Canada (MNN) — What comes to mind when you think of Toronto, Canada?
How about Thanksgiving?
That’s what Judy Vanderark, co-founder of MOSES Inc., hopes you’ll connect. Here’s why: “The trip is over Thanksgiving break. The dates are November 25-30. We’ll be ministering more to people on this trip than any of our other trips. We do a lot with inner city ministries and missions.”
She’s referring to their last short-term mission trip of 2014.
Why Toronto? “We just find that there are believers from all these different countries that have landed in Toronto. There are also unbelievers that are seeking.” Vanderark calls it the Melting Pot of Canada. Census figures show that Toronto is the fifth most populous city in North America. According to government reports, nearly half of those living in Toronto were born outside of Canada.
The vast city’s diversity also means that a spiritual hunger exists. “There’s a lot of seeking going on in Toronto, I think. People are open to the Word of God and to hearing about the Gospel and finding out who Jesus is.”
However, despite active tourism and a colorful façade of vibrancy, the reality is that nearly 25% of Toronto’s residents are living in poverty, according to the 2013 report from Frasier Institute (an independent Canadian public policy research group). However, Vanderark says that issue has helped sharpen the focus of this trip.
MOSES has spent several of the 20 years they’ve been working in Toronto partnering with an inner city ministry. That will continue this year, she says. “We help with a kids church where the children are very poor and living in projects. We just love to help with the Bible stories, skits, and the songs and things. It’s kind of a highlight of the week for these children.” The details on the rest of the trip haven’t been firmed up yet, but will likely include work with the homeless, and support for the ministries that help them.
What’s more, MOSES uses the time they have to multi-task. Not only are they serving another part of the body of Christ, but they are investing in its future. It starts small. “We are big into training student leaders. For those who are serving as student leaders, they have to lead and to be leading their peers in the Bible studies, making sure everybody’s accounted for and in the right place at the right time.”
Can you think of a better way to spend your Thanksgiving? This trip bundles humility, gratitude, and life lessons all at once. Registration hasn’t opened yet, but will soon. If you’re really excited about planning your Thanksgiving break with MOSES, Inc., start your journey here.
Then, “Pray that God will bring the right people to us for this team. Each team is different, and we’re always blessed when we see the mix of abilities and hearts that are brought to us. Pray for safe travel and that we can be a blessing to those that we serve.”