My Heart’s In Toronto

My Heart’s In Toronto

Speaking about my heart – I left a part of it in Toronto after spending a week there on my recent mission trip. I returned to China Grove/Salisbury with a greater determination to work with you in reaching our area for Christ. Yet my prayers will also be traveling to Canada via heaven asking God to reach the 5+ million people who do not know Jesus in a personal way. I ask you also to add Toronto to your daily prayer list.

Missionary Scott Rourk was our host and has a huge challenge before him. Only 2% of his city is Christian and 52% of the residents there are non-Canadian. God took Scott, a Georgia boy, from a ministry in downtown New York City to Toronto 3 ½ years ago. During that time Oasis church has been established and is growing. Several new Christians have been discipled by Scott and are now helping him in ministry. Within the last year God has laid on Scott’s heart to establish Rendezvous Church – which hopefully will be 10 churches established in different strategic parts of Toronto. The time table for that to happen is 10-12 years. To accomplish this Scott will be turning over the leadership of Oasis Church to another so he can spend all his energies on reaching the whole city instead of just one small area of it. Please lift up Scott, wife Kristen, daughter Megan, and son Ethan as they take on this huge assignment from the Lord. It is a step of faith financially. He receives only a small salary from the Toronto Mission Board and will be losing his salary for his work in the Oasis Church and food pantry.

While we were there Scott led us in prayer walking three areas where God wants him to establish Rendezvous Church. So beside 52 College View Avenue [where the Rourks live], I return with pictures of those areas in my mind. Join me in praying for:

  • I don’t have any needs” Midtown – This is one the more elite parts of Toronto. Single homes go for $850,000 to several million dollars – apartment living is quite expensive as well. These lost folks are bank officials and company presidents, who have most everything they need. It is hard to reach people who do not sense needs in their lives. Your and my prayers can bring down barriers in this community where God would like to reach residents.
  • Suicide alley Parkdale – This part of the city is slowing improving from high crime rates and drug addiction – but much more work still needs to be done. When Scott and a few local churches were able to establish a summer soccer league they would have to deal with drug dealers outside the soccer fence. One day they arrived to find the sidewalk still blood-stained from a drive-by shooting the night before. The area is filled with high rise apartments – which are filled with refugees from all over the world – having come to Canada as a last hope in their lives. Many find this new world hard to break into – not finding jobs – not finding deep friendships. And too many lose all hope and choose to jump from their high rise apartment to their death. The street they live on is now called suicide alley. Your prayers can help Rendezvous Church bring hope into this part of the city.
  • An oasis in Scarborough – God brought Rev. Marc Nziko into Scott’s life and he has a vision for reaching his African people and other cultures in this area. He has chosen a park in the midst of the bustling city to begin his ministry there. From the park lawn I could see at least 10 large high rise apartments. There may be more people in those places than in all of Salisbury. What better place to target – a park, where many African people retreat from the busy city. Your prayers will draw those folks to the rousing African music and Bible teaching there in the park.

On Sunday night, November 4th [6pm], I will be sharing more details about the mission trip with you. I hope you can come. Also, please pray that God would put together His mission trip team from our church that I plan to lead back to Toronto next year [looking like a summer trip]. Should you sense God wanting you to go – you will need a passport, so it might be good to go ahead and begin working on that now.

Glad to Serve God With You,
Pastor Steve