November 10, 2014 in Uncategorized
We’ve only just arrived (2 months) in Niagara Falls Ontario and are just getting to know our community. We’ve been praying the streets and seeking some direction from the Holy Spirit. We keep coming back to, what seems to be the forgotten downtown known as The Q. The tourism is all situated in a different part of town so the downtown is struggling.
As we started connecting into our neighbourhood and community, I began something called the Community Opportunity Scan put together by Diaconal Ministries Canada. It is a varying series of questions for locals, business owners, school admins, social service organizations and community leaders.
A few times a week I hit the streets to visit, introduce myself and fill out the questionnaire which often leads to further conversation. My visit with the mayor was awesome. He is a godly man that loves this community. He spent 90 minutes with me sharing his heart and vision for the city. I believe God has some real plans and he’s working through this mayor who recently was reelected in a landslide vote.
Then more recently I spoke with struggling business owners and what I discovered warmed my heart. Many of them love the community and don’t want to leave even though business could be better somewhere else. A number of them were concerned for the poor and those addicted in the community. They really want to make the place better instead of leave it behind.
I was encouraged when so many said how thankful they were that I actually cared enough to do this scan and seek them out.
We hope to get a better sense as a parish church plant how we can develop a DNA of compassion, grace and mission. I am hopeful we will link arms with local businesses and organizations to make The Q and surrounding parish a healthy, transformed community.