During the weeks leading up to and following Easter, we hosted Easter Projects, where we reached out to our neighbours in practical ways and showed them Christ’s love. Thank you to all those who participated! Read their stories below:
PANCAKES IN THE PARK: Hosted by James and Tara Klukas and joined by many other St. John’s members, their group had a wonderful time running “Pancakes in the Park.” They served pancakes, coffee, and fruit to over 60 people. The highlight was an Easter Egg hunt for the kids, and many of them had meaningful conversations with the neighbours who attended. They were able to share about the significance of Easter and be a light in the community.
WOMEN@10 SMALL GROUP | APPRECIATION LUNCH: For the second year in a row, a Women@10 Small Group hosted an appreciation lunch for the staff of the daycare that meets at OAC at the same time as Women@10. They served tasty soups, sandwiches, and desserts. Although the members of the staff couldn’t stay long, they were able to chat briefly and enjoy the meal. Beth Allen said, “These women are lovely — a small team of five who work five days a week, caring for a lively group of preschoolers. I think they really enjoyed our overture to them, recognizing their important work, sadly a job that often runs under the radar in our current culture!”
LIGHTHOUSE HARBOUR MINISTRIES GIFT BAGS: The Tuesday Night Men’s Ministry Bible Study put together gift bags to be given to sailors through the Lighthouse Harbour Ministries. The sailors, many from the Philippines and India, were delighted to receive them. The senior chaplain for the ministry was able to have great conversations with these seafarers about Jesus and encourage them to read the Word of God.
WOMEN@10 SMALL GROUP | POTTED PLANTS: One small group from Women@10 decided to support one of their members who was experiencing challenges in her condominium. They wrapped some potted plants with beautiful labels and delivered them to 10 of the apartments with Easter wishes from them all. The group's desire was to extend God’s love and grace to this little community so marked by disconnection, and many of the neighbours expressed their gratitude and appreciation.
THE GIFT OF A SANDWICH: This group made 150 sandwiches, which they handed out throughout the streets of the Downtown Eastside. For some, it was a difficult experience to see people facing such hardships, but overall, they had some great conversations and prayed for some of the individuals that they met.
EASTER BLOCK PARTY IN THE MT PLEASANT NEIGHBOURHOOD: The block party began at 10:00 am on Saturday with children running towards the park as their families arrived. Members of the group hid the eggs, while children decorated paper bags and their parents enjoyed refreshments. The hunt went so well that they had to go to the store to buy more eggs so they could host a second hunt at 11:00 am! "It was lovely to see children running around. We had some great conversations with the parents who are looking forward to other activities in the park during the summer, " said Antje Carrel. They invited a couple of people to their Missional Community, and they look forward to connecting with them soon.
FINALS WEEK DE-STRESSOR: Members of Ekklesia (pictured to the left) decorated signs and made over 300 treats and goodies to be handed out to UBC and Regent students during finals week. Their project was a smashing success! They braved the rain and gave away every cookie.
Zach Kahler, Ekklesia coordinator, said, “It was a joy to see how much students appreciated the fact that it was absolutely free. We told students to take a free cookie, and they were looking for the ‘catch, ‘ but when they found out there were ‘no strings attached’ they were amazed: one student remarked ‘there is no such thing as a free lunch in this world... but apparently, you can still get a free cookie!’”
They had many different kinds of people come by, including UBC football players and onsite construction workers who came back twice! Zach also said, “We told people about our mid-week gathering and are hopeful that we may have some visitors from the event, but we were also happy to just be seen blessing students with no strings attached as an overflow of all that we have freely received from Jesus!”