Toronto gets a bad rap sometimes. The self-appointed centre of the universe, those of us who aren’t from T.O. can sometimes roll our eyes a little at all the fuss and focus it seems to get. But Toronto does have one undeniable characteristic that few other places can boast.
The whole world really does come to Toronto.
With nearly every culture represented within its perimeter, Toronto is one of the world’s most diverse and concentrated mission fields, brimming with opportunities to share the good news and love of Jesus with people from some of the most distant and closed places on the earth. One organization that is reaching out is Toronto Baptist Intercultural Services (TBIS) headed up by Jeff McCarrell.
This summer, Jeff has been working with a network of nearly 40 volunteers and 17 interns from the Canada Summer Jobs program to provide much needed services for newcomer families. They offer tutoring for children and English practice for many who are new to the language. They connect immigrant families with communities of people ready to extend compassion and care. They help churches to welcome refugees who are seeking asylum from many challenges and dangers at home.
With so much work to do, it is good to know that there are many people willing to help. In addition to local volunteers, this summer a large group of young people from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick came to represent the Convention of Atlantic Baptists Canada, our sister organization. Camping out at Martingrove Baptist, the teams spent their time working mainly with Somali families, helping with English and preparing them for the impending school year. Coming from a small town environment, both the newcomers to Canada and the newcomers to the big city worked through elements of culture shock and learned and grew together.
After the summer, the work continues, and there are many opportunities to get involved if you live in the Toronto area. Connect with TBIS and Jeff McCarrell.
If you would like more information on how to apply for funding for an intern for your ministry, contact Walter McIntyre, Missional Initiatives Associate.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in…’”
Matt. 25: 34, 35 [emphasis added]