Faces of FaithWorks

As I travel around the Diocese, sharing the good news of FaithWorks, parishioners often ask to hear the stories of people who have been helped by one of our FaithWorks Ministry Partners. In response to your requests, we are happy to introduce you to some of these people. Here are their stories.

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Belkis – Flemingdon Park Ministry

Flemingdon Park - Belkis (519x800)“I don’t know where to begin to describe the difference that Flemingdon Park Ministry has made in my life.” Belkis moved to Canada just two years ago and decided to volunteer to gain Canadian work experience. Since then, she has been hired as the office administrator, working closely with The Reverend MacIvan Rogers in the Food Access Project. “I am grateful for the opportunity to work with the people and to serve them. We teach them about healthy food and nutrition, we have a community garden, and we share and serve the food that we grow with the members of our community. I’ve made new friends and I am happy to help people build up this community.” Belkis is grateful to have her job: “Now I can take chances to grow as a person and as a professional. But my family is what is most important to me.”

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Chris Whittaker – LOFT Community Services

LOFT - Chris (483x800)

Chris’s story is an example of what’s possible when we all take a Leap of Faith Together (LOFT). “I was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1989.” Having grown up in Parry Sound, Ontario, Chris experienced culture shock when he moved to Toronto to begin his university studies. “I didn’t do well during my first year and after going home for summer break, I was not accepted back into residence at UofT. I moved into a rooming house where there was no support. It wasn’t long before my health deteriorated until I was hospitalized for four months. My condition stabilized on medication and I enrolled in the Redirection through Education Program (Seneca College). The support and encouragement I received there empowered me to advocate on my own behalf to the Housing Board. When I was accepted into the supportive housing program and was shown my first apartment it was a bit overwhelming, but my family helped me to clean it up and make it my own. Twenty years later, I live in a one-bedroom apartment that is clean and comfortable.” Continue reading “Chris Whittaker – LOFT Community Services”

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Pam – Couchiching Jubilee House

Couchiching Jubilee House Pam and Liam (671x800)Eight years ago, pregnant with her second child, Pam realized that she could no longer live with her father and his girlfriend. She wanted to provide a healthy and stable home life for her growing family but she had no idea where to turn. That all changed when she went to spend a year at Couchiching Jubilee House. Pam received wrap-around support from Jubilee House staff and volunteers as well as social workers, pediatricians, and others who cared about Pam and wanted to see her succeed. Pam says that “my life changed because of the support I received and the educational funding that allowed me to go back to school. I graduated with a 98 average and today I work as a full-time personal support worker. I love my job and I am grateful for all of the love and support – as well as the help that my family received through the Children’s Activity Fund.” Pam’s experience has been so successful that she has been invited to join the Board of Couchiching Jubilee House. “It’s something that I might consider for the future, but right now, my family comes first.”

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Garden of Eatin’ Volunteers – North House

Photo by Michael Hudson [North House Garden Girls]
Photo by Michael Hudson [North House Garden Girls]

One of the greatest challenges to people who are homeless or at risk of losing their home is the lack of healthy and nutritious food to eat. I recently spoke to Ann Watson, Program Manager of North House Transitional Housing. “North House is known throughout North Durham Region as a provider of transitional housing, rent supplements and wrap-around support for people who are under-housed in Uxbridge, Brock and Scugog townships. We quickly came to realize that not only do our clients need a stable place to live, food security is also a major issue for them. In response, we’ve developed partnerships with churches and community organizations to provide healthy food options to people in need in our communities. We offer a weekly community lunch program that provides delicious home-made soups and desserts on a pay-what-you-can basis. Our Garden of Eatin’ community garden includes 12 individual plots and one community plot where we raise food for the Loaves and Fishes Food Bank. We’ve also developed a social enterprise, North House Catering, which offers seasonally-inspired, healthy and home-cooked meals at an affordable price.” Continue reading “Garden of Eatin’ Volunteers – North House”

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Peter – PWRDF

Mundri, Western Equatoria, South Sudan. Photo/Paul Jeffrey

When South Sudan’s civil war broke out in Juba in December 2013, 19-year-old Peter Frisus fled from the violence in his homeland. The fighting displaced Peter and more than a million of his fellow South Sudanese. He eventually settled in Mundri, a region of South Sudan that was not experiencing violence. He has survived there thanks to the hospitality of his relatives, along with food and agricultural tools provided by the Mundri Relief and Development Association, which is supported by the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund. PWRDF, working with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and with funding from the Government of Canada, had a project in Mundri to provide seeds and tools to displaced families, as well as food for several months while their new crops were growing. Peter’s uncle let him use some land to farm peanuts and corn and he displays some of the peanuts he harvested. Here is Peter’s story:

Continue reading “Peter – PWRDF”

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