Eden Downtown Eastside
We caught up with Fari who heads up our Eden team in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) to hear what’s been happening.
‘Our team has been able to carry out hundreds of outreach walks ministering, evangelising, and praying for people living on the streets in our community, including when Oppenheimer and Strathcona Park were turned into tent cities. One of our favourite times spent on the streets is doing community clean up caring for our local school grounds and parks.
‘Eden DTES core team members have had the opportunity to serve weekly alongside other local organisations in helping make DTES a better place.
‘Our annual events in the neighbourhood focus on children and youth. We organise back to school haircuts for kids living in affordable housing, day camps such as soccer and art programs, as well as Christmas dinners for families from our local public school. These intentional events create opportunities for us to build strong relationships and show the love of God to our neighbours.
‘Other highlights include the Eden team with extended team members working with Harvest Prison Ministry to help provide care, support and mentorship to a female ex-prisoner re-entering into society. We have also loved using our Coastal Eden Cafe as a drop off point for Boxes of Hope Christmas gifts and delivering the gifts to vulnerable seniors living at Alexander House affordable housing.
‘Eden Cafe opened three years ago and has been a hub for our team, to invite community members into a safe and welcoming space. The cafe has been used by the Eden team and church members for corporate prayer, life group meetings, Bible studies, evangelism, Alpha, after-school programs, kids summer camps, meal distribution for vulnerable seniors etc. Beyond these different activities the cafe also provides a transitional employment and training program for people with barriers that includes a discipleship track.
‘Looking back at the last five years we see God’s beautiful work in and through the Eden DTES team and we are honoured to continue His work in sharing the gospel in our community through our words and deeds.’