February 9, 2023
A family of four found wholeness in Christ through a church you helped to plant in downtown Thorold, Ontario.
“Four hot dogs, please.”
Anna* and Jason* stood at the gas station counter while their two daughters ran down the candy aisle behind them. The cashier rang up their purchases, but the debit card didn’t go through. Jason checked his pockets for loose change—it was no use. There wasn’t any money, and there definitely wasn’t anything to eat back at the apartment. The family was going without dinner for the night.
As the family walked the few blocks back to their apartment, Anna’s stomach rumbled. They were three months behind on rent and their situation felt hopeless.
But then they caught a glimpse of someone entering the open door of a nearby school building. A warm light spilled out into the shadows of the evening. The family could hear sounds of people talking and laughing inside. The smell of food wafted through the air.
Inside was a gathering of The Table, a church that you helped to plant.
Living Life with One Another
Through your support of Resonate, a church planting team was able to start The Table, and you continue to support this ministry through grants. The Table isn’t like your typical church, and that’s intentional for reaching people in the city. The Table calls themselves “missional communities”—small groups of people who gather together to read the Bible, talk about faith, and live life with one another. Their sanctuaries are front porches, parks, and living rooms. That night, they were hosting one of their weekly dinners in a local school building.
Anna and Jason were curious, but they were mostly hungry—and they knew their daughters were too—so they tentatively approached the door. Someone caught a glimpse of them, waved them in, and invited them to stay for dinner. They were able to fill their stomachs as they talked with a few people. When Anna and Jason went home that night, they felt something different. Was it hope?
The next week, they came back.
“They came back because they experienced belonging and good food,” said Terence Schilstra, your church planter. “For most people in our missional communities, it’s a daily struggle to pay the rent and put food on the table. One of the beautiful ways our community supports each other in the midst of these challenges is by regularly hanging out together, whether on a porch or in the park, to share life and meals.”
Learning the Story of Jesus
Week after week, Anna and Jason and their two daughters showed up for dinner.
“Over time, they formed friendships. They found belonging. They experienced love,” said Terence.
As they built friendships with people in the church plant, Anna, Jason, and their daughters learned the story of Jesus too. Then one night at dinner Anna said: “Ever since that day we first walked into this community, our lives have been changed.”
“They gave their lives to Jesus, responding to his restorative love,” said Terence. “Jesus took away the insufficient feelings in their hearts and replaced them with peace.”
Thank you for helping to plant and support The Table! Because of your support, Anna and Jason and their family know the love, grace, and peace of Christ.
Today there are still times when Anna and Jason can’t pay their rent—but Anna shared that she now feels a wholeness in her life because of her relationship with Christ. And they have people they can rely on at The Table.
“It’s way cheaper to share a bag of pasta and bread with neighbors than to make dinner every night,” said Jason. “And it’s way more fun!”
Thank you for helping to make it possible for Anna and Jason to discover Christ’s peace. Will you please pray for their family and for the community of The Table? Ask God to provide for their needs. Ask the Holy Spirit to continue working in and through this church.
*Names changed for privacy