Faith & Friends April 2021

Page 1

Taking the Stand

EASTER TRIAL P.12

My Son’s Refuge

A SPECIAL PLACE P.22

Teen Helps Army

I, KARLY P.26

Faith&Friends I N S P I R AT I O N F O R L I V I N G

faithandfriends.ca

APRIL 2021

Anchoring Her Faith

TV HOST MAGGIE JOHN IS PASSIONATE ABOUT FINDING GOD’S STORY IN THE HEADLINES. P.16


A Clean Slate g? Do e livin e? ’r u o y at lif he life crack d of t d e n r i o t c ? u se t over r Are yo had a a t u s o o y ish ed t m you w r want e v e sin fro he u o e y h t e Hav on t erase crifice ie d to a nce, d s s s i u s H t. Je n d cha r o a c e e s h Him. kin d’s s us a human Easter give follow d n a at ieve cross r old to bel e s o o in you le of h c k c e u t w if pab ere s re inca ht you you w e n w e h u o g y “ W d brou hink of d life, o a G e . d d sin st! T o Go ding t h Chri w ipe d respon ht along w it te rig the sla t cancelle d alive— s forgiven, an r sin st war e r r a it! All ld .” that o hrist’s cross sage) clean, C es o t M ile d (The an d na ns 2:13-14 sia —Colos

Do you want to learn more about the Easter story? Visit our website faithandfriends.ca or contact your nearest Salvation Army church.


APRIL 2021

VOLUME 24 NUMBER 4

GOD IN MY LIFE 5 A Heaven-Sent Idea

My new friend showed me that there is such a thing as a free lunch. LAUGHING MATTERS 8 ABBA, You and Me

Would God show up at a Swedish band’s concert? SOMEONE CARES

11 Taking the Stand

EASTER TRIAL P.12

My Son’s Refuge

A SPECIAL PLACE P.22

11 When Addiction Takes Over

The Salvation Army helped Greg take back his life.

Teen Helps Army

FEATURES

I, KARLY P.26

Faith&Friends I N S P I R AT I O N F O R L I V I N G

faithandfriends.ca

APRIL 2021

Anchoring Her Faith

TV HOST MAGGIE JOHN IS PASSIONATE ABOUT FINDING GOD’S STORY IN THE HEADLINES. P.16

12 16

COVER STORY 22

Cover photo: Moussa Faddoul

26

Taking the Stand

Getting to the truth about Jesus’ Resurrection.

Anchoring Her Faith

TV host Maggie John is passionate about finding God’s story in the headlines.

My Son’s Refuge

In a serene forest east of the hustle and bustle of Toronto, God’s presence shines through.

COMMON GROUND 26 I, Karly

Why did this volunteer collect 166 kilograms of food for her local Salvation Army? LITE STUFF 28 Eating Healthy With Erin

Sudoku, Quick Quiz, Word Search. NIFTY THRIFTY 31 A Fine Feathered Feeder

DIY project for your garden or balcony. faithandfriends.ca  I  APRIL 2021

•3


Faith&Friends

FROM THE EDITOR

Headline Maker “

I

first met Maggie John two decades ago at Listen Up TV—now Context: Beyond the Headlines—right after her graduation, when she was hired as a producer for then host Lorna Dueck,” says writer Helena Smrcek. At the time, Helena was Lorna’s co-ordinator— “the best job title ever,” Helena smiles. “I was Lorna’s assistant, fundraiser, event organizer, office manager—pretty much doing anything that needed to be done. “From the beginning,” she continues, “I loved Maggie’s honesty and her deep love of God.” Helena and Maggie have kept in touch over the years. “I’ve enjoyed watching her reports and interviews,” Helena says. “Her passion for justice and truth permiates everything she does. She is an amazing role model to many women, regardless of age or race. “As I thought back to that time in the ‘trenches’ and the intervening years watching Maggie since that time,” Helena concludes, “I wrote this article with a smile on my face.” Maggie’s story is on page 16. Would God ever show up at an ABBA concert? Funnyman Phil Callaway assures us that He would. Furthermore, while great preaching and Christian music figured in Phil’s faith walk, valuable life lessons were—and can be—absorbed from secular sources, too. Phil’s blast from the past is on page 8. Elsewhere in this issue of Faith & Friends, find out how one man took back his life from drugs and violence with the help of The Salvation Army, read about a very special refuge just north of Toronto and see how there can be such a thing as a free lunch. Ken Ramstead 4 • APRIL 2021  I faithandfriends.ca

Mission Statement To show Christ at work in the lives of real people, and to provide spiritual resources for those who are new to the Christian faith.

Faith & Friends is published monthly by: The Salvation Army 2 Overlea Blvd, Toronto Ontario, M4H 1P4 International Headquarters 101 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4P 4EP, England William and Catherine Booth FOUNDERS

Brian Peddle, GENERAL Commissioner Floyd Tidd TERRITORIAL COMMANDER

Lt-Colonel John P. Murray SECRETARY FOR COMMUNICATIONS Geoff Moulton, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ken Ramstead, EDITOR

Brandon Laird SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Hannah Saley DIGITAL MEDIA SPECIALIST Pamela Richardson, COPY EDITOR, PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR

Ada Leung CIRCULATION CO-ORDINATOR

Leigha Vegh STAFF WRITER, PROOFREADER

Giselle Randall STAFF WRITER Scripture Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are taken from New International Version Contact Us P. (416) 467-3188, F. (416) 422-6217 Websites faithandfriends.ca, salvationist.ca, salvationarmy.ca Email faithandfriends@salvationarmy.ca Subscription for one year: Canada $17 (includes GST/HST); U.S. $22; foreign $24 P. (416) 422-6119 circulation@salvationarmy.ca All articles are copyright The Salvation Army Canada & Bermuda and cannot be reproduced without permission. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40064794 ISSN 1702-0131


GOD IN MY LIFE

Photos: Brimstone Creative/Lightstock.com

Faith&Friends

A Heaven-Sent Idea My new friend, Sue, showed me that there is such a thing as a free lunch. by Diane Stark

I

looked at my errands list and sighed. Nothing was going smoothly, and everything was taking longer than it should have. I still had three more stops to make before I could head home. I just wanted to finish my to-do list, but my stomach was rumbling. I decided to stop at a sandwich shop for a bite to eat before I tackled the rest of my errands.

Two-for-One I went inside and joined the socially distanced line to order. The older lady in front of me turned to me with a smile. “I have a ‘buy one sandwich, get one free’ coupon,” she said. “I can’t eat them both. Do you want the other one?” “Oh, that’s so kind of you, but that’s OK,” I replied. “Why don’t you

faithandfriends.ca  I  APRIL 2021

•5


Faith&Friends

GOD IN MY LIFE

take the second sandwich home for later?” “I’d really like to treat you to lunch,” she said. I smiled and accepted her offer. She used her coupon to get my sandwich for free, and I bought a drink for each of us, which still saved me

and the chance to worship together. After we were done, I asked Sue which church she attended. She told me the name and then said, “My husband died last year, and things have been hard. My church family has been a lifeline to me. But I miss having someone to

“Whenever I feel lonely, I grab a coupon and come here. I’ve had lunch with some great people.” SUE several dollars. I thanked her again and then said, “Would it be all right if I ate with you?” Her smile lit up the room. “I’d love that. My name is Sue, by the way.” I introduced myself and we found a table and sat down. Meet and Munch As I was unwrapping my sandwich, Sue said, “Excuse me for a moment while I pray over my food.” That was my first clue that this lunch was a divine appointment. “I was about to do the same thing,” I said. “If you’re comfortable with it, we can pray out loud.” Sue agreed. We each said a brief prayer, thanking God for the meal

6 • APRIL 2021  I faithandfriends.ca

talk to every day.” “I’m so sorry, Sue, both for your loss and for your loneliness.” “Thank you,” she said. “Last month, I prayed and asked God to show me a way to meet new people so I’d have company in between church services. As soon as I opened my eyes, I spotted the sandwich coupon in the newspaper. I knew the idea was heaven-sent. I came here the next day and had lunch with a wonderful young woman. Since then, my friends and family who live far away have been sending me their free sandwich coupons. Whenever I feel lonely, I grab a coupon and come here. I’ve had lunch with some great people.”


I smiled. “Well, I’m honoured that you chose me today.” The Gift of Company We had a lovely conversation about her husband and her children, who all live out of town, and especially her grandkids. We talked about our faith and what God has taught us in the hard times of life. When it was time to go, I asked Sue if she would like to exchange phone numbers. “I think I have a sandwich coupon at my house,” I said. “I’d love to be your lunch

buddy again sometime.” To my surprise, she said yes to exchanging numbers but no to another lunch date. “Use your coupon to treat someone else, someone who looks lonely,” she said. “There are a lot of people out there like me, and you could offer one of them the gift of your company. I know they would appreciate it, as I have.” I promised to do as she suggested. I thanked Sue for the lovely meal and for the wonderful, heaven-sent idea to use a sandwich coupon to make a new friend.

faithandfriends.ca  I  APRIL 2021

•7


Faith&Friends

LAUGHING MATTERS

ABBA, You and Me Some say God wouldn’t show up at a Swedish band’s concert. But I assure you, He did. by Phil Callaway

M

y wife, Ramona, was young and sweet, only 17, when we first heard the music of ABBA on a tinny radio at Pine Lake, Alta. Known for hummable tunes, platform shoes and flared polyester pants that could house a family of eight, the Swedish couples topped the charts for 18 years after winning the Eurovision Song Contest with their catchy song, Waterloo. Our conservative church forbade us from listening to such tripe, but we did. I celebrate a rich heritage. Great preaching, and music from Phil Keaggy and Chuck Girard were all part of the eclectic entourage that nudged me to faith in Jesus. Valuable life lessons were absorbed from secular sources, too. From “I Quit” to “I Do” Swedes joked that ABBA was the nation’s largest provider of revenue outside of Volvo, but they weren’t far off. When Anni, Björn, Benny

8 • APRIL 2021  I faithandfriends.ca

and Agnetha sang, “Money, money, money. Must be funny in the rich man’s world,” the stuff rolled in. Some estimates put record sales as high as 380 million. Reportedly, their success was so enormous in parts of Eastern Europe that the band accepted payments in oil rather than money. But no one is made to be worshipped. There is only one Abba (Father). Popularity brought legendary tours, meteoric highs, then crushing heartache and divorce. The year ABBA called it quits, Ramona and I said, “I do.” Blasts From the Past In August 2019, our lifelong friends, Kevin and Ivy, called. “You guys are celebrating your anniversary, right?” they said. “There’s an ABBA tribute band in concert. Let’s go.” And so, for our 37th anniversary, guess what we did? Donned white suits, platform shoes and polyester


Illustration: Dennis Jones

faithandfriends.ca  I  APRIL 2021

•9


Faith&Friends

LAUGHING MATTERS

I planted a kiss on Ramona’s lips. When she finally came up for air, she laughed and said, “Mama Mia.”  PHIL CALLAWAY pants. Not really, but we did join our friends and a thousand other smartly dressed concertgoers. Now, if you’re unfamiliar with ABBA, this paragraph may make little to no sense to you, but here’s the text I sent our kids: “SOS! Tonight I’m taking Mama to watch the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and a 12-member tribute troupe play songs we tortured you with in your adolescence. Does your mother know? Yes, she does. She asked where we were going. I said, ‘To see ABBA. Knowing me, knowing you, it’s the best I can do.’ Thirty-seven years ago today, she took a chance on me. She said, ‘I do, I do, I do, I do.’ And now I have a dream and enough money, money, money to take my honey honey. So here we go again. My my, how can she resist me?” Well, it was just like it used to be and even better, reliving some of the music and memories of our dating days. The last lyrics of the concert were, “Thank you for the music, the

10 • APRIL 2021  I faithandfriends.ca

songs I’m singing. Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing. Who can live without it? I ask in all honesty ... Thank you for the music, for giving it to me.” Mama Mia Some say God wouldn’t show up at an ABBA concert. But I assure you, He did. I couldn’t stop thanking Him for His faithfulness through the years, and for His grace alone, which has kept us together. On the way home, we four reminisced, giving thanks for parents who loved Jesus and took an active interest in our music. Then I cranked up an old ABBA tune: “It’s as good as new, my love for you. Just like it used to be and even better. As good as new, thank God it’s true. Darling, we were always meant to stay together.” We said goodnight to our friends, and I planted a kiss on Ramona’s lips. In the history of kisses, it was surely in the top 10. When she finally came up for air, she laughed and said, “Mama Mia.”


Faith&Friends

SOMEONE CARES

When Addiction Takes Over The Salvation Army helped Greg take back his life from drug use and violence.

A

by Linda Leigh

t an early age, Greg’s rage was explosive. A child unable to cope with his emotions, he turned to drugs. But after 20 years of drug abuse and criminal activity, he successfully beat his addiction with the help of The Salvation Army. A Life Behind Bars “There was a lot of anger at home and that hurt,” says Greg, 37. “I had emotions I didn’t know how to deal with, and I was fiery and impulsive.” Greg’s drug use began at 13. “My addiction started based on peer pressure,” he says. “Then it helped me deal with the negativity at home. I thought, If marijuana couldn’t make me feel better, what else could?”

As Greg’s drug use escalated, so did his criminal activity. “Robbery, violent crimes … I hurt a lot of people,” he says. “I spent half of my life in prison.” A Second Chance When Greg was tired of his lifestyle and burnt out, he turned to The Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope in Calgary for help. There, a live-in recovery program for adult men offers treatment that includes individual and group counselling, life-skills training and after-care support so that individuals not only live substance-free but thrive. “The Salvation Army helped me get healthy and changed the direction of my life,” says Greg. “I completed the drug-treatment program, I’m clean, and I’m working and rebuilding broken relationships. I look at The Salvation Army as a blessing and a gift. They gave me a second chance at life. Without them, I wouldn’t be alive today.” Band of Brothers  “The Army changed my life,” says Greg (right), here with Mike Forsey, then the community services’ assistant executive director

faithandfriends.ca  I  APRIL 2021

• 11


Faith&Friends

FEATURE

Taking the Stand

GETTING TO THE TRUTH ABOUT JESUS’ RESURRECTION. by David Jeffrey

W

ho is the most successful trial attorney in the world? According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the answer is Sir 12 • APRIL 2021  I faithandfriends.ca

Lionel Luckhoo, who succeeded in getting his 245th consecutive murder acquittal by January 1, 1985. He was called the real-life Perry Mason. What skills accounted for such


Ecce Homo (Here is the Man) by Antonio Ciseri (1821-91). The title of the painting refers to the Latin words used by Pontius Pilate when he presented Jesus to the hostile crowd shortly before His Crucifixion (see John 19:5)

leaves absolutely no room for doubt.” Sir Lionel then decided to do the most logical thing in the world. He became a Christian.

courtroom success? With his tremendous analytical skills, he could consider an airtight prosecution case and spot the flaws. He was an expert as to what constitutes reliable, admissible and persuasive evidence. So how would Sir Lionel have viewed the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ? Well, he took his expertise in law and actually questioned whether it stood up to the tests of legal evidence. “I say unequivocally that the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus is so overwhelming,” he concluded, “it compels acceptance by proof that

Death by Flogging The Apostle Paul writes, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). What he is saying is if this is make-believe, if this is legend, faith is worthless. The Resurrection of Jesus is the linchpin of Christianity. Some people take the position that Jesus never really died on the cross. The “swoon theory” says that Jesus either fainted on the cross or took some sort of a drug to make it appear as if He had died. When He was taken to the tomb, cool air revived Him and He emerged alive. The Bible states that after Jesus was put on trial by Pontius Pilate, who was the Roman official in charge of the province of Judea, “Then Pilate took Jesus and had Him flogged” (John 19:1). Medical expert C. Truman Davis studied what was involved with flogging. He concluded that it was a very brutal beating that left Jesus at the very edge of death. Many who were sentenced to death by crucifixion faithandfriends.ca  I  APRIL 2021

• 13


Faith&Friends

FEATURE

never made it to the cross alive due to this beating. Death by Crucifixion Crucifixion caused a slow death by suffocation. If the Romans wanted to hasten death, they would shatter the victim’s shins with a mallet. They did this to the criminals who were crucified with Jesus, but they didn’t do that to Jesus because it was

probably perforated not only the right lung but also the pericardium and heart and thereby ensured His death. Accordingly, interpretations based upon the assumption that Jesus did not die on the cross appear to be at odds with modern medical knowledge.” Now, let’s consider the affirmative evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus.

Nobody left the Roman cross alive. That included Jesus. COMMISSIONER DAVID JEFFREY

clear that He was already dead. “Instead,” as John, one of Jesus’ closest disciples and an eyewitness to the crucifixion, reported, “one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water” (John 19:34). Nobody left the Roman cross alive. That included Jesus. An authoritative article in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Society concluded, “Clearly the weight of the historical and medical evidence is that Jesus was dead before the wound to His side was inflicted and supports the traditional view that the spear 14 • APRIL 2021  I faithandfriends.ca

Truth or Mythology? The accounts of Jesus being the Son of God began very early, before any mythology could have contaminated the accounts. Studies of the rate at which legends accrued in the ancient world tell us it takes a minimum of two generations for mythology to corrupt a solid core of historical fact. The creed recited by the early church said, “Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures. He was buried and He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” This creed dates back to as early


as 23 to 36 months after Jesus was crucified. This contradicts the assertion that the Resurrection was a product of mythology about the life of Jesus. The Logical Thing His tomb was empty, and no one to this day has uncovered the body of Jesus. History tells us that His body was laid to rest in a tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Jewish council. An extremely heavy boulder was rolled in front of it with the seal of Rome placed on it, then guarded by elite Roman soldiers. Yet it was discovered empty on Easter morning. So here is the single most important fact about the tomb of Jesus: No one ever claimed that it was anything but empty. Even His opponents admitted His tomb was empty. They bribed the guards to say, “The disciples stole the body while they were asleep.” During the 40 days after His Resurrection, Jesus appeared a dozen times to more than 500 different individuals. He appeared to men and women. He appeared

to believers and skeptics. He appeared to both tough-minded and tender-hearted people. He appeared sometimes to individuals, sometimes to small groups and sometimes to large groups. He talked with people. He ate with people. Jesus told the truth when He said, “I am the Resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die” (John 11:25). Why did He endure the cross, the beating, the humiliation? It was out of His love for us. When we accept what Jesus did on the cross, when we accept Jesus as the forgiver of sin, we can have confidence that we, too, like Jesus, will someday overcome the grave and spend eternity with Jesus in heaven. So, this Easter, let’s do what Sir Lionel did. Check out the evidence for ourselves. Investigate it. Make up our minds to explore the claims about this most wonderful truth. Then, perhaps, like Sir Lionel did, we will also decide to do the most logical thing in the world. Reprinted from The War Cry (United States), Easter 2014

(left) Commissioner David Jeffrey was the national commander of The Salvation Army in the United States. faithandfriends.ca  I  APRIL 2021

• 15


Faith&Friends

COVER STORY

Hot Topics With the help of her Context team, Maggie John tackles issues, such as the opioid crisis, medical assistance in dying and race

16 • APRIL 2021  I faithandfriends.ca


TV HOST MAGGIE JOHN IS PASSIONATE ABOUT FINDING GOD’S STORY IN THE HEADLINES. by Helena Smrcek

Photos: Moussa Faddoul

Anchoring Her Faith

faithandfriends.ca  I  APRIL 2021

• 17


Faith&Friends

COVER STORY

No. 1 Responsibility Maggie, here with her husband, Elton, and their children, from left, Joshua and Ethan

MAGGIE JOHN BROKE INTO Christian media as an intern reporting for Listen Up TV from New York City on 9/11. She remembers the response of The Salvation Army at Ground Zero. “Handing out water and Bibles, they were the embodiment of the church in action,” she recalls. Now, the first Black female host of 100 Huntley Street steps into her new role anchoring Context: Behind the Headlines, the same program she interned for 19 years ago. “Never did I think I’d be sitting where I am today.” Fighting Stereotypes If there is one hallmark of Maggie’s career, it’s action. “She’s a powerhouse media professional, passionate about finding the God story in the headlines,” says Cheryl Weber, 100 Huntley Street host and international producer for Crossroads Cares. “She curates important conversations with intelligence and compassion.” Born in Toronto’s St. Joseph’s Hospital to first-generation immigrants from Trinidad and Jamaica, Maggie grew up in one of the city’s 18 • APRIL 2021  I faithandfriends.ca

housing projects. Rising from field reporter to producer to on-air talent, Maggie recently achieved another major milestone. “I’m honoured that I was chosen to be the anchor of Context, and Lorna Dueck (retired CEO of Crossroads, founder of Context) has given me her blessing. It is very important to me.” Throughout her trail-blazing career, Maggie overcame many hurdles. No stranger to racist comments, such as being addressed as “the coloured girl” or “that lovely Black girl,” she fights against the stereotypes of our culture and persists with strong faith and excellence. Give-and-Take “Maggie broke ground in Canadian Christian media with her comprehensive special broadcast on The Year of The Gun, when 52 people were killed in Toronto in 2005. But the demands on her journey never compromised her No. 1 responsibility of placing her family first,” says her former boss, retired executive producer George McEachern. A mother of Ethan and Joshua,


Photo: Pete Stec

wife to Elton, Maggie takes her family life very seriously. “I couldn’t do this without Elton’s support,” she says, “but he’s also my critic, and I look for his feedback after the show.” Their marriage is a balance of give-and-take. “God has brought us to a great place where we encourage, but also allow each other to be who God wants us to be.” Maggie’s schedule requires her to travel extensively, and the pandemic of 2020 brought many additional challenges, including shutdowns, school closures and mass protests.

Hard Conversations With the help of her passionate and diverse team at Context, Maggie tackles various hot issues, such as the opioid crisis, medical assistance in dying and race. “Every day as I swipe my ID card and enter the building I work in, I carry more than just myself through those doors. I carry perceptions of my culture, past experiences of people’s interactions with my people and the responsibility of undoing negative stereotypes propelled by pop culture.” Maggie sees Context as having a unique opportunity to challenge the faithandfriends.ca  I  APRIL 2021

• 19


Faith&Friends

COVER STORY

“ Every day as I swipe my ID card and enter the building I work in, I carry more than just myself through those doors.”  MAGGIE JOHN

church. “God wants us to stand up for the oppressed,” she believes. “We’re so bogged down by politics. There’s so much division. People forget Jesus is at the centre of all this. I’m speaking specifically to Christians because there’s a higher expectation put on us as followers of Christ. Being a part of a church community means not to be afraid to enter into hard conversations, to have an open mind, to listen to your brothers and sisters.” “Our Own Right” Maggie takes an active role in her 20 • APRIL 2021  I faithandfriends.ca

efforts to bring about change. She serves as chair of the board at The Meeting House church, is a founder of the Baby Depot ministry, which helps fight child poverty in Hamilton, Ont., and is an active board member of GEMS Girls’ Club, a non-denominational, non-profit, Christian organization. “Growing up in the 2020s is challenging,” she says. “Girls have always been told who they should be and how to act, but they need to centre their identity on Jesus.” Maggie often challenges women to talk about those same issues. “We’re God’s daughters, but so


often get mired by taking care of everybody else and forget that God has created us with unique talents. He called us in our own right.” A Better Place What drives her today is the continuation of her grandparents’ legacy, who lived in a small village in Jamaica. At her grandmother’s funeral, Maggie found out about a scholarship her grandparents awarded to young people in their village so they could go to university. “They saw past their own 13 children,” says Maggie. “I started to cry, not only over my grandmother but also over this lesson the Holy Spirit was teaching me, about the privilege that we’re given, not to hoard, but to give it away.” Maggie envisions leaving a better place, not only for her children and grandchildren but also for others, for those who are watching, especially for those who feel they have no future. “I started my first season of Context outside the Toronto housing project where I grew up. It took somebody to open the door for me so that I can open the door for somebody else, somebody who may

be in the Toronto housing, thinking, There is no way that I can be on TV, sit on a board or be a leader in my community.” Maggie is showing others that they, too, can have a voice.

Christian Media 101 Crossroads Christian Communications Inc. is Canada’s leader in providing faith and values media content for people of all ages, supplying a relevant message of faith for millions of Canadians for more than 50 years. 100 Huntley Street, the flagship television program of Crossroads, was founded by Rev. David Mainse and is the longest-running daily television program in Canada. Context: Beyond the Headlines (originally aired as Listen Up TV) is a weekly national television program and digital content producer, whose mission is to create boundary-breaking media that reveals Jesus. The show explores news and current affairs with Christian analysis by looking into stories and issues that affect Canadian lives.

faithandfriends.ca  I  APRIL 2021

• 21


Faith&Friends

FEATURE

My Son’s Refuge

Photos: Jennifer Venner

God’s Presence Max Venner entering the Refuge

IN A SERENE FOREST EAST OF THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE OF TORONTO, GOD’S PRESENCE SHINES THROUGH. by Jennifer Venner

22 • APRIL 2021  I faithandfriends.ca


I

n the swampy, rocky environs of eastern Ontario near Belleville, there is a place that calls itself “the Refuge,” a Christian community that hosts summer camps and retreats. It covers several square kilometres, but most of the area remains a wilderness, with only rudimentary trails piercing the silent forest. My children, Sophie and Max, attended camp at the Refuge

Happy Memories I had only been to the Refuge once, years ago, so when Max, now 15, invited me to a family retreat after the camps were finished, I eagerly accepted the offer. At home, my son was a bit of a loner who spent a lot of time listening to music on his iPhone, playing guitar in his room and brooding in that way so common to teenage boys. He was thoughtful and worked hard in

“ We are the stewards of God’s great creation.”  MARY MARROCCO starting in the mid 2000s, meeting new kids and doing the usual camp activities: canoeing, hiking, arts and crafts. The main building is the only one with electricity, where the cook prepares meals and the counsellors live. There’s no Wi-Fi, no TV, no reliable cellphone service. The kids sleep in dormstyle cabins near the chicken coop and the garden, where most of their vegetables come from. And there is a goat named Conseula.

school but seemed disconnected and lonely, even in a room full of loved ones. Max was excited about me coming to the Refuge with him. The summer before, he had loved it so much that he begged to stay an additional two weeks, and the Refuge staff kindly obliged. He told me about how he and his friends would sneak out late at night and gaze at the stars, astonished by their multitudes. The Toronto kids had never seen the Milky Way. For the camp faithandfriends.ca  I  APRIL 2021

• 23


Faith&Friends

FEATURE

Oasis of Tranquility Only rudimentary trails pierce the silent forest surrounding the Refuge

sing-alongs around the fire, Max played guitar, something he was too shy to do in front of his family at home. He wanted me to see all the places where he’d formed memories. Proud Mother We arrived and I remembered just what a special place the Refuge truly was. Nestled in the forest, it had mystery and an alert, benevolent 24 • APRIL 2021  I faithandfriends.ca

presence, watching over us all. The Refuge has a small altar with a simple bench, on which to contemplate in silence, surrounded by nature. We found the Refuge staff sharing a meal outdoors and a cake for someone’s birthday. Gathered in this commune from different parts of the world, they spoke Italian, English and Spanish at the table. They played music and danced and sang as the sun went down. Max watched, a big smile on his face. He felt at home there. The next day, we helped set up for the retreat with the staff. The founder of the Refuge, Mary Marrocco, asked Max to give a speech at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new refectory, a large, barn-like building that would replace a former tent. I was certain Max would decline, but he gladly accepted. He didn’t write anything down. “I’ll just wing it,” he told me with a shrug and a smile. I could tell he was pleased to be asked. Around 40 people arrived that day to witness the ceremony. Max’s speech was heartfelt and sincere. He talked about how he loved the Refuge and how much it meant to him. Grinning and warming up to his audience, he joked about the former refectory tent and how it leaked on the kids’ heads when it rained. He


Thumbs Up Max (second from left) with his friends on his last day at camp

went from being the guarded teen to a sincere, grateful young man who loved being part of something bigger than himself. Mary thanked him for braving an audience to share his experience. I was very proud of him. God’s Presence We had to leave early the next morning, and I took Mary aside to thank her for the hospitality. “This is such a beautiful place, so serene,” I said to her. “You can really feel God’s presence everywhere.” Mary smiled and nodded. “It is a special place,” she concurred. “The

world is changing, and we think it’s important that this generation understands that nature is our home. We are the stewards of God’s great creation.” I agreed. “I have never seen Max so happy as when he is here. Back in Toronto, he can be a bit distant.” We both watched Max helping to wash the dishes in an outdoor tub. He was laughing with his friends. “This is the way he always is, with us,” said Mary. “We love Max, and hope he keeps coming back.” I hope he does, too. faithandfriends.ca  I  APRIL 2021

• 25


Faith&Friends

COMMON GROUND

I, Karly Why did this volunteer collect 166 kilograms of food for her local Salvation Army? Photo: Jennifer Irmen

by Melissa Yue Wallace

I

n her short time volunteering with The Salvation Army Salmon Arm Ministries in British Columbia, Grade 12 student Karly Irmen has already helped to clothe and feed hundreds of people in need. This past December, the same month she began volunteering with the Army, she raised $175, collected 32 kilograms of food and some clothes at the local mall. The following month for her capstone graduation project, she held a food and clothing drive for the Army at her school. Through morning announcements, hallway TV ads and other promotions, this time,

26 • APRIL 2021  I faithandfriends.ca

the community responded in a big way. Karly collected 134 kilograms of food and 17 large garbage bags of clothing. “It was a lot of work, and I didn’t get much homework done,” she laughs. “But I’m still shocked.” Deceptive Appearances Karly began serving at Salmon Arm Ministries because she required volunteer hours for scholarship applications. She thought of the Army because her family had previously donated to the Army’s food bank every week. “I didn’t know a whole lot, but


Capstone Achievement Karly Irmen saw a need and did something about it

I knew enough of what happened there,” she says. Her perspective soon changed once she became immersed in the work. “It’s been an eye-opener at times because I’ve seen some of the people around town and would have never suspected they would come in. “They just look like regular people who had everything together.”

phone with someone about her kids, and I could see that was hard,” she says. “She didn’t have to say much for me to pick up on that, but she was really thankful at the end of the tour. “I hope that when people come, they can get what they need, feel safe to do so, and see some friendly, welcoming faces at the door.” “There for Them” David Byers, community services director for the past 19 years, says that Salmon Arm Ministries lost

“We couldn’t do any of this without volunteers such as Karly.”  DAVID BYERS Welcoming Faces Salmon Arm Ministries offers a food bank, shelter and church, providing for more than 2,000 people a month through their grocery and hamper program. Karly volunteers every second Wednesday for four-hour shifts. Her regular tasks include filling shelves and tables, and taking people through the food bank so they can select the items they need. She enjoys helping people in this way, as well as the opportunity to show kindness. “The one individual I remember most was obviously having a hard day and had to stop and talk on the

volunteers when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but now has a solid and reliable group that is like a “big, happy family.” “We couldn’t do any of this without volunteers such as Karly,” he says. “Some come every day, some come only for a couple of hours, but they just seem to all get along and it draws people in. “There’s a diversity of need among the people who turn to The Salvation Army for help—and some don’t even know what they’re looking for. All we know is that they keep coming back, and if they need to talk and have someone listen, we are there for them.”

faithandfriends.ca  I  APRIL 2021

• 27


Faith&Friends

LITE STUFF

Eating Healthy With Erin MEDITERRANEAN STUFFED PEPPERS

Recipe photo: Erin Stanley

TIME 1 hr 10 min  MAKES 6 servings  SERVE WITH Greek salad

250 ml (1 cup) white rice 250 ml (1 cup) passata or light tomato sauce 310 ml (1¼ cup) water 15 ml (1 tbsp) oil 15 ml (1 tbsp) dried dill 5 ml (1 tsp) oregano 5 ml (1 tsp) basil 5 ml (1 tsp) salt 2 ml (½ tsp) pepper 15 ml (1 tbsp) oil 125 ml (½ cup) onion, diced 250 g (½ lb) lean ground beef 5 ml (1 tsp) oregano 6 large bell peppers 60 ml (¼ cup) crumbled feta fresh parsley to taste

28 • APRIL 2021  I faithandfriends.ca

1. Place rice in medium pot with tomato sauce and 250 ml (1 cup) of water. Add oil, dill, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, cover and reduce to simmer until liquid is evaporated. 2. In large pan, add oil and onion and cook on mediumhigh until onion is browned. Add ground beef and cook until browned. Stir in oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Add rice mixture and stir together for a few minutes. 3. Remove tops and seeds from peppers. Lightly pan fry each side of peppers until blistered. 4. Spoon mixture into peppers. 5. Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F). Add 60 ml (¼ cup) of water to bottom of baking pan. Arrange peppers, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes or until peppers are soft. 6. Top with feta and parsley to taste.


Runaway Bunny

Army’s Safe Refuge

The Band Played On

PETER RABBIT 2 P.5 “DON’T WORRY” P.10 COVID-19 CONCERT P.26

Faith&Friends I N S P I R AT I O N F O R L I V I N G

faithandfriends.ca

MARCH 2021

Faith on the Menu

Subscribe to Faith&Friends

• inspiring true stories of hope and salvation • practical resources that will rejuvenate your spirit • uplifting articles that you can share with friends

THERE’S NO BEEF WITH HOW THE BURGER’S PRIEST RESTAURANT GIVES BACK. P.16

Visit faithandfriends.ca/subscribe or call (416) 422-6119 today!

Sudoku Puzzle

6

Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3 × 3 box contains the digits 1 through 9.

1. Which two Canadian pop stars released the duet, Monster, in 2020? 2. Who has the most home runs in Toronto Blue Jays history? 3. What is the capital of Michigan?

7

4

6

5

2

6

2

5

9 4

3

4

5

8

8

7

2

7 9

1 7

1

6

4

2

“Well, Harper ... I see here that you were quite the ‘essential worker’ on earth. You were cited as being a ‘good girl’ 777 times, and listened, comforted and, most importantly, loved all those who really needed a friend. Welcome home!”

faithandfriends.ca  I  APRIL 2021

• 29

© J.Sanko/C. Layton, 2021

OH MY WORD!

by John Sanko

Answers on next page.

9

5 1

QUICK QUIZ

4


Faith&Friends

LITE STUFF

Word Search 19th-Century Inventions E N I G N E M A E T S S T A M P P E E A S R A D A R L E H E U W A H L L P P C E Q L E Y R F T W B E O B O I E I O V K V O I G O E I N T S A C B D L U C L A W C P R C N O T R T O O W C L O S D R E A Y A G D E S T M M A R V I E O E B C C R M M L L E O O X E E B A F H L R A O A O E I R T T R P R N F R E T P I C C T P G Y I U W A K O C G B H E K A H N H H R V A B P C F H H Y Z A T U I I O T O E O C H E W I N G G U M S N R N B T N D R E T I R W E P Y T I E P E U A Z E E S C A L A T O R O L L E J L V I P E D O C E S R O M Z A E U L B E P R T I N C A N P R O P E L L E R L P O N I P Y T E F A S Z K D B I J E E T A S P I R I N T E L E G R A P H R G AIR BRAKES ASPIRIN AUTOMOBILE BARBED WIRE BATTERY BICYCLE BLUEPRINT BRAILLE CAMERA CHEWING GUM COCA-COLA COFFEE POT

ELEVATOR ESCALATOR GRAMOPHONE JELLO LIGHTBULB LOCOMOTIVE MORSE CODE PAPER CLIP PHOTOGRAPHY PROPELLER RADAR REVOLVER

30 • APRIL 2021  I faithandfriends.ca

SAFETY PIN SEWING MACHINE STAMP STEAM ENGINE STETHOSCOPE TELEGRAPH TELEPHONE TIN CAN TORPEDO TYPEWRITER WRENCH ZIPPER

Quick Quiz Answers: 1. Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber; 2. Carlos Delgado; 3. Lansing. 2

6

3

4

8

9

7

1

5

7

5

8

1

6

3

2

4

9 6

1

9

4

5

2

7

8

3

6

8

7

2

4

1

5

9

3

3

1

9

7

5

6

4

8

2 7

4

2

5

9

3

8

1

6

8

4

6

3

7

2

9

5

1

9

3

2

8

1

5

6

7

4

5

7

1

6

9

4

3

2

8


Faith&Friends

NIFTY THRIFTY

A Fine Feathered Feeder DIY project for your garden or balcony.

N

ow that winter’s in the rear-view mirror, celebrate spring with this bird feeder.

Supplies Needed  muffin tin, birdseed, flour, corn syrup, powdered gelatin, wooden skewers and ribbon. Step 1  Source a muffin tin for your mould. I found a non-stick heart-shaped tray that was perfect for the DIY. Keep the mould basic, since you want to make it easy to remove the bird feeders. Step 2  Next, make the birdseed mixture. There are a few different recipes out there, so you may need to experiment to find the right one. The one I used included the following ingredients: • 1 L (4 cups) birdseed • 175 ml (¾ cup) flour • 45 ml (3 tbsp) corn syrup • 60 ml (¼ cup) hot water mixed with a sachet of powdered gelatin

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Step 3  Add mixture to the muffin tin. Once you’ve filled the moulds, insert a skewer in each one to create the hole for your ribbon. Step 4  Once the bird feeders have set, remove the skewers and gently remove the bird feeders from the muffin tin. With a darning needle, thread ribbon through the hole. Tie the ends of the ribbon and you’re done! You can modify this project by using other second-hand items, such as cookie cutters, small tins or even an ice cube tray—all of which can be found at your local Salvation Army thrift store.

(left) Denise Corcoran (aka Thrifty By Design) is an author, upcycler, community builder and workshop facilitator based in North Vancouver. She shares her enthusiasm for crafting and upcycling by facilitating “Crafternoons” throughout Vancouver. She is also a creative expert for The Salvation Army’s thrift stores. Find a thrift store near you at thriftstore.ca.

faithandfriends.ca  I  APRIL 2021

• 31


PM 40064794

For address changes or subscription information contact (416) 422-6119 or circulation@salvationarmy.ca. Allow 4-6 weeks for changes.