Thursday, 24 November 2011

The Empress Hotel

I have been taking some pictures of the DTES and playing around with them on my computer. I thought this would be a good place to share them.
I have made some of them into postcards, that I will be sending out, if you do not get one and want one just send me your mailing address. 
This first image is of the hotel I live in. It is ironically called The Empress, but is nothing like the high end hotel in Victoria. The Empress that I live in is a Single Room Occupancy Hotel (SRO) or often called a Slum Hotel.  I was told that the Empress was built in the 20s, loggers would come down into Vancouver on days off and the winter to get drunk and buy women (a generalization) and they would stay at The Empress. It is very old, poorly kept, has mice, bed bugs and cockroaches. The rooms do not have a kitchen, and some do not have bathrooms. Despite all this rent is not all that cheap, some rooms go for $400 to $600!
You should come visit, my room is not all that bad, I have made it home.

Some Thoughts On Community

Sunday, 13 November 2011

We Are The Ark

This morning I was reading through the story of Noah.  I believe that God gave me a "picture" that I want to share with you.

I recently was told that often water can be a symbol for chaos in the Bible. For instance in the New Testament when Jesus walks on water, and Peter sinks into the water.  With this in mind as a read the story of Noah and the Flood I believe God was saying to me:

The World is full of chaos, like when I flooded the Earth, people are drowning. I want you to build an "ark". You build an "ark" through praise and worship, prayer and fasting, services, and fellowship. The Church is the "ark," you are meant to be a place of safety from the chaos.

Maria, go and be a fisher of man, pull people out of the chaos and into the "ark" where they can find peace, love, and joy. 

I promised to never again destroy all things by flood. In the same way I will never let the whole Earth be consumed by chaos (as it was in the time of Noah), that is why I have established the Church, to be an "ark" the floats in the chaos, but is not destroyed by it and to rescue people who are "drowning" in the chaos.

Do not be satisfied that you are in the boat. There are millions upon millions of people who are dying all around you.

What are you doing to help them?

The Church is not meant to be an exclusive cruise. No! it is a rescue ship, that is meant to be united in Spirit, by love and in the poupose to search the waters for people who are drowning, pull them out of the cold death waters, care and love on them, and invite them to join the family. Then as they become stronger they will join the rescue search.

No matter where you live, there are people around you who are drowning, guaranteed, you just need to open your eyes and heart. For me it might be buying someone socks and inviting them to share in a community meal. Or when someone is sharing with me that they are sick asking if I can pray for their healing. For you it might mean asking a coworker how they are doing, then actually listening to their answer, and asking them if you can pray for them . Or going over the  neighbours with a fresh baked cookies and asking them if they want to have dinner sometime.  Or inviting someone you haven't seen in awhile to a movie to reconnect.

How can you care for someone who is drowning?