Hope for the homeless

BG-RRT chaplains minister to a person experiencing homelessness in Thunder Bay, ON.

For Jack,* the COVID-19 pandemic was just one more nightmare he had to endure. But hope was on the way. The Thunder Bay resident, in the midst of a life-and-death struggle with a drug addiction, found himself moved into a hotel when COVID-19 overwhelmed the northern Ontario city’s homeless shelters.

In isolation because he had the virus, Jack continued to struggle with his addiction. But he wasn’t alone. Partners like you made it possible to have two crisis-trained Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) chaplains at the hotel.

They had already reached out to Jack, listening to his story (from a safe distance, while wearing masks) and praying with him, when all interactions stopped because he was taken to the hospital to deal with an overdose. He was back at the hotel when God put it on the heart of John, one of our chaplains, to pay special attention to Jack.

“We just walked the hallways and prayed and every time I went past his room, I had to pray for him,” said John. Finally, Jack was healthy enough to have a significant conversation and that’s when John asked if he could share his faith in Jesus Christ.

Jack agreed, so John used our “Steps to Peace With God” booklet to explain “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8, ESV).

When John asked about his spiritual condition, Jack acknowledged he was a sinner. That opened the door for John to ask if he wanted to confess his sins and accept the atoning gift of Christ. We praise God that Jack said yes!

“I invited him to pray a prayer of salvation,” John recounted. “He did, then I said ‘Jack, did you really mean that?’ And he said yes. I was so thankful for what happened. Every time I present the Gospel and people say they’ll accept Christ, it’s the Holy Spirit working in their lives.”

By the time their three-week deployment ended, BG-RRT chaplains had prayed with almost 230 people, including homeless shelter representatives and people experiencing homelessness.

We give God all the glory for the 13 people who came to faith in His Son—including a person the departing chaplains encountered at the Thunder Bay airport!

Please pray for these new believers and pray for the BG-RRT ministry, that the Lord would prepare chaplains for His next Kingdom assignment.

*Name changed to protect privacy