I spoke with Wes, the new manager of our clothing store, Double Take the other day. He’s been a volunteer at Yonge Street Mission for years, and so he knew that we work with all kinds of people, including people who live on the street. He gave me permission to tell his story.
Wes realized a few years back while still a volunteer that his experience with the mission had thus far not yet helped him fully understand what it was like for people to live on the street. To be a homeless person. So he decided to live on the streets for a year. He left the comforts of a middle-class life and then he did just that.
He lived in hostels and hung out where homeless people hung out...in order to feel what it is like to live on the street - for an entire year.
And talking to him the other day it was clear in his countenance and in his words that risky year was an incredibly enriching experience for him.
Very likely, such a venture, such an adventure was unimaginable to him a few years before that. But God did something in his spirit.
God challenged him to dare to connect with others in this way, and he worked through all the reasons why not to and then just did it.
Wes is one of those “shining people”. Someone who dares to say “yes” to God. Someone who dares to step out of a comfortable life to simply love another person.