Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior,
This is the official website of Sanctuary Chriatian Fellowship, a non-denominational Christian outreach missionary church based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Our main focus is to reach out to women who have fallen victim to LIFE ON THE STREETS. Sanctuary was founded in July, 1994 by Pastors Neil and Flora Currie, who are ordained through Gospel Crusade Ministerial Fellowship of Canada.
You are invited to attend the weekly worship services at Sanctuary Christian Fellowship held every Sunday morning at 11am at 5580 Cunard Street (at Maynard) in Halifax. Also, join us on Monday evening at 7pm for Young Freedom Fighters, and Tuesday evening at7pm for Power Prayer.
WHY IS SANCTUARY NEEDED?
For many years government agencies have been trying to fulfil the responsibility of the body of Christ by looking after the poor, the widow, and the orphans. If you look carefully at these agencies you will find, even though they have good intentions, they fail miserably.
Our responsibility as a body of believers is to bring the Good News, demonstrated in the power of Jesus Christ, to the streets. Two thousand years ago the world was changed by the demonstration of such power, bringing (not preaching) deliverance to the captives, love to the unloved, hope to the hopeless, and mercy and grace to the sinner.
Many believe that revival will come to the church of organized religion, but as in Jesus day, it did not start in the temple but on the street.
We believe that God is calling an END TIME people who are willing to give up all that they have and to follow Him. Jesus was our human example of God Himself. Why would we think that He would do it differently today?
The streets and the alleyways are filled with our children. We say our children because they are God's children. Jesus came and died for them, just as He came for you and I. All of these children have been rejected by society, by family, and yes, by the church itself.
It's a strange thing, when a homeless person comes into a church, to watch the faces of many of the believers. To watch them deliberately avoid them as if they were lepers. Jesus would never avoid a leper. How far we have evolved from the demontration of the love of Jesus for the lost.
HOW CAN WE CHANGE THE STREETS?
Many people believe that going out on the streets preaching the gospel will change the hearts of hopeless people. This is not a truth that we have seen thus far in this ministry. Sometimes, this type of ministry does far more damage than good.
Jesus never used the Torah as a weapon against His people. Instead, He demonstrated His love and compassion for those who are lost. People seem to forget that God created all mankind. So each one of us knows that we have sinned. Standing on a street corner telling lost souls that they are going to hell if they don't change their ways is not the compassion that they need to hear. People need to understand that the truths that Jesus taught us is the only way to reach the lost.
Most of these people have no hope. So how can we teach them spiritual things? For we know that faith is the substance of things hoped for and that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. So this shows us that we must first instil hope in the lost. How is this done? First, the unconditional love of God must abound from us. We might not like what we see or what we hear, but we are to operate in the power and authority that has been given to us in the Name of Jesus Christ. The victory over the powers and principalities that have a stronghold over these peoplewill be broken as we instil the hope that they need in their lives. How do we do this? We show them we love them, that we care about them; and in turn they come to trust us, love us, and open their hearts to receive the Hope of Glory. Is this an easy thing to do? No, it is not, if you are doing it on your own.
But if you are doing it with the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit, you will then see the demonstration of God's love and power.
WHEN WILL WE SEE REVIVAL?
Revival must first come to the heart of those who are willing to sacrifice it all, to carry out the mandate that has been set before us by Jesus Christ: That we go out into the world and bring them the Good News and tell them that there is Someone who loves them so much that He gave up His life for them. He asked us to pick up our cross and follow Him. Are you willing to give up your life for a stranger as He did? If you are, then you are ready for revival.
There are Christians and there are church folk. Christians are DOERS of the Word, operating in victory, planting seed, praying for the rain and the sun, watching the fruit ripen and bringing in the harvest. Church folk, on the other hand, regularly attend church, go to most church social functions, and are so well fed, they can't move. These are hearers of the Word. James 1:22 says, "Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only..." The streets need more laborers. God is calling YOU and you must answer the call. This is a race that we are in and Jesus is at the finish line. Are you going to hear Well done, My good and faithful servant."?
DOES THIS TYPE OF EVANGELISM WORK TODAY?
Let me tell you about Dee. Dee was a young lady who for many years had been in and out of prison for many crimes. When we met her, she was a crack cocaine addict who supported her habit with money made from prostitution. The most horrifying thing about her situation was that she was eight months pregnant.
One night when doing our prayer walk on the streets of the inner city, we met her propositioning men on a street corner. We stopped to ask her how she was doing and if there was anything we could do for her. She asked if we had some change to buy some milk, because she felt the baby was not getting enough nourishment. She also asked us if we would pray for her baby. At this point she lifted her sweatshirt, and we could see that she didn't have maternity clothes, for her belly hung out over unzipped, tight jeans. We prayed with her. She thanked us and started to walk away, when all of a sudden she stopped, turned around and came back and hugged us. We knew then that God had started something.
In the days and weeks that followed, Dee was in and out of our lives almost daily. Then one day, just as she came in, she disappeared. For a period of time we were worried about her outcome, knowing that many of the girls who disappear like that are usually found dead. But then, a few months later, on Thanksgiving Day, there was a knock on our door, and there she stood, with a pumpkin pie that she had made herself. She said, "Today is a good day to give thanks, and I would like to thank you for all the encouragement, hope and prayers that you gave to me.
She then began to tell us what happened to her. One night, a Christian minister and his wife offered her a place to stay while she had her baby. The harvest was ripe. She took the offer and her baby was born completely drug free.
After she told us this story, she asked if she could play us a song. She played us a Ray Boltz song, "Thank-you for Giving To The Lord". There she stood with her eyes closed and her hands raised, praising the God that had saved her from that life on the streets.
But this is not the end of the story. Dee was given full custody of her child. She's been adopted into that family as a daughter and is now the youth leader of their church. Dee keeps in contact with us, bringing her son to see us. The last time she came over, she showed us her new car. This is all within two years. So, does it work? Yes, it does!
IS IT STILL WORKING TODAY?
Flora and I befriended Kay on a street corner of our city. From the first time we met her, she opened up to us. She told us of her fears about being on the streets, for she had been severely raped at knife point. But because her husband was a drug addict, he kept making her sell herself to strangers to support his habit. When government agencies failed her, God sent us in. I got to see first hand the way our justice system and society value people who are not of their standard. Kay had asked us to support her in her supreme court case against this man. The man who had raped her one year before was allowed out of jail the day after he was caught, and because Kay was a known prostitute, they did not have a bail hearing but let him out on his own recognisance. Now, you might say, "She's only a prostitute," but they that are without sin let them cast the first stone. You see, they had good reason to keep him, for he had spent four years in prison prior to this for raping a young girl at knife point. This prior conviction was not recognized by the police nor was it allowed to be used in court against him. During the year he was out on his own recognisance, he raped again. This time a mentally challenged girl. But this also was not allowed to be used in court because the trial was pending. So the defence lawyers painted Kay as a worthless piece of trash and the jury found him not guilty. Her heart was broken. All hope was gone.
Shortly after this, we received a call from the hospital. Kay had attempted to kill herself. But before leaving her home by ambulance, she clutched hold of our card with the Sanctuary phone number and had the hospital call us.
Over the weeks following, through the love of our Lord, we were able to encourage her to have hope, so that she could believe in herself again; that she was more that a wothless piece of trash. Kay got hold of a vision and began to prepare for her future. She went back to school and this summer she will graduate from nursing. So you see, we have to minister hope to them so they can have faith for a future.
WILL EVERYONE RECEIVE THIS MESSAGE?
Unfortunately, no. But we have been pleased with all the doors that have been opened to this ministry as of this date. We have had the opportunity to cross denominational barriers, and have been able to share this message in Baptist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Salvation Army, and a Messianic Jewish congregation. At a Baptist church that we shared at, I was taken aback when the worship leader came to me after the service and said to me, "I can't believe this stuff happens in our city!" "My dear young lady," I replied. "It's time you got yourself out of this box."
Two weeks later, to my hearts delight, I walked into a drop-in center for the homeless, and there she was - serving the hopeless. When she saw me, she came over to me and said, "I'm out of the box." Praise God, to this day she's still serving, the way God has called all of us to do.
IS THERE ANY CHANCE OF DANGER?
In any ministry, one must seek the Wisdom of God, otherwise there is the possibility of the enemy being able to cause harm in a situation. Just in the past two weeks, Flora and I found ourselves in a situation where, if we hadn't used God's wisdom, we could have been in big trouble.
At three o'clock in the morning someone started knocking on our door (we live upstairs of the church) and kept on knocking, and just would not go away. I finally said to Flora, "Whoever is down there is scripturally correct, so I guess we're going to have to let them in."
We went downstairs and opened the door, and there stood Katie. What a mess she was in. She was walking the streets for six days. Her feet were so badly blistered that she could hardly walk. She told us that she had gotten soaking wet from the rain storms and had dried out four times.
Like most of the girls on the street, Katie was a cocaine addict, but had only fallen victim to prostitution a year ago. When we first met her, we felt that there was something special about her. She seemed so gentle and kind; something you don't see too often on the streets. The second time we met her, she asked us if we could get her a Bible, and we did. The third time we saw her, she didn't look very well, so we told her if she ever needed anything to come and see us -- and she did -- at three a.m. (Please keep us in prayer for an emergency shelter.)
We made a bed for Katie on our sofa and prayed that God would bring her through it. That is where she stayed for three days; she was so weak she could hardly stand.
But we serve a mighty God -- she had no withdrawal symptoms at all. Being a former addict myself, I know that it is practically impossible, for without the use of proper medication, there may be shakes, convulsions, halucinations, and in worst case scenarios, death. Anyway, after three days, she started getting her strength back. She was eating and feeling fine, so I thought she had been off the drugs for a while before coming here, so I asked her. Her response shocked me - "Just four hours before coming to your door." You know, it not only surprised me, it also surprised her, for she had been an addict for a while. But it was enough to know that God loved her and that He cared for her well-being. That day she turned her life over to the One who loved her -- she gave her life to Jesus.
From that moment on, things started to change in Her life. Doors started to open for her and, by the sixth day, she was all ready to move into a beautiful one bedroom apartment. She had been given furniture, dishes, even bedding -- was she ever being blessed! But then came the big problem: Katie had two dogs and two cats, and they were all at the crack house where she used to live -- and she wanted us to help her move them out of there. Well, two days before this, a man had been shot in front of this place, and as I'm writing this, he's still in intensive care trying to hang on to his life.
So, were we afraid? No, not even intimidated, for when God says go...you go. But you use wisdom. So we called for a police escort into the place. Now, that was a chore, for it took four phone calls and an hour and ten minutes for them to show up. At my last call to the police, I said, "This is Reverend Neil Currie. This is my fourth phone call requesting an escourt into a known crack house. Now, I'm outside this place on my cellular phone, and I'm giving you people ten more minutes, then I'm going in myself. I know this call is being recorded, so if anything happens to me, I will hold the city and the police department responsible." You know, the right words will get you action -- the police were there in less than a minute.
Now, if you want to see fear, there they were...two heavily armed police officers wearing bullet-proof vests, standing behind us as we led the way in. Go figure...how they knew God was going in before us? Oh well, in we went. The girl that had threatened to kill Katie six days before was there, and did she ever cause a scene. She was screaming at Katie...there was a guy passed out on the floor...and the smell of the place was enough to make your eyes water; in fact, one of the police officer's eyes were watering.
Everything turned out OK. The entire operation went like clockwork. We got Katie and her pets out and into their new home, and even the police officers thanked us for the work we're doing on the streets. I was glad because it made it easier for me to forgive them
It's terrible what a drug addiction will do to a person. I know, because it almost killed me...but that's another story. But as for Katie...she got a new life, and I believe that God is going to give her back all that Satan has stolen from her -- and more. This is a war we're in so remember, never go into battle without your Leader. Always stay behind Him, listen to His orders, and carry them out. And never go out without your armor.
We would like to thank all of you who have been so faithful with your prayers and support these past few years. We would also like to thank our board members who believe in our vision and who have supported us with the spiritual guidance and encouragement we all sometimes need.
HOW CAN I HELP?
The Lord knows our heart and every thought in our mind. And we know that His desire is to have His kingdom come and His will be done here on earth. If He has touched your heart through this ministry, then you should prayerfully ask Him in what way you could help this ministry or one like it in your city or town. We at Sanctuary believe that you should never put a price tag on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As it was freely given to us, we should freely give it to a dying world. So, you ask, "How can I help?" You can help by giving of yourself, your time, your giftings, your finances; but most of all, your prayers. We love evryone in this world because Jesus died for everyone in this world. But we can't help them all. That's where YOU come in. Ask God, "HOW CAN I HELP?" You will get your answer.
DO YOU WANT TO HEAR MORE?
If you would like to receive a free copy of our newsletter, please write, call, or E-mail. We'd like to hear from you. But mostly, please keep us in your prayers.
Our snail mail address is:
Sanctuary Christian Fellowship
5580 Cunard Street
Halifax, NS B3K 1C4
Telephone: (902) 425-6880
Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Peace and blessings in Christ Jesus
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