Jesus the Good Shepherd: 22nd Anniversary Celebrations
– by Anita Andrade
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! ~ Psalm 133:1
Jesus the Good Shepherd Community, in Toronto, Canada, celebrated its 22nd Anniversary with great joy. The community was established on 8 September 1996. From a small group of 4 couples, the community has now grown to nearly 45 adults, 11 youth and 25 children. Truly, here “the Lord has commanded his blessing: life forevermore.”
The celebrations started off with the Edwin Andrade, the Senior Coordinator, sharing a few remarks on how community began and how it has been a walk in faith with the Lord leading step by step. We then began the Lord’s Day Celebration interspersed with songs of joyous praise and thanks.
Each and every member had a heart filled with thanksgiving as most of us have immigrated from India and started life from scratch in Canada.
God’s generosity and blessings on every family could be seen in the many children and youth who were present.
We then had the ceremonial cutting of the cake which turned out to be a combination of an anniversary and 1stbirthday cake of the twin boys born last year – Pablo and Mateo, born to Rolando and Denise. The 2 babies were born with many complications around their birth but the Lord’s hand was upon the mother in a special way during that time. Much prayer and help from the whole community carried their parents to the arrival of their precious boys. Their two sisters were ecstatic – now each had one to play with. It was a special moment in the evening.
We then had 5 of our children give their short testimonies of their recent trip to the People of God summer camp in Pittsburgh. There was one thread among all the testimonies – they had so much fun and are all planning to go back next year. Our parent volunteer, Dylan, said it was the highlight of his summer and he learnt a lot from his experience.
A slide show presentation was done of all the events of the last year including our children’s March Break Camp, the Summer Jam, the Youth events, the annual family enrichment weekend at the cottage, the Life in the Spirit Seminars, Christmas celebrations, and many more. It brought back some good memories of loving fellowship and a lot of laughs.
If there is one thing that the members can do well is to have fun and enjoy good food.
All in all, it was an evening to remember and the verse that we have been receiving consistently over the years John 10:10, “I came that you may have life, and have it abundantly” is always a testament to his covenantal love and faithfulness to us as members of the community.
May Jesus the Good Shepherd, continue to watch over and guide us. May he lead us in the path that He has shown and just as he laid down his life for his sheep, may we reflect his likeness and lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
Anita Andrade is a member of the Jesus: the Good Shepherd community in Toronto, Canada.