Toronto Chinese Community Church (TCCC) is very intentional to bless the city and the Town of Markham with the TCCC Community Centre.

I would like to share with you about our ministry proposals and reports of the exciting things that are happening in our midst and our neighbourhood.

Let me briefly share with you three reasons why as a church we should bless our city and our community.

First, Blessing the City Brings Joy

Proverbs 11:10-11 says: When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy. Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.”As a church, God calls us to bless others with the blessings we ourselves have received. God has blessed the Chinese churches in Toronto tremendously over the years with rapid growth, establishment of happy families and good careers. Jesus taught us: “To whom much is given, much is required.” (Luke 12:48)  This is our chance to reciprocate kindness and generosity to others in society who are less fortunate and to the newer immigrants who need to struggle to adapt to this new country.Canada is a great nation with a kind and generous heart due to its Christian heritage and godly tradition. As Canada is now our adoptive home, we should help to keep this up by extending our friendship and support to whoever that need help, regardless of their ethnicity, religion or social background.Obedience to Jesus’ teaching and command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself‘ is the most concrete, tangible expression of obedience to the first and fundamental commandment of “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind and all your strength.” (Matthew 22:37-38)In the following pictures you will see the joy that God bestows on us and through our service the joy to the city.  I refer to the “Out of the Cold” program that we partnered with Mosaic Interfaith of York Region in the month of March this year. For 5 consecutive Thursdays over 120 volunteers were mobilized to receive 40-50 homeless people clients for a hot meal and some of them for overnight stay.

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The politicians are happy too as Christians are neither indifferent bystanders nor hostile attackers of their policies with hyper-critical judgments. But we are willing to roll up our sleeves to join forces with them to become part of the solution instead of just harping at the problems.

Blessing the city brings joy! The “blessing of the upright” in our Bible verse is the beneficent words and deeds that bring enrichment to a community.

Second, Blessing the City Upholds Truth and Justice 

Blessing the city not only brings joy but also upholds truth and justice. Zechariah 8:3-6 gives us the picture of what God would like his people to become and behave with his presence and blessings.This is what the Lord says: “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.” This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with cane in hand because of his age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.”The New Testament people of God, the church of Jesus Christ as the New Jerusalem should exhibit God’s quality of truth and justice and will be called the City of Truth. An example of truth and justice is really compassion of Jesus to the weak and down-trodden.I am relating the story that Pastor Kinson Leung (our English Lead Pastor) had experienced. He allowed me to use this as an illustration of what God is teaching our church in our involvement with the Five With Drive (5WD) Food Bank program.

One day last December as Kinson and the other pastors were just discussing the dreams and plans to hold our own food-bank collection.

We have done this for a number of years in the past around Christmas time but always shipped out the food to elsewhere like Salvation Army or other food-banks. But this time God has sent an experienced Markham organization called Five With Drive to partner with us.

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In the middle of the meeting, Kinson was called out to the front door of the church and approached by a middle-aged lady asking if there would be food for her family. Kinson did not have any resources on hand and didn’t want to over-commit, but didn’t want to disappoint nor just turn her away so bluntly. So he re-directed her attention to the Gibson warehouse (which had now become our TCCC property and recently we allowed 5WD to use as storage depot) and said that she might receive some help there without any guarantee.What happened was as Christmas inched closer, Kinson one day decided to join the teenagers and volunteers of our church to participate in sorting and food delivery. After some work, he was assigned by Anna Rossi (the head of the 5WD organization) to take a food-basket together with Anna’s son Andrew to visit a family in a nearby apartment building.As they walked into this apartment, Kinson was so elated to see that this was the same lady whom he had earlier referred to the Gibson 5WD food-bank. He discovered that this lady was a single mom with 7-8 kids of varying ages and that they had fled the war-torn country of Afghanistan. Obviously this family is facing much shortages and in dire need. They chat and Kinson was so impressed to see the big smile and happiness in this lady and her children. Kinson is equally impressed at the sovereignty of God of how God himself got involved ahead of us in the promotion of this food-bank service way before our planning was completed and before any advertisement had gone out into the community by literally bringing this lady into our midst.Further, through Pastor Kinson’s encounter, God is teaching us TCCC the truth about himself, that he treats everybody equally and all human beings deserve respect, dignity and God’s love and care. The church should also become a place of truth, righteousness, justice and compassion. With more churches displaying  God’s quality, the city can also become a City of Truth & Compassion! May Markham also become a City of Truth, Justice and Compassion!

Third, Blessing the City Promotes Harmony. 

Blessing the city not only brings joy to ourselves and the city, upholds truth and justice, but also promotes harmony!The Zechariah passage above says that if we follow his ways, “This is what the Lord Almighty  says: “Once  again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with cane in hand because of his age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.” And operating this TCCC Community Centre is to follow God’s ways.Because treating the most vulnerable members of society with respect and care is the surest way to restore safety and harmony in the community. That’s exactly what we would like to do: the first phase of this community centre will have a Youth Centre and a Seniors’ Daycare Centre. I hope the aged and the young will be looked after in a place where healthy social, recreational, learning and spiritual interactions can take place. The children and youths will be encouraged to show respect and care to the seniors, and the elderly will be given a chance to show affection and encouragement to the young.In closing, l would like to show you a few more pictures of the changed young lives of Operation Dawn whom we feel privileged to partner with. Operation Dawn is a drug addiction rehabilitation program started in Hong Kong and Taiwan but has successfully introduced to Toronto, Canada.

These young members of society who have gone astray and become drug addicts and victims of different substance abuse are given a second chance. Some have been under such unbreakable bondage for more than 10 years and been to jail many times for various crimes. Their parents and families are suffering too seeing their loved ones’ lives waste away. However, nobody is beyond redemption by the love of God. Rev. Simon Lau the head of Operation Dawn come to visit often and the counselors,  teachers, volunteers and Board of Directors all serve sacrificially  with the love of Christ to help these young people not only quit the addiction, but turn over a new leaf by learning many new skills and developing their talents.As part of their rehabilitation program, they come to our church for educational seminars, life skills training, recreational and sports activities and even help out in some skill-acquiring jobs like landscaping, wall­ painting, etc. They feel acceptance, friendship and rebuilding of self­ esteem from the embracing and encouragement of this congregation. Some have become employable citizens and healthy members of the community and become fully integrated into society’s life. Several were originally of Vietnamese background, lately some from Taiwan, from Brunei, from Vancouver…English-speaking, Cantonese-speaking and Mandarin-speaking…quite a multi-cultural bunch and demonstrating harmony of cultures and background.We acknowledge and encourage the Operation Dawn brothers that you see in the pictures for their faith in changing their lives through Jesus Christ and we give glory to God.

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As we help keep these young people out of drugs, out of gangs and out of troubles, our streets and city will be a safer place…the aged and the young will be protected, a city of harmony and peace.

 

Blessing the city brings  joy, upholds justice and promotes harmony.

 

May Markham and the City of Toronto become Cities of Joy, Truth & Justice, and a safe place of Harmony and Peace because we work together towards this TCCC Community Centre!

* Messages from “My Community, My Gibson” fundraising banquet on June12, 2011. 

* for more details about the Gibson Project, please visit

 http://mycommunitymygibson.tccc.ca/ 

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