Began: January 12, 2003.
Purpose: To reach those in need on the streets of Edmonton; the homeless and in the sex trade.
Who: We have approximately 20-25 wonderful people that participate in the ministry
How: By van two to four people visit the Herb Jamison and other homeless shelters with a bag lunch and various items of clothing that are season specific every Monday night. Others that were not at the shelters are approached later that evening and offered food and clothing (if available). Hot coffee/hot chocolate during winter months, juice and water bottles during warmer weather is available as well as sandwiches, fruit/cookies and granola bars, etc are included in the bag lunches. Jackets, scarves, toques, gloves, back packs are also sometimes given as available. During these bitter cold winter months, woolen socks, scarves, mitts, etc are most welcome items to be received and are in need at this moment.
When: Every Monday night – preparation at 3 pm and distribution by 8:30 pm (group leaves chiurch by 8 usually)
Our ministry has also grown to include going to the Herb Jamison every Monday evening to bring approximetely 300 bag lunches for the next day, included are items of season specific clothing (winter – wool socks, mitts, jackets) fruit, hot soup, etc. The Hosea Ministries team meets everyone outside the Herb Jamison at thir first stop and gathers everyone together where conversation and prayer is offered including the group coming together in a large circle to pray the Lord’s Prayer.
At this point we have made good contacts with an incredible number of men and women over the years. Sadly, most are addicted to various drugs and/or working on the streets to maintain their drug habits and/or to raise money for their children (food, rent, etc). Over the years we have entered into good relationships with a number of the women getting to know their home situations, bringing food to their homes, encouraging them and buying bus passes for transportation to counselling for example.
Hosea Ministries since 2003 has made good inroads into the downtown community by being accepted, indeed, expected each Monday evening. We are trying to bring other churches into relationship with us in order to be able (in time we hope!) to be out each night. At this point the ministry is growing organically with enthused members sharing with friends, work mates, etc with the result that they have been donating items or money, some coming to help on a regular basis. It actually has been incredible to watch!
This last Sunday December 11 we had the blessing of having a man (John) and woman (Helen) come from the inner city to share with us their thoughts and express their thanks for what Hosea Ministries has been doing. It was truly a blessing in many ways!
If you would like to become involved and/or donate, we would love to have you join us either as an individual or church. The group meets at St. Albert Evangelical Lutheran Church at 3 pm on Mondays to begin making all the bag lunches and gather the donations for that evening. Another smaller church in Edmonton has begun helping out on another night which is fantastic! Our hope and vision would be to have every night of the week a group downtown helping those who are in need. If you are interested, you can contact us at the church office 780-458-6012. God bless you!