Giving Tuesday Now is a global day of giving and unity that takes place on May 5, 2020 as a response to COVID-19. We invite all members of our MDC community to join us in demonstrating the power of generosity.
Our grads are serving the Hamilton community during the COVID-19 crisis.
Jon Miedema graduated from our MTS program in 2016 and has been serving as Chaplain of the Salvation Army Hamilton Booth Centre. Read his Q&A below to hear how he has been serving his community in crisis:
Tell us more about the ministry you are involved in.
For the last three and a half years I have worked as a Chaplain at the Salvation Army Hamilton Booth Centre. The Booth Centre is a shelter that provides emergency housing and other supports for men experiencing homelessness. Through my spiritual care practice, I endeavour to carry out the Salvation Army’s mission to share Jesus’ love, meet human needs, and help transform lives.
How has the COVID crisis affected your ministry?
Our community gatherings like Bible studies, men’s groups, drop-in program, and Sunday chapel services have been discontinued, but we have still have ways to serve our neighbours. Donning PPE at appropriate physical distances, I can meet one-to-one with clients. I help out on our soup van that distributes community meals to those in need.
We have learned to shift to other means of contact—presently I do phone support with residents and community members. I’ve facilitated Zoom meetings for residents with their external support teams. I’ve even been helping enhance our social media presence! You can follow the work we do on Instagram and Facebook @HamiltonBoothCentre.
I’ve been inspired by the way our community has rallied together and supported one another through this crisis. I’m thankful for a supportive team and for the people I encounter that find contentment and joy in some of the worst of circumstances.
How has MDC helped prepare you for your ministry?
MDC taught me that it possible—and liberating!—to read the Bible with a critical lens, and to understand the Bible as divinely inspired words.
In the practice of spiritual care, a key learning was that when providing support, inviting the right questions is often more important than providing answers.
In what ways can the MDC community be praying for you and your ministry in the coming months ahead?
Since COVID, life has often been overwhelming—as a husband and father of three young kids—to continue to work while practicing self-care. I’d love if everyone could continue to pray that we “flatten the curve” as a province, partly for the sake of parents everywhere! In the meantime, pray I do my best to display the Fruit of the Spirit in all that I do, particularly, joy, patience and self-control.
For us at the Salvation Army, pray for more people and faith communities ready to follow Jesus by radically getting to know our city’s marginalized poor. Our men want to be loved. They want to be known and come to know us too.
By supporting MDC, you are partnering with us to carry out our mission to prepare Christian leaders like Jon to serve the most vulnerable in our communities.