Three years ago we were made aware of an opportunity to buy the house at 1711 Bloor Street. It sat empty for several years and was full of mould.
For us, it was a strategic buy that provided an access route for future development of the seventeen acres of farmland that we own. Under Richard's supervision, the renovations began.
Paul and Brian, members of the Vision Leadership Board, began to look for tenants. Paul thought, "What about Christian Horizons?" This ministry to persons with exceptional needs immediately came on board. Everything was renovated to their specifications. One year ago, three female residents and their caring staff moved in.
Christian Horizons began in 1965 when Jim and Adrienne Reese could not find suitable help for their son, Steven and founded the Ontario Christian Association for Exceptional Children. Today, our house is one of 200 residences served by three thousand staff members that help almost 1500 families in Ontario. Two new residences have just been opened in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, the first Canadian residences outside Ontario.
Last week, Christian Horizons celebrated their 50th anniversary with a multi-site event and banquet. Representatives of Hope Fellowship were invited to attend this special evening at the Ajax Convention Centre to receive the 2015 "Excellence in Partnership Award" for the work our church has done to provide Christian Horizons with a state of the art residence. Marja and I went and were thrilled to accept a framed print of a lovely water colour scene painted by a woman with exceptional needs who lives in an Ottawa area residence.
I thanked Paul for suggesting Christian Horizons as a tenant. He deflected my compliment and said, "It's one of those God things."
It certainly is. And I'm grateful for the leaders and volunteers who were so open to the Lord's leading that Hope Fellowship is now recognized as an "excellent partner" by a wonderful organization that has served persons and families with exceptional needs for fifty years!
- Pastor Peter