Blythwood Road Baptist Church is a community of people who care about their neighbourhood. Where some see only poverty, violence and insurmountable challenges, the Blythwood community sees a promising future, a ripe mission field and the opportunity to extend the love of Jesus. With the help of visiting teams from below the border, Pastor David Thomas has had a busy summer!
July 14-25 marked the third year of Blythwood Road Baptist Church’s Summer Camp ministry in Lawrence Heights – an under serviced neighbourhood not far from the church at Lawrence Ave and Allen Road. It was so good to welcome back our friends from Southeast Baptist in Murfreesboro, TN. This was their third consecutive year to come to Toronto for a week to run the day camp at Flemington Public School.
It was with joy that we welcomed new ministry partners – First Baptist of Hopewell from Hopewell, VA. This meant that for the first time we were able to offer two weeks of free camp (VBS and Sports Camp) and meals for the children of Lawrence Heights and surrounding area. For many from Hopewell, this was their first mission trip and/or their first time outside of the US. Both teams came here with humble hearts, ready to learn and eager to see how God would work in and through them.
The week before camp was to begin came the tragic news of the murder of Abshir Hassan, a 31 year old school teacher. This happened outside a housing complex not far from the school, and brought back grim memories of July 2012, when Daniel Davis was shot and killed overnight on school grounds.
As someone told me at the time, however, “People need to know that good things happen in Lawrence Heights.” These two weeks in July proved that darkness has not overcome the light. Faith, hope and love were apparent as our volunteers lived God’s love in both what they did and what they said (and sang!). As one of the children said, “I don’t want this to end!”
Once again Blythwood was blessed to have local ministry partners come alongside – from area churches and community organizations to individuals and businesses. The logistics involved in setting up the camp and feeding almost 100 people per day are vast, and we give thanks for everyone involved.
We look forward to what will happen by God’s grace in 2015!
Blythwood Road Baptist Church