Having faith in God can feel a bit like believing in an imaginary friend. It’s normal to have occasional doubts about our faith. But the best news is that, even if we’ve left behind our faith at some point, God will always welcome us back with open arms. And there’s no IFs, ands or buts about that!

In 2011, when Drew Harper graduated from high school in his rural hometown of Paris, Illinois, he just wanted to “get out.” College appeared to Drew as a shiny object in the distance—the cure to all his teenage angst. But as he studied, Drew began to realize that the Bible was less of a text he needed to master and more of a life he wanted to live. “What I saw in Scripture showed me that God cares deeply for this world,” he says. “I began to pay more attention to my physical environment.” That blossomed into his desire to build and beautify what he calls “place”—where we spend our time and live our lives. The goal of Drew’s work remains unchanged: to help people live happier, healthier lives.

The Salvation Army in Orillia, Ont., has been running a weekly street ministry since 2016, providing essential help to vulnerable people. They help an average of 200 people each Friday. In 2023, they served more than 9,000 meals. While hot meals are the focus of the program, there is also an emphasis on additional support, such as providing thrift store vouchers, toiletries and sleeping bags. 

There's a story behind the painting of Salvation Army co-Founder General William Booth that is in the office of Ted Troughton, National Recycling Operations managing director. managing director.The work of Vernon Miike, manager of The Salvation Army’s thrift store in Oakville, it is a fusion of passion and purpose.