This page features stories from our volunteers, users and supporters. May you be encouraged and inspired by these testimonies!
The real downside of privilege is that we get a narrow view of life
Hi, my name is Lok-ping and I am the food bank in-charge. Thanks to our many donors and volunteer drivers, the food bank has remained operational during the shut-down. I’m grateful, as many of you are, that we are in a position to give. However, involving in the food bank is more than just
Wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and taking online classes…The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it – changes that seemed rather frustrating at the beginning but have gradually become a kind of ‘new normal’ in life. The 105 Gibson Centre has also made corresponding changes to fit into the this new normal.
I borrow this title and content from the famous author, professor and theologian, Henri Nouwen, who spent much of his life’s efforts rooted in spirituality, community and social justice. In a book by the same name that was transcribed after his informal address to Marguerite Bourgeoys Family Service Foundation, he talked about fundraising as central
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every part of our daily lives. 105 Gibson Centre greets you with our blessings and wishes everyone well! 105 Gibson Centre has been closed to the public since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic. Yet we did not stop caring for the community. In fact, we
Since 2013, 105 Gibson Centre has been serving the community with diversified services with aims to address physical, emotional and physical needs. The COVID-19 pandemic response forced us to close in mid-March and has since greatly impacted the Centre’s operations and finances. We are currently providing only two essential services by appointments through Food Bank
Hatam Al Ameri 105 Gibson Centre’s Food Bank is not the first food bank that Hatem visited after arriving in Canada in 2017. However, the Centre’s friendly environment and staff had given him a sense of belonging. To him, the Centre is different from other places because he feels the people here love to help
In the last six years, we have encountered many people who have faced challenges in their lives: older adults isolated from community; youth at loss and uncertain about their future; food bank clients adjusting to a new country or the homeless seeking warmth and shelter. While our existing programs and services can alleviate some of
Benny Wong As a recent grad with steady employment, Benny always considers himself lucky to have everything he needs and not having to worry about anything. Volunteering at 105 Gibson’s Food Bank, Tax Clinic and the Out of the Cold program reinforced this and has changed his perspective of the Centre. When Benny first heard
A Taste of God’s Love – Life Transformation Group (Richmond Hill Christian Community Church)
Richard and Sylvia began leading a small group (Life Transformation Group) at the Richmond Hill Christian Community Church three years ago. Together with the group members, they hoped to put biblical teachings into action by serving the community on a long-term basis. But it was not easy to find such opportunities. They heard about the
Arriving in Canada as a refugee from war-torn Syria four years ago, Jenny was eager for a new adventure here but cultural, financial and linguistic barriers hindered her family to housing, food and education. However her greatest concern was her two young daughters who longed to see their friends in Syria. They could not adjust
I began attending the Toronto Christian Community Church in 1975 – the year that Rev. Dr. John Kao and his wife Esther founded the church. It was a spiritual home to many visa students from Hong Kong – a place where they learned to serve God and the community. From this beginning, the church has
July 2019 marks a milestone for the Toronto Christian Community Church and 105 Gibson Centre. Rev. Dr. Harding Ng, founder of 105 Gibson Centre, retired this month after serving as TCCC’s Senior Pastor for 21 years. Rev. Jonathan Chan, 105 Gibson Centre’s General Director since 2013, will succeed him. We thank Rev. Ng and Rev.
It has been a wonderful six years in which I was in the role of General Director for 105 Gibson Centre and many things have changed. The greatest change I saw over the years is how the Centre has matured with respect to its liveliness, level of services and operations, user visits and even our
Dr. David Wong 105 Gibson Centre’s core values, Love and Hope, are exemplified in Dr. Wong’s volunteer work at the Wellness Clinic. He was invited to consider opening a clinic for Abundant Life Institute. Through holistic healing, the clinic aims to address clients’ emotional and spiritual needs as these are rarely addressed by family physicians.
Dr. Leo Fung Dr. Leo Fung is currently a committee member of the 105 Gibson Centre’s Abundant Life Institute. He worked as a Senior School Development Officer in Hong Kong and is now using his expertise in curriculum development for ALI. He has developed different levels of curriculum to meet the needs of members and
Nestor Lau Nestor’s positive attitude towards life is reflected in his zealous caring for his mother, who has diabetes and memory loss. Their physical, emotional and spiritual needs have been well met by 105 Gibson Centre’s Abundant Life Institute for the past 2 years and he is very grateful to every volunteer’s unconditional companionship and
Volunteers participated in a labyrinth activity on April 6 and meditated on their volunteer experience at 105 Gibson Centre based on questions about friendship, volunteering, community, center of our energy source, compassion, needy, journey, hope and receiving stranger. At the end of the activity, they answered some questions about their volunteer experience at 105 Gibson
Volunteer Appreciation Day with Labyrinth Meditation
Volunteers participated in a labyrinth activity on April 6 and meditated on their volunteer experience at 105 Gibson Centre based on questions about friendship, volunteering, community, center of our energy source, compassion, needy, journey, hope and receiving stranger. It was the first time they have tried this type of activity and this is some of
Rita volunteers as the Tax Clinic’s scheduler and the role involves checking the phone line and email for messages from clients who want to book an appointment to file their tax return. Though this task seems ordinary, she firmly believes this is an excellent way to give back and serve the community especially to the
Eugene’s daughter has been enrolled in Taekwondo class at 105 Gibson Centre for a year. She expressed interest in learning Taekwondo at the age of four. When asked why she loves Taekwondo, she replied: “I like Superman.” Eugene’s daughter is one of the few girls in class, and some boys have the perception that boys
While most Out of the Cold locations offer a meal and shelter for the guests, some locations have additional services in their program. In the past, Toronto Christian Community Church had offered dental check, physiotherapy, hair cut and other services. With Dr. Abraham Yuen’s coordination, optometry service was introduced in 2018 to provide eye exams
Popular Hong Kong singer June transitioned her career focus in 2016 to teach singing and became a teacher at 105 Gibson Centre in 2017. In her teaching, she realized many people lacked self-confidence. With the hope to build students’ self-confidence, she also advocates the teaching ideals of mutual encouragement and support, and communal progress and
June lives within walking distance from 105 Gibson Centre but she had not heard of the Centre until she received the activity pamphlets in her mailbox in 2016. She initially wanted to join the singing class. Unfortunately, some of the classes were not offered in English so she joined the Zumba class instead. Elaine, the
105 Gibson Centre will be welcoming a new group of guests this winter through the Out of the Cold (OOTC) program. OOTC is organized by Mosaic Interfaith, a privately funded organization that partners with interfaith groups to provide hospitality that includes shelter and meals to those in need during the winter months. The Toronto Christian
~ Sandy Lam, Volunteer Coordinator I was introduced to 105 Gibson Centre by my sister-in-law Louisa (who volunteers here too) at a time when I was searching for something more in my life, something that would make a difference, a new purpose after a career in the corporate world. God had given me so many
Adam is the Youth Ministry leader at the Japanese Gospel Church of Toronto. Years ago, they had an idea for an outreach project using sports as a basis, but as a smaller church, they did not have a space that was large enough to play sports. Hence, they started to search for gyms that were available
~ By Reverend Jonathan Chan Former General Director, 105 Gibson Centre Since 2013, 105 Gibson Centre has been serving the needy. Yet sometimes it is hard to even imagine that there are needy around us because of the success stories of the community. The reality is, there are those who are “hidden” in the community.
Many Syrian refugees have arrived in Toronto in recent years, with a high percentage of them residing within walking distance of the 105 Gibson Centre. By serving them through the Food Bank, Lok-Ping reflects on the true meaning of serving. We all have our comfort zones and a natural tendency to associate with people from
~ by Yee Lee Hung Being a mom of three young boys, I often need to find ways to teach them about sharing God’s love with others. Through Lok Ping, my husband and I learned about how people use the Food Bank services at 105 Gibson Centre, and we shared these stories with our children.
Ani is a happy lady from Syria and always has a big smile on her face. She knows deeply that God has called her to serve in Canada and by combining her experience and passion, she had found the perfect opportunity and platform to serve Syrian women who are trying to integrate into the Canadian
~ By Shen Wing Lui Shen Wing Lui has been an active participant of 105 Gibson’s Abundant Life Institute and hopes to be more involved with the Centre’s activities in the future. He moved to Toronto from New Brunswick in 2013 as he wanted to live closer to his mother and sister. He was introduced
~ By Elaine Cheung Sports has always been a part of my life. Bowling, table tennis and badminton were my favourite during my college years. Over the past 20 years, I also grew an interest in tennis, line dance, Zumba and other fitness exercises. I started teaching line dance and Zumba at 105 Gibson in
Winston and his wife Ruby joined 105 Gibson’s Abundant Life Program (currently Abundant Life Institute) almost two years ago as they identified with 105 Gibson’s mission and decided to support the community by attending the classes here. While Winston enjoys tai chi classes, Ruby loves to attend line dancercise classes to stay healthy. Winston is
With great delight, the Abundant Life Institute has launched this week! It is our dream come true. The idea of ALI started in 2014 but the journey had begun much earlier before. Pastor Monica spent many years serving in a community as a missionary in Japan and also as a chaplain at long-term care homes. She
NPower Canada has been renting 105 Gibson Centre’s facilities since September 2016 to host our free IT training and job placement program for underserved young adults. Though we have several locations in the GTA, 105 Gibson was our first site in York Region. Its location along the Markham/Toronto boundary makes transportation convenient to our participants.
Terry loves to play sports at a young age and he loves to share different sports with the community through regular classes, tournaments and workshops. But his goal is to share Jesus’ love and build a friendly relationship with them. Often people think sports are only for younger boys, but for Terry, raising people’s physical
Cheung’s family is one of the few families in which two generations attend classes at 105 Gibson Centre together for one mutual interest – stay healthy. Mr. Cheung Hin-Tung (the father) has poor vision and weak knees limiting his mobility and thus made it difficult for him to exercise. His son Edmund and his daughter-in-law Cordelia invited
James immigrated to Canada over 40 years ago and is now retired. He is quite active and enjoys playing sports in his spare time. He used to play badminton but had also explored other sports. He has recently learned to play pickleball which is a combination of tennis, table tennis and badminton. To James, it
How does a place become “good”? Is it by its geographical location? Or by the activities that happen there? Or by the people who gather there? And what makes a person “good”? By their background? Or by what they do? 105 Gibson Centre’s Cultural Café ministry strives to be a place where the community can
~By Edwin Li I was invited to be the Chair of 105 Gibson Centre’s Phase 2 Construction Committee two years ago. It was a big role to fill as it involved understanding each ministry’s needs and requirements, selecting the architect, lawyer and general contractor, not to mention attending regular meetings. I was hesitant at first
Marco has been working at the 105 Gibson Cultural Café since it opened in 2014. His optimism and great sense of humour makes it difficult to imagine the hardship he faces as a visually impaired person (VIP). He was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa and gradually lost his vision by his mid-30s. Shortly after, he became
~By YY Chan YY Chan was the project manager of 105 Gibson Centre’s Phase 2 Construction Project. His main tasks included analyzing the entire project, updating stakeholders on the progress, preparing budgets, controlling costs and quality, and aligning the timeline to prevent interruption of the Centre’s daily operations and ensuring that the construction could be
~By Virginia I witnessed a drastic change in my nephew Kenny’s life during the three years he joined the 105 Gibson’s Youth Services A Meal Together program. Born in Shanghai, Kenny was educated in an international school with his younger brother and grew up with two nannies at home. This “western” and luxurious upbringing had
By Amy Chui While most of 105 Gibson’s programs run year-round, the Tax Clinic opens only from March to April – the shortest of any programs at the Centre. Yet, its history is longer than the Centre itself. It began when 12 volunteers from the Toronto Christian Community Church’s English congregation spearheaded the tax clinic
Lily volunteers at the Tax Clinic and she shares her story from receiving help to offering help. She came to Canada in 2010 and had few friends here. She encountered difficulties in coping with the new environment and studies, thus her depression worsened and she required medication and counselling. Her life turned around when she
By Thrift Store Donor My wife and I ended our jewelry business and planned to return to Hong Kong. We contacted multiple organizations hoping they would accept our shelves and jewelry as donations. We waited for a long time for them to return our calls as we had nowhere to bring the jewelry. Time was
By Nora Yeung Our Thrift Store has been serving the community since 2015 with a primary objective of serving those in need. Previously a volunteer gave a set of bed linen and pillowcase to a missionary as a gift. This small kind gesture brought tremendous joy as they replaced the old set while giving thanks
By Mrs. Siu Fei Tsui Mrs. Tsui is a 94 year old lady with small but intelligent eyes. Due to her weak hearing, our conversation was conducted by writing on paper. She is particularly fond of attending the medical and health talks at 105 Gibson Centre as she finds them very helpful and informational. She
By Pastor Jackie Sheridan, Toronto Christian Community Church While families were preparing to sit down with loved ones and gorge on roasted turkey meals, giving thanks for the many blessings they enjoyed throughout the year, there are many in our community who rely on the generosity of others to provide meals to sustain their families.
By Peter Fellowship, Richmond Hill Christian Community Church What an experience it was for the 48 of us from Peter Fellowship to volunteer and serve at 105 Gibson’s Community Christmas Celebration! It was an occasion where we saw God’s provision, and grace at work within us and His family! Many of us volunteer individually in
Tiffany was frustrated and unhappy when she and her family immigrated to Toronto five years ago from China. She found it very difficult to adjust to the new lifestyle, culture and language. She had trouble keeping up at school and could not make new friends. Distressed, she even wanted to return to China. But she
Louisa’s desire to serve and go on a mission is deeply influenced by her grandmother who was a dedicated and faithful Christian. Due to her line of work and family obligation, going on a mission trip is a challenge. 105 Gibson Centre became her local mission field. Louisa is a regular volunteer since 2013 when
Konichiwa! Bonjour! Harrison, an exuberant 18-year old, playfully greets others at 105 Gibson Centre. He is active and sporty, with basketball, soccer, badminton, volleyball and pingpong on his schedule. But his real love is acting, photography and videography – two years ago he had even produced a video for A Meal Together where he felt
By Tina My initial motivation to volunteer at A Meal Together was a simple heart to help others. As time went by, I actually found myself becoming a beneficiary and have gained much more than I have given. I am an introvert and building relationships is not my strength. Yet my heart yearns to connect
By Nora The Thrift Store first started operations in 2015 and in 2016, it generated over $50,000 from sales. Between April to July this year, the revenue has already reached $48,000. God always gives us more than what we ask for! One of our challenges is the lack of retail management expertise but God continues
By Mr. and Mrs. Chee-Tuk Law My wife and I immigrated to Toronto many years ago. Our children are now grownup and we have been retired for over 10 years. We live in east Scarborough, where public transportation is inconvenient and we do not drive. There is a cultural centre nearby, but we have not
Donald originally came from Mangalore (formerly Mangaluru, “luru” meaning “place” in the Indian Kannada language) after studying law there and also living in Adu Dhabi for some time. 14 years ago he and his wife immigrated to Canada and settled down in Scarborough for their retirement life. She encouraged him to participate in more activities and