Smiling From Ear To Ear

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.

– Myself
– Paul
– Freddy
– Kendra
– Chima
– Mike
– Catherine
– Ryan
– Rebecca (it was her 19th birthday that day, she chose to spend it serving God)
– Jocelin
– James
– Mom

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.


Missions work is going very well, lots of great reports from everyone. So is the homeless outreach I do in Toronto. Street evangelism is also going well with the one downside of being threatened once in a while. My group was talking to a group of people about Jesus and a Muslim man listening threatened to “ruin my life.” lol. Church ministry projects are going very well. Work isn’t going so well, on the upside I’m enjoying the winter weather. My favorite season is Autumn, my least favorite is summer.

Most people die at age 25 and aren’t buried till age 75

Benjamin Franklin is so right.

In 2001 I was asked to do a favor for someone, to hide millions of $ in cash and assets for a very wealthy person because he was about to go through a bitter divorce. I think he wanted me to help hide $10M CAD but I’m not sure anymore. I declined, as I always decline offers like this. Yes I was offered a generous commission and favors in return, and I’m sure some of the people reading this would say “asif’s an idiot, I would have taken the money.” Actually I got insulted for this, for declining. In this life, you get insulted for doing the wrong things which is to be expected, but you can be insulted much more for doing the right thing. There’s no winning sometimes.

I’ll close this entry on a positive note, this has been a good year overall. I worked hard, I prayed hard, I played hard. Every mission and evangelism and outreach project (except 1) did great, many people gave their life to Christ, also many lives were saved.

One of my favorite missions projects this year: Mission Planes. There are several big ones (big passenger liners) that have been converted into mobile hospitals. Licensed doctors are in them, they are fitted to take off and land almost everywhere on the African continent and each landing can help to do emergency medical for hundreds of people plus thousands of important vaccinations and health education for people who would otherwise not receive such attention.

There are several hundred small ones (double person propeller planes) that fly over different countries of the world, to remote tribes. They don’t always land, they usually drop important supplies + christian literature in local languages to villages and people that have no access to the outside world. One of my friends is currently flying one such plane over Australia as I write this. His adventures are too many to number, and hundreds of people are giving their life to Jesus. What a great year.

The mission takes priority

When I was in high school I was not in the in crowd. I was mostly a loner with too much responsibility to notice what was going on around me. I was also in the video club, and the nerd club which was fine with me. One day I got an invite to a cool people party. I can’t remember what cool thing I did to get this invite, I think it had something to do with beating up a dirt bag that was mistreating a girl. If you know me you know that I don’t go to parties. Never have, never will. I did stop by this one to see what it was like because a girl asked me to take her there safely. It’s just like what you see in the movies with the booze and the making out and silly behavior. Super hot high school girls ruining their lives one boy at a time. Fast forward though to today and the people I knew from that party are mostly doing nothing with their lives. I do stop and chats with some of them at the mall and it’s just sad. Today I met one of them in a convenience store at the Westwood Mall and asked him what he’s been up and he said “staying high”.

Several times in my life, I have learned that the in crowd is the sin crowd. They are the crowd that most people strive to attain membership in, but the worst crowd to be a part of. Everything looks good on the outside. Smiles, friendship, even fun and love. But it’s not real. It doesn’t last. It breaks down. It’s not worth it. Plenty of backstabbing, plenty of gossip. Everyone wants everyone else to fail.

I’m trying out this new thing called digital cable. Basically you have a box you attach to your tv and you get more channels, plus movies on demand and special content. After enjoying it for a few days I was reminded that America has had similar technology for a while, maybe not digital though, in fact I rented a movie on demand back in the late 80’s or early 90’s in New York City. To my recollection it was either something with Hulk Hogan or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Why is Canada behind on these things? And why do companies market their technology as new when it’s been in existence and use for a long time? I don’t mean this about the digital cable but everything.

I watched my friend C give his life to Jesus in the late 90’s. I think 1998 or 1999. At the time he was about 6ft tall and maybe 275+ lbs. (dude if you’re reading this and I’m wrong about your weight, I’m so sorry) I was sitting way at the back and he walked from the very back all the way down the isle during an emotional church service, and fell down on the ground at the alter. He was crying hard. When others saw this they started crying. K brought him to church, I think that was his first time. Later we would be camping in Bancroft and we shared a tent. While I was trying to sleep, my other friend L came into the tent, and her and C chatted the night away. It wouldn’t be much long after that for them to get married, and I stood near him at his wedding as a groomsmen / usher. Fast forward to now, on April 4th I visited that old church again and took photos with C and L and their new baby boy. I held him while they took photos of me to. It was nice visiting with good friends that I haven’t seen for a long time. We all took photos and it was like I was always there this whole time. When God calls you away to do other things, it’s both exciting and terrible. But all in all everything will come full circle, in heaven we’ll all be back together again. The mission takes priority.

When I share the gospel with people, it’s just random people. Sometimes it leads to nothing because a person isn’t interested. Other times it leads to a person converting and living for Jesus, other times it leads to death threats including fists, knives and guns. From drug dealers who lost paying customers to bad husbands who’ve lost their punching bag, not everyone is happy to see people convert and be set free.

I remind myself, the mission takes priority. The mission takes priority.

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?