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Let Go and Move Forward! (Genesis 22: 1-24)
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Drive through the downtown core of any city in this country and you will find the area that people just don't like to drive through if you can help it. Every city has "that" area…you know…where "those" people hang around - not working, some drunk, on drugs or talking to themselves, not dressed or as clean in appearance as the rest of us...you know "that" area, says Rev Dan Morand with the Ark Aid Street Mission in London, ON. Some wonder - "Why don't these people just get a job? Don't these people have any self-respect?" Yes, many of us have had those thoughts race through our minds as we pass judgment on people we haven't even taken the time to know. Yes, and some of us that have had those thoughts call ourselves Christians and are in ministry. So how does that fit the whole “Blessed are the poor…. or If you do this to the least of..." and the fact that Jesus pretty much made it a habit to spend time with "those" people and in "that" area of the cities he frequented throughout his ministry here on earth? How do we encourage people to Let Go, let God and move forward?

At the Ark Aid Street Mission, in that area of town, some 150+ of those people come daily to find food, fellowship, support and direction from 700+ volunteers along with a few fulltime staff that have attempted to meet the needs of the city's lost, vulnerable, exploited and despaired for 30 years now. Providing well-balanced meals six to seven evenings per week, an afternoon coffee social five times a week - the Ark also offers a clothing outlet, Art classes, computer training, math and English tutoring as well as its latest addition of a 12-step program called Overcomers Recovery Support and all without government financial support.

Pastor Dan introduced the 12-step, faith-based Overcomers Recovery Support Program in January of 2014 - the first such program at street-level. This six month program consists of the 90-Day A Daily Choice workbook, along with attending 23 weekly DVD series classes and discussions. Most have a complete inability to cope with their issues because of the absence of Jesus in their life. Most are crying out for help in ways that offend us - addiction, incarceration or prostitution. Overcomers does not only address the issue in more depth than most traditional 12-step programs but it offers a brilliant opportunity to introduce Jesus Christ through the scriptures in how to better deal with life issues. These tools don't simply gloss over the issues, but address them head on and force people to self-examine, getting to the root of the issue, says Pastor Dan. This program teaches people to trust God, to believe in his promises for their life by developing a personal relationship with Him.

Nearly sixty people have enrolled in the Overcomers program - most are self-referrals or were referred by someone taking the program! The results from Overcomers is nothing short of a miracle - folks moving onto jobs and no longer seeking services of the Ark, a women able to finally release a painful burden for a daughter that an unforgiveness issue lasted - 23 years ago, others able to forgive people in their life, some coming to terms with their addiction use, while others found their voice to take on their life controlling issues and others who declared Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior! This program may not help everyone that comes through it immediately says Pastor Dan, but through the Holy Spirit and God's leading people will get the message….Trust God - Believe in His promises - Build a personal relationship with Jesus and that you can do all things through Christ Jesus that strengthens you!

It is one thing to complain about the problems in society and what we perceive people are doing or not doing, but until we begin to behave more like Jesus by loving people through their difficulties through taking the time to teach - not just preach - where they are at, with unconditional love, nothing changes.

If you would like Pastor Dan to speak with your group or interested in the Overcomers program in your area, please contact him.

Pastor Dan Morand
Outreach Director
Ark Aid Street Mission
696 Dundas St. E.
London, ON N5W 2Z4
519-667-0322 o
226-235-1575 c
outreach@arkaidmission.com