In June, I got the opportunity to travel to Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada for a missions trip! It was an honor and a privilege to serve alongside some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met.
The members of the church we joined in Canada were all so loving and welcoming. They serve food for the homeless/those on the streets every Saturday and Sunday. On Saturdays, they serve a hot meal at the church with real plates and utensils. This invites people who come in to sit down and share a meal while engaging in community. It was really impactful for me to sit and listen as people shared their stories so openly.
The next day, we arrived at the church early to set up for the Sunday service. As I walked in, I was greeted by the smell of cigarette smoke. I was surprised at first and then I thought, “How cool is it that the church smells like smoke because of all the people who were welcomed here yesterday?” As people from the streets poured into the church for the service, I paused to appreciate the welcoming spirit among those in Quesnel—one that says come as you are and actually means it.
Come as you are, even if you smell like smoke because of your addiction. Come as you are, even if you haven’t showered in who knows how long. Come as you are, even if you’re drunk or high. God loves you where you are, and we will too.
What if this was the kind of love we extended to those in our own communities? What if we got to know the people we pass on the streets and greeted them by name?
Because that’s the kind of love these people showed. And I believe that is what the church is supposed to look like—where clean cut, well-off people can sit next to drunk, homeless people and worship the same God together.