Mission on Edmonton Streets, August 20, 2015

There I was, driving down 95th street at 6 o’clock past the old Mission lot to have supper with some Christian friends. I realised that Bill and Bob would be serving food in the alley. I hadn’t been down to see that, indeed I hadn’t been down to the Mission for about 2 years. I swung a hard right into 103rd Ave and into the alley, as I rolled by the back of the temp agency I could hear the unmistakable sound of street people conversing with coarse language. I pulled up behind Edmonton Cash Register and started to notice faces that were at once familiar and yet unknown, people had grown older, life on or near the street ages people faster.

As expected, Bob was handing out tracts and Bill was leaning against the Mission van, the back hatch wide open displaying boxes of vegetables and food. Walking down the alley, snapping pictures of the people lined up for food distribution I could hear the sound of prayer and recognizing the voice, caught the last of Ken’s prayer for the food.

This was where the rubber meets the road for the House of Refuge Mission now ever since the building that had housed our ministry had burned down 18 months ago. God’s faithful Mission workers have been labouring in this alley between our friend Thim Choy’s Edmonton Cash Register and the labour temp agency, 40 -50 people were lined up along the wall with their numbered tickets patiently waiting for their turn to be served. The number of boxes of food seemed to be woefully inadequate for the amount of people but it was what we had.

I was struck by the seemingly hopelessness of it all, how can we continue to do this through yet another Edmonton winter?  I stood and stared at the sight, what could I do? it seemed to be too much. I prayed to God that He would bless us with a place to minister in, a place to feed and provision these people.

Then I noticed that Bob was talking with a man and woman off to the side and as I watched I saw him reach out and put his hand on the man’s shoulder, the man’s head was bowed. My spirit leaped and I knew that another soul had come into the Kingdom. Bob confirmed minutes later that he had accepted Christ as his Lord and Saviour.

This is the reason and the reward for this work, it’s not quantifiable in worldly terms but it is the reason that the Mission exists in whatever form it has to. God is providing hope and love through the unselfish service that these workers do night after night.

Here are the photos I took that evening

Lord Bless,

Colin Chong






The House of Refuge Mission is an Christian based independently run Inner-City Gospel Mission located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Our focus is to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ and through our faith provide food and assistance for people who are suffering in many ways.        

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