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The Right Wrong Number?


A Wartime Farewell


NHL’s James Reimer


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


From Trauma to


Fully Known “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” —1 Corinthians 13:12

Life can often seem that way, that what we experience seems almost real, but is not. Just as seeing objects in a body of water reflects only their imperfect forms, looking at the object straight on brings a clarity no reflection can achieve. So it is with knowing God, through His words in the Bible, listening to a pastor’s sermons or simply being with fellow Christians. You see life straight on, as it should be! To discover how you can look at the world through fresh eyes, mail the coupon on page 25, email us at or visit your local Salvation Army church.

Photo: Used with permission. © Ray Majoran,

Beautiful panoramas reflected off a body of water almost seem like mirror images, though if you look closely, the mirror image is not as crisp as the real thing.

November 2017




5 Passion Play

Goalie James Reimer considers himself blessed. COMMON GROUND

8 “Safe With Jesus”

Two soldiers find a moment of peace. SOMEONE CARES

10 Life of Brian

A new Salvation Army program offers a way to deal with grief. FEATURES





Jumanji II: Welcome to the Jungle

Four teens discover more than they bargained for.

Scars of Strength

Escaping years of horrific abuse, Kamal Dhillon uses her experiences to help other victims of domestic violence.

Wrong Number

One call changed Sajanth Mohanakanthan’s life. DEPARTMENTS LITE STUFF

26 Eating Healthy With Erin

Word Search, Sudoku, Quick Quiz.

Cover photo: Kim Stallknecht


28 New Kid on the Block

In Wonder, an entire school is transformed. EVERYDAY ETHICS


31 Nature’s Call

4.5 billion people live without a household toilet.  I  NOVEMBER 2017




Profiles in Courage


hen staff writer Kristin Ostensen heard Kamal Dhillon tell her story, she was deeply moved by her journey. Kamal was once a resident at Kate Booth House, the Salvation Army facility in Vancouver that was instrumental in helping her find refuge from years of abuse. But unlike so many of Kristin’s articles, the problem was not so much what to include as what to exclude. “My interview with Kamal was utterly heartwrenching,” Kristin says. “She was completely open with me, unafraid to share even the most harrowing of her experiences. I couldn’t believe the abuse she had suffered—so much of which was too horrific to include in the article. Her survival on its own is astounding, but the fact that she now uses those experiences to help other women like her is positively inspiring.” Kamal’s story is on page 16. In this issue of Faith & Friends, we have not one but two movie reviews for you. Jumanji II: Welcome to the Jungle is a sequel to the 1995 classic that starred the late Robin Williams, updated to the present. Wonder, based on an award-winning young-adult novel, stars Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson as the parents of a 10-year-old who teaches those around him the true meaning of courage. Elsewhere in the magazine, we commemorate Remembrance Day by reprinting an article from the War Cry, the official publication of The Salvation Army (now called Salvationist) about faith under fire, dealing with a unique encounter between two adversaries in No Man’s Land. And you’ll see how one wrong number was just the right number for a remarkable young man. Ken Ramstead 4 • NOVEMBER 2017  I

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

André Cox, GENERAL Commissioner Susan McMillan TERRITORIAL COMMANDER






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) 422-6120 Websites,, Email Subscription for one year: Canada $17 (includes GST/HST); U.S. $22; foreign $24 P. (416) 422-6119 All articles are copyright The Salvation Army Canada & Bermuda and cannot be reproduced without permission. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40064794 ISSN 1702-0131



Passion Play Goalie James Reimer considers himself blessed to be in the National Hockey League.

Photos: Eliot J. Schechter/Florida Panthers

by Jayne Thurber-Smith

“In a position where the mental side of the game is more important than anything, Reimer commented early on in his rookie year that he feels his religious background is a big reason why he has been able to cope with the day-to-day stress of playing goal in the NHL.”–James Mirtle, The Globe and Mail (April 3, 2011)


ore than six years since those words were written, throughout the rollercoaster ride of being a professional athlete, James Reimer remains true to the Christian roots that have always kept him grounded. He keeps reminders from Colossians 3:23 on his hockey stick (“Whatever you  I  NOVEMBER 2017




(left) James Reimer greets young fans. “My faith continues to grow deeper as I grow older,” he says

do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord”) and Matthew 14:31 on his goalie helmet. “In the latter half of Matthew 14:31, Jesus asked Peter, ‘Why did you doubt?’ ” James comments. “Hockey is a big thing to me and I love it, but obviously it’s a lot of pressure. I need to remember that even though I have a huge task ahead of me, I can trust God.” Surreal Encounter Growing up, James attended a Christian school in his small hometown of Arborg, Man. “I dedicated my life to Jesus at the age of seven and was baptized when I turned 15,” he remembers. “My faith continues to grow deeper as I grow older.” It was at the age of 12 that James also decided to dedicate his life

6 • NOVEMBER 2017  I

to hockey. “As a kid, I enjoyed soccer, baseball and swimming, but I decided to stick with hockey,” he smiles. “We had a little rink in our yard where I could always work on my game, and even though we lived in a small farming community, we had an NHL-sized outdoor rink kept up by the locals. If I wanted to get a bunch of buddies together we could go there and play. I’ve always felt how great it is just to play alongside your teammates and have a common purpose.” James’ favourite hockey team to watch growing up was the Toronto Maple Leafs and his favourite player was their goalie, Ed Belfour. “It was pretty cool, that when I showed up for development camp that summer, after I was drafted by

“God has helped me stay level-headed despite all of the ups and downs.”  JAMES REIMER the Leafs in 2006, his gear was still in the room!” James says. “That was surreal, to be in the same locker room as he had been. I never got to meet him in person, but we did get introduced to each other over the phone once when he was talking to my equipment rep.” City to City James spent almost five years perfecting his moves in the minor leagues before his NHL debut in December 2010. By March 2011, he’d worked his way to Toronto’s starting goalie position. “How Christianity works so well in life and sports, especially in goaltending, is that my faith helps me deal with the extreme highs and lows we all go through,” he says. “It definitely helps put things in perspective. God has helped me stay level-headed despite all of the ups and downs. Through my career, I just try to glorify Him and have fun, and the rest will take care of itself.” In February 2016, he was traded to the San Jose Sharks and then signed a five-year contract with the Florida Panthers that summer.

Eternal Gratitude Going from a hockey-obsessed city such as Toronto to Miami, where football and basketball are the more popular sports, was a culture shock. “Being a hockey player in Miami is a different experience for sure!” he laughs. “There are pros and cons to each situation. In Toronto, people recognize you on the street and you’re always conscious of that. It’s great to interact with fans but in Florida, it’s mostly just when you are at the rink. Away from the rink, it’s nice to be just a normal person and live your life. My wife and I and our baby daughter, Nevaeh, spend the off-season in Kelowna, B.C., where a lot of present and past NHL guys are, so it’s just part of the town’s makeup.” But no matter what city he’s living in, James continues to feel amazed that he gets to play hockey for a living. James told The Globe and Mail back in 2011, “I’m blessed to be here. Blessed to be playing in the NHL . It’s not because of me, that’s for sure.” It’s good to know that some things never change.  I  NOVEMBER 2017




“Safe With Jesus” During the carnage of the First World War, two soldiers on opposing sides of the conflict found a moment of peace.

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those displays, reminding Canadian readers of the early War Cry, the official publication of The Salvation Army (now called Salvationist), of their Christian commitment. The following is just one of their stories:

Reprinted from The War Cry (Canada), December 25, 1915

While Remembrance Day ceremonies allow us to recall the horror and inhumanity of war, hoping we will never again have to endure such a waste of human life, they also serve to remind us of the displays of human compassion that so often interposed themselves between the long periods of enmity. Members of The Salvation Army serving on the front lines during the Great War, as the conflict was then called, often spoke of


he battle of ---------- was in progress, and our trenches were being raked by the enemy’s fire. We were expecting to be told that the German guns would have to be silenced, and presently along the line came the order to “Charge!” We assembled into the open and rushed forward, met by a perfect hail of bullets. Many of our men bit the dust, but we who remained came to grips with the enemy. I cannot write of what happened then. The killing of men is a ghastly business! On the way back to the trenches, I saw a poor German soldier trying to get to his water bottle. He was in a fearful condition. I knelt down by his side. Finding his own water bottle was empty, I gave him water from mine. Somewhat revived, he opened his eyes and saw my Salvation Army Leaguer’s button. His drawn face lit up with a

(left) This remarkable illustration, of a Canadian soldier attending to a mortally wounded German soldier, graced the March 13, 1915 edition of the Canadian War Cry, the official newspaper of The Salvation Army

smile, and he whispered in broken English: “Salvation Army? I also am a Salvation soldier.” Then he felt for his Army badge. It was still pinned to his coat, though bespattered with blood.

“I cannot write of what happened then. The killing of men is a ghastly business!”

I think we both shed a few tears, and then I picked up his poor broken body, and with as much tenderness as possible, for the terrible hail of death was beginning again, I carried him to the ambulance. But he was beyond human aid. When I placed him on the wagon, he gave a gentle tug on my coat. Thinking he wanted to say something, I bent low and listened, and he whispered: ‘Jesus, safe with Jesus!’ ”  I  NOVEMBER 2017




Life of Brian At The Salvation Army’s Belkin House in Vancouver, a new program offers a way to deal with grief. by Susan Tanaka

(right) Manuel Ulliac, The Salvation Army’s grief recovery specialist and life-skills instructor at Belkin House (left), and Brian Burstein


or Brian Burstein, life was good. He was married with a son, owned a house and had a great job. The future seemed full of promise. But all of this came crashing down when he seriously injured his back one day at work. Overnight, everything changed.

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Sanctuary at Belkin Back surgery led to dependence on pain medication, the breakup of Brian’s marriage, the loss of his house and estrangement from family. Brian felt the only way out of his overwhelming pain was to end his life. One day, he made his way to

“After three months, I was able to kick my drug dependency.”  BRIAN BURSTEIN a bridge over Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet. The next thing he knew, he was being pulled out of the murky water and rushed to hospital. There, he was encouraged to go into a recovery program. “After three months, I was able to kick my drug dependency,” says Brian. However, he needed further help to cope with the trauma he was experiencing. “The counselling was of a general recovery-based nature and there wasn’t a focus on addressing loss or grief, which I felt I needed.” In January 2014, Brian went to The Salvation Army’s Belkin House in Vancouver for respite and second-stage program-focused housing. “I participated in all the programs offered,” he says, “but I continued to struggle with depression. I felt, though, that the faith-based programs were essential to my restoration, and I slowly became aware that I needed to deal with past experiences, with all I had lost. I needed Grief Recovery.” Feeling Lost With Losses Belkin House’s Grief Recovery

Method Program is an eight-week course designed to help grievers recover from past hurts. “What makes the program unique is that the healing comes through grievers themselves in a supportive role,” says grief recovery specialist and life-skills instructor Manuel Ulliac. “Because no one can ever truly understand what you are going through, this method allows you to speak the truth of your loss in your own words, and to do it completely—without analysis, criticism or judgment.” “I was given the opportunity to listen to others who were dealing with grief,” says Brian. “I felt comforted in hearing that others had gone through the same types of difficulties I had experienced.” Brian felt empowered being able to talk about his loss and grief, and he realized he’d coped with them inappropriately. “It led to destructive ways, depression and substance abuse,” he says. With the Grief Recovery Method Program, Brian realized that there was a healthier and more effective way to deal with his struggles, now and in the future.  I  NOVEMBER 2017

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(right) “What makes the Grief Recovery Method Program unique is that the healing comes through grievers themselves in a supportive role,” says Manuel

“It’s not just randomly muddling through,” he explains. “I know that there is a specific pattern I can follow to help me. It makes me feel less ‘lost with my losses.’ I now feel a greater sense of purpose and resolve.” Out of the Past “After having facilitated the program for some years now, I see a variety of participants,” says Manuel. “Their reasons vary. Sometimes it’s a way to join others for coffee and snacks. Sometimes it’s because they want to resolve some deep personal losses they’ve experienced. “All of these attitudes are perfectly welcome,” continues Manuel. “There’s no judgment about whether the reasons are superficial or not. We all experience loss to the greatest measure we can feel: there’s no

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comparison. There is no way of comparing, no loss we can call worthy or unworthy of grief. “We all experience grief from time to time. But to resolve that grief is often just a need to find the things that were left unsaid, and say them. When participants tell me that they were able to say things they were never able to say before, I know it’s working!” “There’s a myth that a grief recovery program doesn’t apply to everyone,” Brian points out. “But the things that you struggle with now are likely related to the things you haven’t resolved in your past.” Brian believes that this leads many down the road of self-destruction. “Patterns such as addiction have so much to do with losses we’ve had, even those losses we haven’t yet identified. Grief recovery in some form or another is essential for everyone.”

Journey to Healing Brian has come a long way since that day at Burrard Inlet. Gainfully employed at The Salvation Army’s Grace Mansion, he’s enrolled in college and is doing an addictions counselling certification program. It is his hope to help those struggling with depression and addiction issues much in the way that he was lent a hand. Brian’s also forged relationships with those around him. “I was able to reconnect with my mother and

son, and I have become less selffocused and more centred.” He has some final advice for those going through what he went through. “No program is perfect, and you can’t expect a cure-all,” says Brian. “The journey to healing will not look perfect but it’s important that you try what’s out there and take positive action. I’ve seen firsthand the impact that can happen when we simply ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask.”

(left) “Grief recovery in some form or another is essential for everyone,” says Brian, here with Sally Ann, The Salvation Army’s mascot

(left) Susan Tanaka is a program and volunteer co-ordinator at Belkin House.  I  NOVEMBER 2017

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Jumanji II: Welcome to the Jungle


Franklin “Moose” Finbar (Kevin Hart), Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan) and Professor Shelly Oberon (Jack Black) prepare to take on the world in Jumanji II: Welcome to the Jungle


hen four high school students earn a stay in detention and are tasked to clean out the school basement, they discover an antiquated video game console. One of the games, Jumanji, captivates them after they read its description: “A game for those

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who see to find a way to leave their world behind.” After picking the characters they want to play, Jumanji mysteriously sucks the kids into the game’s jungle setting, where they morph into the avatars they chose. The four soon discover that Jumanji is not a game you play, but

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

by Jeanette Levellie

Jumanji is not a game you play, but a series of adventures you must survive— or be stuck in its alternate reality forever. a series of adventures you must survive—or be stuck in its alternate reality forever. While trying to beat the game and get back home, they face some painful yet valuable truths. Will those truths be enough to set them free? A New Generation Sony Pictures will release Jumanji II: Welcome to the Jungle into theatres in December. The 3D fantasy adventure movie filmed on location in Hawaii is a sequel to the 1995 movie starring the late Robin Williams, who played Alan Parrish, a man trapped inside a board game for 26 years. When two kids play the game, they release its beasts into the present world. Jumanji II will include a tribute to Williams, who died in 2014. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (The Fate of the Furious) plays explorer Dr. Smolder Bravestone, one of the four game characters the teens choose. Kevin Hart (Ride Along) is Moose Finbar, Jack Black (Kung Fu Panda) portrays Professor Shelly Oberon, and Karen Gillan of Doctor Who fame stars as Ruby Roundhouse. In an Instagram message, Johnson said, “This new movie will not be a remake or reboot of the original. It will be a continuation of the awe-

some Jumanji adventure 20 years later. As a producer on this movie and someone who loves the original, you have my word we’ll honour the legend of ‘Alan Parrish’ and properly introduce a whole new generation to the fun and crazy Jumanji universe that so many of us loved and grew up on.” Words and Freedom Similar to Jumanji players, we all can relate to the feeling of being trapped with no way of escape. Whether our jungle takes the form of unhealthy habits, abusive relationships or past sins, every method of escape we concoct proves futile. Jesus is the only one who can permanently free us. Jesus told those who believed in Him, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:3132). The more we read and follow Jesus’ words in the New Testament, the freer we become. Little by little, habits, abuses and sins lose their grip on us. Our world changes from a fear-filled jungle to a life full of freedom and light. Welcome to the truth: Jesus’ words. They are enough to set the whole world free.  I  NOVEMBER 2017

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Scars of Strength


Photo: Kim Stallknecht

by Kristin Ostensen

16 • NOVEMBER 2017  I

“Kamal is passionate about freeing other women from violence and educating the public to empower everyone to stop the violence,” says Major Cathy Burrows (left), former executive director of Kate Booth House  I  NOVEMBER 2017

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“RIGHT AFTER I WAS married, my mother-in-law sat me down and gave me a set of rules to live by,” shares Kamal Dhillon. “They were, basically, whatever happens in this home, stays in this home, and from this day forth, your husband will be your god. “And in my mind, I’m thinking, What could possibly happen in this house that I couldn’t tell anybody about?” The answer was more horrific than Kamal ever could have imagined. Living Nightmare Born in India, Kamal immigrated to Canada with her family at the age of 16, settling in Richmond, B.C. Shortly after finishing high school, she entered into an arranged marriage with a man she hoped would love and care for her. That dream was shattered on her wedding night, when her new husband raped her, leaving her with injuries so serious she needed medical treatment. “That was my brutal eye-opener to a life of violence and cruelty—a life 18 • NOVEMBER 2017  I

of sometimes begging to live, and other times begging to die,” Kamal says. Her husband was an alcoholic; the first time he beat her it was because she tried to stop him from going out drinking with his friends. From there, his behaviour escalated to the point where he was physically abusing her almost every day, in addition to the relentless emotional abuse. Though Kamal lived in constant fear, escape seemed impossible. “One time, I ran outside to get help, and after that, he put furniture in front of the doors,” she remembers. “Windows were locked, curtains were closed and the phone was taken away, so there was no way that I could get help.” After they had children, Kamal’s husband forced them to watch and even participate in the abuse. “He made them hit me, pull my hair, punch me, and if they didn’t do it the way he wanted, then he would demonstrate and make them hit me harder.” When Kamal eventually told her parents what was happening and asked for help, they did nothing.

Photo: Kim Stallknecht

The physical scars from the abuse she suffered will always be with her—Kamal Dhillon has had 11 surgeries to try to repair the damage to her face. But now, those scars are a source of strength

“Instead, they told me, ‘Well, don’t say or do things that anger him. Just keep the peace,’ ” Kamal recalls. “The reason they brushed it off was to keep their honour,” she explains. “If I had left him, or if people knew what was going on, the blame would fall on me. People would ask, ‘What is she doing wrong? Is she a loose woman?’ And that was a terribly shameful thing for my parents to bear. So I had to

put up with it.” Kamal’s husband threatened anyone who tried to help her, leaving her totally isolated. Saved Enduring 12 years of abuse, Kamal could take no more after the night her husband tried to kill her. He had taken Kamal and their four children to India on a supposed holiday; in reality, he was fleeing Canada  I  NOVEMBER 2017

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“The Salvation Army was the beacon of light that I was searching for in that dark place.”  KAMAL DHILLON because he had assaulted Kamal in public, and was arrested and charged by police. Under cover of darkness, he brought Kamal to the ocean and tried to throw her off a pier. But she fought back, holding on to the railing with every ounce of strength she had. “I was screaming for help,” Kamal remembers, “and then I heard a man’s voice saying, ‘I’m coming.’ I never saw the man, only a bright light.” Kamal’s husband let her go, and she returned to Canada without him. While waiting at the airport, Kamal had a chance encounter that would change her life. “I met a woman who told me she had a message for me,” Kamal recalls. “She said, ‘I want to tell you that God loves you very much.’ I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ ” She told Kamal that Jesus had died for her. “Even if you were the only person on earth, He still would have died for you,” the woman said. “She listened to me,” Kamal says. “She held my hand. And at one point, she even wiped away my tears and said, ‘God is holding all these tears in His hands, and one day, you will know why you went through 20 • NOVEMBER 2017  I

what you went through.’ I prayed with her, and accepted Jesus that night.” Beacon of Light Kamal’s husband followed her back to Canada and their living situation resumed. But Kamal was determined to leave. “I started praying and leaning on God because I had no one else,” she says. “I kept telling this unknown God—this Jesus that I was introduced to—that I needed an escape.” After a few unsuccessful attempts, she finally found refuge at The Salvation Army’s Kate Booth House, a shelter for women in Vancouver. “The Salvation Army was the beacon of light that I was searching for in that dark place,” Kamal remembers. “I felt safe, seeing how much they cared about me and knowing they were watching my back.”

(right) For her tireless efforts to end domestic abuse and support victims, Kamal has received many awards, including a British Columbia Medal of Good Citizenship in 2016

Passionate Advocate Today, Kamal is a respected author and speaker, presenting at conferences on domestic violence, to organizations such as The World Bank and to government, advocating for changes in laws and better services for victims. She also uses her experiences to train police and front-line workers in how to respond to and assist victims of domestic abuse. Her autobiography, Black and Blue Sari, was published in 2012, and she is working on a follow-up book. Though speaking out can be painful—emotionally and physically, due to her jaw injuries—Kamal presses on, finding joy as she sees lives transformed. “I’m planting seeds of hope and restoration.”

Photo: Province of British Columbia

Through an invitation from a Kate Booth employee, Kamal found a church home where she could grow in her new faith. “It was not a worker-client relationship. We were a family,” she says. “At Kate Booth, I was listened to; my pain, my trauma, was taken seriously. Every day I was getting stronger, and I began to dream again.” Wanting to help women like herself, Kamal decided to go back to school to study social work. After finishing her diploma, she got her first job, at Kate Booth, where she worked for the next eight years. “It was an awesome experience,” she says. “Now I’m on the other side. I can understand what the women are saying because I’ve been there.”  I  NOVEMBER 2017

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Photos: Timothy Cheng

One telephone call was all it took to propel Sajanth Mohanakanthan onto a new course



re you the astrologer?” my mother asked the voice at the other end of the line. “No, I’m afraid you have the wrong number,” the woman answered in my mother’s native Tamil. “Why do you want an astrologer?” the woman unexpectedly asked. Taken aback, my mother answered, “Uh, I want to know what my family’s future is going to be like.” “I know someone who can do

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that,” the woman replied, “and who has our future in His hands.” The lady then proceeded to tell my mother about God. And that was the moment that my life changed forever. Help for a Mother I was born in Sri Lanka, and my family immigrated to Canada when I was six years old. We were practising Hindus. We went to temple every Tuesday

and Friday, regularly gave offerings and prayed to the hundreds of gods whose statues and photos dotted our apartment, turning to whatever one we thought could help us. We had a god for education, a god for family, a god for wealth, a god for every situation you could think of. We believed in God but we thought of Jesus as just one of the many hundreds of other gods that we worshiped. Growing up in Canada was difficult for my brother, sister and me. Our father drank and was abusive, and my parents separated when I was 16. My mother did

when she called, it was a wrong number. Impossible Odds Back in the days of land lines, when you moved, your telephone number did not move with you, and was eventually given to someone else. This number had not only been reassigned to a Christian, but this woman was once a Hindu herself who also happened to be Tamilspeaking just like my mom. When you consider the thousands of possibilities in a seven-digit phone number, the odds of the number

We thought of Jesus as just one of the many hundreds of other gods that we worshiped. a wonderful job raising us, but we grew up on a rougher side of Toronto, and my brother and I were dealing with school, peer pressure, drugs, gangs and violence. Without a father or any type of father figure, I had no reference points to steer by. It was a very dark time in my life. At her wits’ end, my mother decided to consult a Hindu astrologer. She’d been turning to the gods we knew but had gotten no answers to her prayers. My mother had the contact information of an astrologer she’d consulted a number of years before and decided to try him again. But

my mother dialed going to a Biblebelieving Tamil speaker is almost impossible to compute. Normally, the person on the other line says, “Sorry, wrong number,” and hangs up. Instead, the woman asked whom my mother was looking for. And then the lady proceeded to share how God had touched her life. That was the starting point of God’s work in our family. Fateful Weekend The woman invited my mother and us children to her church. Mom agreed, thinking that attending  I  NOVEMBER 2017

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church was like going to a Hindu temple. Little did we know! It was Sunday, July 7, 2002, a weekend I will never forget. The guest speaker was from India. As I listened to the words the man was speaking, they touched me to the core of who I was. I don’t know what came over me, but I wept through the entire service, and I was not a teen to display my emotions openly. I couldn’t explain to myself what had happened that evening, why I had acted the way I did, but I was determined to find out, so I attended the service the next night. But as with the evening before, from the beginning of the service to its end, I couldn’t stop sobbing. Seeing my distress, the speaker plucked me out of the congregation

and called me up. In front of the assembled congregation, he prayed over me and announced that despite my past life, God was going to use me for good. All of a sudden, the blinders fell away from my eyes. I knew who God was, I knew that I had a relationship with Him, and I knew that if I talked to God, God would talk back. I could feel God’s presence in the church, I could sense God in my heart. And I knew that this is who I wanted to give my life to. That night, I became a Christian, and the rest of my family soon followed me on that same path. A Life Lived Well After graduating from university as a college admissions counsellor, I became a full-time evangelist in 2015, and I am now pastor at a church in Toronto. Today, Christ is at the centre of my life. I have a beautiful wife who I met through my campus ministry, and we have three wonderful children. I love to share the gospel, I love to see those who have been away from God come into a relationship with Him, to know God on a personal level and live their life not just for today but for eternity. I look back at my life and I am grateful, not least because a woman was there to pick up the phone and not hang up on a wrong number. (left) “God leads us in faith in everything we do,” says Sajanth

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Eating Healthy With Erin FALL CRANBERRY SWEET POTATO SALAD TIME 40 min  MAKES 4 servings  SERVE WITH crushed feta

Sudoku Puzzle

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


2. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into small cubes. Toss in honey and 30 ml olive oil. Add cinnamon, ground ginger and sea salt. Bake for 35 minutes. 3. In large bowl, mix rice and kale, then add sweet potatoes. Toss in seed mixture. 4. Mix rest of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey and lemon juice, and toss generously.

6 2


9 1


8 4

QUICK QUIZ 1. What instrument does Animal from The Muppets play? 2. Who will star as Mary Poppins in the remake of the movie? 3. What vegetable was eaten by athletes in the first Olympic Games to boost strength?

1. Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F) and line a baking sheet.

1 9 7


Answers on next page.

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6 9


7 8



5 9


4 8

8 5


1 2

3 9

Recipe photo: Erin Stanley/

2 large sweet potatoes 10 ml (2 tsp) honey 90 ml (6 tbsp) olive oil 2 ml (½ tsp) cinnamon 1 ml (¼ tsp) ground ginger 1 ml (¼ tsp) sea salt 750 ml (3 cups) cooked and chilled rice 500 ml (2 cups) shredded kale 60 ml (¼ cup) dried cranberries 60 ml (¼ cup) pumpkin seeds 60 ml (¼ cup) crushed walnuts 30 ml (1/8 cup) apple cider vinegar 5 ml (1 tsp) honey 5 ml (1 tsp) fresh lemon juice

Word Search Confusing Words, Part II D Q C H D G Z K M N L N K T E P M E V S F N U N T E B A S E D T Q K T L W U O J E R D K N T R H A V Q N W D F O R T U I T O U S B T W C M O D P C I T C A M I L C U S H I J H V T A N T U B N T N U E O U A Q A B A A W R I N N I T G M R I O N B V L I S S E R A R N M E P I N R T N U Z I M K C T T V M A N T L E U I M J H O Z V H U E B E D U Y B G T D U B H I U M N N P B L V O S C N R O I D S O Q A R V W Q D L U P N I O T D H X X K U Q E Q P R O S T R A T E E C Y L D C X M H F U W L A T I R A M L E J X S W E A T H E R T H V R F M N W N N S A Z R E E H S Z Q F V A Y I N M A X H O U C B H B G T M A N T E L X R C T F H T Q E W S L J S A V V L C X H

9 5 1 4 8 6 7



















5 8 4 1 9 3 2 7 6

7 9 3 2 4 6 5 1 8

2 1 6 7 8 5 3 4 9

1 4 5 3 6 8 7 9 2

Quick Quiz Answers:  1. the drums; 2. Emily Blunt; 3. onions.

6 3 2 9 5 7 1 8 4

9 7 8 4 2 1 6 3 5






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New Kid on the Block In Wonder, a boy with an extraordinary face tries to prove to his classmates that he’s no different from them, and an entire school is transformed.

Photos: Courtesy of Lionsgate

by Jeanette Levellie

(left) Good Luck: Isabel (Julia Roberts) sends Auggie (Jacob Tremblay) off to his first day at a new school


fter 27 surgeries to correct the facial deformity he was born with, 10-year-old August (Auggie) Pullman attends a mainstream school for the first time. And the response he gets is not pretty. A New Reality Lionsgate’s screen adaptation of R.J. Palacio’s award-winning young adult novel Wonder is in theatres

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this month. Auggie (Jacob Tremblay, Room) narrates his own story of trying to fit into a world where kids and adults avert their gaze at the first sight of his face. “I won’t describe what I look like,” he says. “Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.” In many ways Auggie is an ordinary fifth grader—he plays with his Xbox, has a snarky sense of humour

Trying to convince the kids at Beecher Prep to look beyond Auggie’s face and see that he’s a regular kid presents a greater challenge than all his surgeries combined. and is obsessed with Star Wars. “Mom and Dad don’t see me as ordinary. They see me as extraordinary. I think the only person in the world who realizes how ordinary I am is me.” But trying to convince the kids at Beecher Prep to look beyond his face and see that he’s a regular kid presents a greater challenge than all his surgeries combined. Auggie’s mom, Isabel (Julia Roberts), thinks switching Auggie from home school to Beecher Prep will be good for him. “We can’t keep protecting him and pretend he’s going to wake up tomorrow and this isn’t going to be his reality, because it is, and we have to help him deal with it,” she tells Auggie’s dad, Nate (Owen Wilson). Nate is furious. “That’s like leading a lamb to the slaughter,” he argues. “Maybe I’ll go next year,” Auggie says. “This year will be better,” Isabel replies, “because fifth grade is the first year of middle school for everyone. You won’t be the only new kid.” “I’ll be the only kid who looks like me.”

Behind the Mask In the cafeteria the first day of school, Auggie begins to eat his sandwich, spewing food onto the table due to a hole in the roof of his mouth. “I could tell I was being stared at without even looking up. I knew that people were nudging each other, watching me out of the corners of their eyes. I thought I was used to those kinds of stares by now, but I guess I wasn’t.” One of the few mature kids who befriends Auggie is Summer (Millie Davis, The Best Man Holiday). Millie defies her classmates’ rude comments to sit with Auggie at a table shared by no one else. She later admits that she felt sorry for Auggie at first, but she kept sitting with him after she realized what a fun person he was. Another friend, Jack (Noah Jupe, The Night Manager), asks Auggie if he’s always going to look like this. “Can’t you get plastic surgery or something?” Auggie smiles, points to his face and says, “Hello? This is after plastic surgery!” “Dude, you should sue your doc-  I  NOVEMBER 2017

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tor!” Jack answers. Both boys laugh so loud they disturb their homeroom. When Auggie sees a girl in his class writing a note on some Uglydoll stationery, he tells her, “Did you know the guy who created the Uglydolls based them on me?” But in spite of his self-deprecating sense of humour, Auggie wishes every day could be Halloween. “We could all wear masks all the time. Then we could walk around and get to know each other before we got to see what we looked like under the masks.” The Wonder of His Love After wearing a different Halloween costume than the one he’d told his classmates about, Auggie overhears Jack say that he’d kill himself if he looked like Auggie. He goes home heartbroken and declares he’s not going back to school. Older sister Via (Izabela Vidovic, About a Boy) confronts him with some tough love. “Do you want everyone to treat you like a kid who should be going to a school for special needs? Is that what you want?” In a stunning surprise ending, Auggie discovers who (right) United Front: Auggie and Isabel walk to school accompanied by his father, Nate (Owen Wilson), and sister, Via (Izabela Vidovic)

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his true friends are, and the kids at Beecher Prep discover the meaning of courage. Wonder is a powerful story of choosing kindness over judgment and looking past outward appearances, much like God acts toward us. Before we knew Him, our hearts were disfigured from the sins of our past. Instead of ignoring our pain or judging us, God showed us mercy through His Son, Jesus. He gave us a new life full of fresh hope for the future. Then He called us “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). This fall, may you, too, discover the “wonder” of God’s kindness and love.



Nature’s Call Powder your nose. Pay a visit to the little girl’s or boy’s room. Use the facilities. However you say it, it’s time to talk toilets.

Photo: © hlehnerer/

According to UN Water, more than half of the global population—4.5 billion people—live without a household toilet that safely disposes of their waste. Every year, close to a million people die from diseases caused by unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene practices. And for women and girls, finding a private place outside can be dangerous, leaving them vulnerable to assault. November 19 is World Toilet Day. Help others stay healthy by supporting water and sanitation projects through The Salvation Army’s Gifts of Hope program (visit Because when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go.  I  NOVEMBER 2017

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Faith & Friends November 2017  
Faith & Friends November 2017  

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. http://...