WE SEEK GOD'S SHALOM
WHO WE ARE
“ But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile,
and pray to the Lord on its behalf,
for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
We are captivated by the biblical concept of Shalom. Shalom is what the fullness of the Kingdom of God looks like in people, communities and the land. It’s when we find healing and wholeness in our relationship to ourself, with others, the land and with the King of Creation. Shalom is when the image of God is recognized, protected and released in all people, regardless of race or class or ability. When all aspects of society thrive in service to their families, businesses, schools and public policy.
This holistic vision of communal welfare for our cities is what we seek after in our work and what Jesus provides for us as rest at the end of the day. We find a mutual transformation in this expression of abundant community. Ultimately we will not experience complete shalom until the King returns to set all things right. Until then we are given this mandate as Kingdom citizens to believe and act in hope that all things are moving towards shalom.
OUR CORE VALUES
JOY IN GOD
"For the joy set before him..." Hebrews 12:2
"The Word became flesh and lived among us." John 1:14
"I the LORD love justice." Isaiah 61:8
"The last will be first, and the first will be last." Matthew 20:16
"Go and make disciples of all nations." Matthew 28:19
"Seek the peace and prosperity of the city I've sent you." Jeremiah 29:7
WE PURSUE HOLISTIC TRANSFORMATION OF URBAN POOR COMMUNITIES ALONGSIDE OUR NEIGHBOURS.
WHAT WE DO
Over the past century hundreds of millions of rural people in poverty have migrated to the world’s cities in search of a better life. Few find it.
Today over one billion people live in communities designated by the UN as urban slums: households lacking durable housing, sufficient living space, easy access to safe water, adequate sanitation and security of tenure that prevents forced evictions. 23.5% of the world today live in cities in these desperate conditions, frequently without the basic necessities of life, much less the freedom and joy of the good news of Jesus and the Kingdom of God.
In Canada, 4.1 million people live in poverty. 1 in 5 families of colour live in poverty. Due to Canada’s history of colonization of Indigenous Peoples and their land, Indigenous Peoples experience the highest levels of poverty in Canada at 25%. 4 in 10 Canadian Indigenous children live in poverty. Despite misconceptions of poverty being the result of individual failure, these statistics show that poverty is a structural and systemic problem that requires systemic, anti-racist solutions in addition to individual care.
In response, teams of full-time staff move into these neighbourhoods and form mutually transformative relationships with our neighbours. We partner with local churches and non-profits that are working for equity, investing in individual lives as well as addressing systemic justice issues that affect our neighbourhoods. Our teams also host short-term interns who want to learn alongside us and experience the work first hand.
In addition to these teams, our Research and Innovation Initiative amplifies the capacity of additional Christian leaders investing in their urban communities. Rather than imposing our own agenda, we assist their vision to become reality as they minister naturally in their own communities. This initiative is currently working alongside organizations in Central America, South Asia, and East Africa.
ENCOURAGE JESUS COMMUNITIES
We encourage contextually appropriate spaces for communal and holistic discipleship as followers of Jesus
We gather and equip neighbours to identify assets & resources that meet local needs
We partner alongside and work under local leaders as well as organizations for community transformation
We invest and amplify our neighbour's God-given capacity and vision for personal and communal thriving
We live out four core strategies for neighbourhood transformation in all our sites.
THE NINE SIGNS
of a transforming community
What are some markers of an urban poor community changing in positive, sustainable ways?
We have learned to look for and work toward these nine signs in our communities around the world:
Wealth at the Bottom
Breakthrough to Freedom
Health for All
Systems that Work
Beauty and Creativity
Reproducing, Transformational Communities of Jesus-Followers
A transforming community has many groups of people who are worshipping Jesus, studying the Word, serving one another, praying, inviting others into relationship with Jesus, discipling others, developing leaders, becoming change agents in their own community, and planting new communities that do the same.
People are freed from the mentality that they are powerless and insignificant in the world. This reinforces the fact that all healthy transformation is inspired and sustained by God's power at work.
WE ARE WITH OVER ONE BILLION PEOPLE LIVING IN THE WORLD'S MOST MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES.
WHERE WE SERVE
Want to find out more about who belongs to the land you are currently living on or have visited? Check out native-land.ca to learn more about who belongs to the land to help understand, reflect and celebrate the history, languages, territories, and treaties of the First Peoples of the land with honour and truth.