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London's Good Samaritans Dan Morand - Spreading God's Love to the Forgotten of London
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London's Good Samaritans
Dan Morand - Spreading God's Love to the Forgotten of London

London's Good Samaritans
Dan Morand - Spreading God's Love to the Forgotten of London In 2015, Dan Morand felt God calling him to start a full time ministry that would help the most vulnerable in London’s SOHO district. This ministry is called Urban Haven. Dan left a stable, full time contract position to start Urban Haven from scratch, using his extensive experience working with marginalized adults and youth to build it from the ground up. God has put a heart in Dan that leads him to minister to those who are marginalized, homeless, incarcerated, or otherwise vulnerable. Even though this project was completely new, Dan trusted God to take him through it. Dan says that even in the uncertainty of starting a new project, he “had so much peace it didn’t make sense”. From the start, this has clearly been God’s ministry, not Dan’s.

For Dan, being a physical presence showing God’s love to the often marginalized and impoverished residents of the SOHO district was most important. When Dan started Urban Haven, he canvassed the SOHO neighbourhood, meeting people and starting to form relationships with them. Relationships are foremost. Dan and his team get to know people in the area, find out what is important to them, and help them to do life better. They help them find education, jobs, and housing.

London's Good Samaritans
Dan Morand - Spreading God's Love to the Forgotten of London Most importantly, Dan is able to hear about their belief structures and listen to their stories; some residents have gone to church and been hurt by their experiences, some do go to church, and some have no use for the church at all. But by building relationships with SOHO residents, the team is able to find out what they need, and through helping them meet these needs, the team demonstrates God’s love to them in action before sharing the message of the gospel.

London's Good Samaritans
Dan Morand - Spreading God's Love to the Forgotten of London Urban Haven also works to build the SOHO community. God has sent an incredible team of nurses, retired teachers, retail staff, and even a former RCMP officer and a food scientist to work alongside Dan in Urban Haven’s ministry. These volunteers help to offer a variety of activities that encourage people to frequent the church and learn about God’s love for them. There are games nights at the church, the Overcomer program (similar to AA), Christian movie nights, Christian money management principles workshops, and book and Bible studies. These activities are focused around building relationships and creating a sense of community. Through building relationships, Dan’s team has helped around 25 people find full time employment, and has helped several people get into college. These lives have been touched and changed by God’s love through the work of Urban Haven’s volunteers.

London's Good Samaritans
Dan Morand - Spreading God's Love to the Forgotten of London Dan’s team has specifically felt called to meet the needs of the vulnerable who cannot or will not, for whatever reason, come to the church building. Volunteers do outreach activities such as taking sandwiches to homeless people, meeting with homeless people in different areas of the city, such as under bridges, and going to other spaces of the city where people have been forgotten. In fact, one of the amazing things that God called Dan and his team at Urban Haven to do last winter was to open their doors to the homeless when all the homeless shelters in the city were full to capacity and homeless people were left to sleep on the streets during extreme winter weather. Urban Haven started addressing this issue by opening their doors a couple of nights a week, and then found the resources and staff to open their doors four to five nights a week. Those staying at the church felt God’s peace throughout the night, saying that they felt a calm that they did not understand and had slept incredibly well, even though they were just sleeping on the church floor. Some even asked for “that book,” and so Dan’s team was able to share Bibles with those who had come to the church to escape the cold. Taking in the homeless did not come without its challenges, but it went so well that the team knew that God was at work, as only God could pull off such a challenging feat.

Urban Haven turns four this year, and Dan’s leadership ensures that it is a place where people can go to get help without judgment and to find dignity in a world that has tried to take their dignity away. This winter, Dan’s team is hoping to be able to open the church 7 days a week so that the homeless of the city do not have to sleep on the street in the extreme weather. This is an exciting time in Urban Haven’s ministry, and Dan’s team looks forward to continuing to spread God’s love to those in London who have been forgotten by others.

Why not connect with Dan and the Urban Project via facebook (Click HERE)