burned down 10 churches today. I read articles about the young girls that are raped and then thrown into fires because they converted to Christianity, yet this other religion claims they are a religion of peace – when do we get to see some of that peace?

I read articles about torment and great persecution and great atrocities against our missionaries, our own brothers and sisters in Christ. I know so many missionaries personally in Indonesia that this scares the crap out of me. All of them are completely peaceful and harmless people who are there building schools and hospitals, not for other Christians, but for same religion that are killing us off! These people hate us but they love our money. Even myself personally, since I converted to Jesus in 1997, have been endlessly harassed here in Mississauga so many times. I’ve been punched, mocked, threatened with death. Yes, in the great city of Mississauga by random “peaceful” you-know-who’s, who demand I convert back or suffer. Sorry sir, but you are in Canada now, and I’ll gladly buy you a ticket back to the Middle East where you belong.

When I became a Christian in 1997, my own family kicked me out, and I didn’t get to visit with them or see them for about 2 full years. I took every Sunday to fast and pray, and one by one, they’ve been giving their life to Christ since then. I’m still known as Asif Zamir the trouble maker because of what I’ve done. Leading people to Jesus is a crime where I’m from.

At the same time, churches and Christians need to stop being so annoying and petty and stupid and start working together and stop competing against each other. Stop all the nonsense, and start doing what Jesus commanded us to do. Ugh, I’m stressed. I’m going to sleep.

-Asif Zamir

First Journal Post – Y2K

Hi, I’m Asif Zamir, I hope that you enjoy some of my thoughts and adventures. This evening I wanted to have some delicious food in celebration that the Y2K problem didn’t effect me. I decided to open a can of minestrone soup which had a big dent in it. So I cooked it…and it stank! So I threw it out. Then I decided to open an old can of mushrooms. And I cooked it for about 30 minutes…and it stank! So I added green onions…and it stank! So I doused it with soya sauce…and it stank! So finally I decided to just have cereal. Honey Nut Cheerios always saves the day. And tea of course.

Also, please ignore my spelling mistakes. My spelling never has been good. When I was small my mother used to give me a list of words to memorize the spelling. She would then make me recite the words like at a spelling bee, and for each error, I would receive a whip. That’s the way things are done in Guyana. Interesting fact: in Guyana schools, the boys receive their whip on the bum, girls receive it on their hand. Hurts either way because they use a bamboo stick. It gave me a high pain tolerance, but it did not help my spelling much. :)

Tomorrow is Sunday and my routine is usually the same; wake up, church, home and then I do a lot of personal ministry. Then around evening, back to church. I run the Sunday evening children’s ministry and I have an average of 10 children these days, and started out with about 4, so I usually need to pile up a lot of energy before 630pm :)

I love them so much so I wouldn’t mind if there were a lot more. Then after church I come home and rest. I try to take at least an hour for myself each day. Sort of an “Asif Zamir time” It’s not always possible though!

To be completely clear, I had a journal when I was like 14, but I shredded it after I found out that my mom found it and read it. She doesn’t have a computer so she won’t be able to find this one :)

I have some studying to do before I go to sleep tonight. God bless, and remember, Jesus loves you!

Asif Zamir