Sunday, October 25, 2009
Toronto this week!
Tomorrow we leave for a week-long trip to Toronto with our school. Altogether there will be 11 of us (six students, four staff, and one baby) on the trip. Fortunately, we've made some great connections through friends to be able to stay at some nice houses while we're there. I (Denny) have taken on the responsibility of planning what we'll be doing and who we'll be visiting during the week. Last year while I was a student we went to Toronto, and this year will be very similar. We'll be meeting with Yonge Street Mission (http://www.ysm.ca/), a ministry in downtown Toronto working with the poor, and John Franklin, the executive director of Imago Arts (http://www.imago-arts.on.ca), an organization that exists to "to engage in promoting artistry of high caliber that will be both enriching and carry positive influence on the Canadian cultural landscape". We'll also be meeting with Geoff Ryan from the Salvation Army along with his Ignite interns (http://www.614network.com/regentpark/) to learn more about the intensive, amazing things he and his team are doing in an area of Toronto torn apart by gang-violence and poverty. That same day we'll travel out to Mississauga to meet with Wendy Gritter (http://www.btgproject.blogspot.com/) from New Direction, an organization doing some amazing things related to the homosexuality issues within the church. I encourage anyone to check out her blog, very interesting stuff all the time. Lastly, we're meeting with our friend Andrea's father, James A. Beverly, who happens to be a significant authority on world religions within the evangelical Christian milieu. In fact, he recently finished a book, Nelson's Illustrated Guide to World Religions, which Hans Kung (a world-renowned Catholic theologian) has given his illustrious commendation to. I wrote him to ask if he would meet with us humble YWAMers and he replied saying only because his daughter said he should. I appreciated his honesty! We'll meet with him on Friday to discuss how we as Christians can gain new perspectives on other religions and learn to live side-by-side with people of other faiths in our immigrant-rich context. Amidst all of that, we'll find time to do some sight-seeing and walking around the big city of Toronto. It's the biggest in Canada, with roughly 4.5 million inhabitants. A staggering statistic we heard this week is that 47% of people living in Toronto were born outside of Canada. That's a lot of immigration! So, we're looking forward to an engaging, motivating week. When we return, we'll be looking forward to a bit of a calmer November than October. Lauren has finished and passed her French course, so we're getting better with the language obstacle every day. It's really exciting once you get over that hump, language-wise. So, when we return, we'll be able to really get settled in for the long haul and continue this wonderful journey we're on together. Our funding is really tight, but we know we're where we're supposed to be. We'll write again soon. Check out the links I listed above if you're interested; all the organizations are really interesting to learn about. Love ya!
Posted by Denny Flanagan at 10:05 AM