The last thing a teenager on spring break wants to do is homework. And yet, a group of young people from Lanark Baptist Church gave up their holidays to come all the way to Toronto to do just that.
Led by Matt Houle, Lanark’s youth partnered up with Toronto Baptist Intercultural Ministries (TBIM) to spend the week with refugee families. Welcomed into their homes, these young people cracked open the school books, tutoring children in some of the lower income neighbourhoods of Etobicoke. Working primarily in Somali and Syrian homes, they focused on teaching math and English, building up children’s confidence and a few new friendships.
While it may not fit the classic definition of a mission trip—no vaccines were required and no airports were visited—these young people intentionally chose to do a short term mission in their own country. As a church they have recognized that the world is coming to Canada and they are determined to make a positive difference close to home. And they’ve doing it all while camping out on the floor of Martingrove Baptist Church, truly a church-to-church partnership.
“The goal was to serve and love people… To answer a need,” says Matt Houle. While TBIM loses some core volunteers during March break, his youth group stepped in and learned a lot along the way.
It’s clear that Lanark’s youth have a lot to offer. They’re engaging with other young people, bringing their unique gifts and personalities to show the love of Christ through their actions. They’re filling a need in their own backyard and welcoming the stranger.
To learn more about the work of TBIM, contact Jeff McCarrell.