by Angie Dempster, Youth Ministries Administrative Assistant
I’m not a runner; I never have been, and don’t think I’ll ever claim to be one. But each spring I get out my running shoes and lace them up to train for one race: the Oasis Spring Run.
The Oasis Dufferin Community Centre is why I run. For me, it all started in 2010, after getting to know Erika Abele better through our small group ministry at church. Erika is the Director of Women’s Programs for Oasis, and she encouraged our small group to take on the challenge of running this race for Oasis. As I learned about the fantastic work of Oasis, reaching out to the Hispanic community in the Bloor and Dufferin St. area of Toronto through a food bank, counselling services, advocacy (immigration services, interpretation, etc.) discipleship, mentoring and so much more, I knew I wanted to be involved. So in my 40th year of life I ran my first formal race, for Oasis, and have continued to take part every year since!
It was a pleasure running on Saturday, May 23rd with 43 other runners, from a baby in a jogging stroller, to school-aged kids to seniors! The sun was shining brightly and a cool breeze blowing as we ran together along the West Toronto Rail Path, some 4k and others 8K, but all of us as a team to support the amazing outreach and ministry of Oasis. In many ways this race feels like a family event, and the volunteers who put on the race certainly make all of us feel loved! As one of their biggest and most important fundraising events of the year, I wouldn’t miss it, and count it a huge privilege to be able to run for Oasis.
Running is hard, and at times painful and discouraging for me, but where is the reward in only doing the things that come easy? I’ll keep running for Oasis, and maybe next year I’ll see you there too!
To find out more about Oasis’s ministry, visit their website.