Bar Ministry

The man at the ATM bank machine was wearing his pyjamas.

This was not unusual, since the machine is inside our local bar/gambling casino.

People with serious addictions are sometimes not fussy about their wardrobe choices.

We were in this establishment because it was so scorching hot this summer, and the casino is the only spot that has reliable air-conditioning.

I had a diet coke, my husband had a Stella Artois beer, and we split a club sandwich.

The kind server, Gloria, was seeking advice from my husband concerning the long wait her husband was experiencing trying to see a heart specialist.

I watched the people at the machines. They all had the same expressions on their faces, a combination of sadness, expectation, and desperation. Their focus was intense, as they thought that with the next spin their fortunes would change.

I fantasized about going over to the gamblers and telling them that Jesus loves them.

However, this remained just a fantasy. I’m bold when writing about our Lord, but less confident in telling strangers about Him.

I wondered if Christ would have entered establishments such as this if they had been available when he was on earth.

I believe he would have ministered here. He came, not for the righteous, but to call sinners to repentance. He came to love, heal and forgive. Everyone is uniquely precious to God, who longs, through Jesus, to enter into a personal relationship with each of us.

I am still praying for the man in the casino in his pyjamas.

Pixabay photo.


Ray Comes For Dinner

No one knocks around here.

If someone wants to see you, they just walk in ( before Covid).

This behaviour seemed rude, and even dangerous when we first arrived from Ontario, but here, we all know each other.

Ray was a regular visitor at our house. He dropped in to say hello, but also, hopefully, to be invited to stay for dinner.

We knew him from the clinic, where he came for health care.

He had started drinking heavily after his wife died, and then developed a problem with alcohol dependence.

But, we never refer to Ray as ‘an Alcoholic’. A person suffering from substance abuse is so much more than just their addiction !

No place has escaped the scourge of the drug epidemic. Here, in the peaceful outport, there is the same human pain which drives desperate people in every community to try to self-medicate with drugs, including alcohol.

Ray’s mom called me last week to ask if I had seen Ray, since no one seems to know where he is right now..

People who suffer from addictions sometimes disappear for a while without telling anyone where they’re going. This is one of the selfish behaviours resulting from their addiction.

I am praying that Ray will return soon.

Jesus asks us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.

Who is my neighbour ?

Everyone is my neighbour.

iStock photo.

A quaint fishing village in Newfoundland, Canada. Trinity is one of the best preserved fishing villages on “The Rock.” This gorgeous little seaside town is peppered with colorful, clapboard houses, rustic churches, seaside fishing shacks, and a beautiful and quaint ambiance that dates back hundreds of years. The village is located on the Bonavista Peninsula and is a couple hours drive from St. John’s, which is the capital city of the Canadian province of Newfoundland/Labrador. This scenic image was taken in fall at sunset with Trinity Harbour in the distance.