The bees are humming and buzzing outside in Friendship House’s community garden, but their pursuits seem positively plodding when compared to the hum and buzz of activity inside. There are exercise classes, cooking classes, health clinics, a free lunch at the Dewdrop Inn, a food bank and (soon) a school all happening inside its walls.
Friendship House has a special connection to CBOQ. It is in one of our buildings, it is led by Carol Owen, one of our CBOQ pastors and it is funded in part by a CBOQ grant. But most importantly, Friendship House represents the heart of the Canadian Baptist family – extending welcome and friendship to those in need.
Many of the guests at Friendship House have faced some of the worst life can throw at them. Stories of poverty and abuse abound, but so too do stories of new hope and healing. Friendship House’s staff and volunteers are working to provide relief when food runs out and hope is hard to come by.
Sarah has also met with significant adversity. A young mom, now diagnosed with an aggressive case of MS, she struggled to find joy in her life. But through her interactions with Carol and with Friendship House, she has found a place of welcome and belonging. Sarah remembered joking about people finding Jesus – as though they had somehow misplaced him. Yet, it was at Friendship House that she found that Jesus had been right beside her all along. Sarah still has a difficult road ahead of her, with good and bad days for her health. But, as she says, “I come in when I’m down and people here lift me up.”
Carol has big dreams for the future of Friendship House. She believes that God has prepared her for just such a time and place, and her enthusiasm and dedication are infectious.
If you would like to learn more about CBOQ’s partner, Friendship House, go to http://friendshiphousebrant.com!