The Impact from One Changed Life

“My job is to love the people in my neighbourhood, accept them for who they are and create a safe place where they are welcome,” said Lyne Renaud, pastor at Hochma in Montreal, QC.

 

Lyne, along with her husband Michel and their family, explored new ways of being church in their Montreal community. Lyne’s son invited a homeless man to the breakfast that the church offered to the neighbourhood. Through their ensuing relationship, Michel and Lyne accepted the invitation to dine at the man’s home. “They were stoned and selling drugs while we were eating with them” Lyne recalled. “Dealers came into the apartment while we were there. My husband and I looked at each other and asked ‘Where are we?’”

When the man suddenly stopped coming, people began to worry. No one knew where he had gone or what had happened.

 

Each Sunday this man faithfully came to Hochma. He was stoned and stinking of the gas that he sniffed but he was always there. Hochma was his church. He loved it and felt safe and welcomed. When the man suddenly stopped coming, people began to worry. No one knew where he had gone or what had happened. Three months later he returned and said confidently, “I have met Jesus and I gave my life to him. I decided to get sober so I went under the bridge and stayed there to get clean of drugs. It has been three months and I am sober and want my life to be aligned with God.”

There has been a change in this man’s life and the people on the street have noticed and are talking about it. He is now the director of Care Montreal, an organization Hochma started with his help, to offer a warm place at night for homeless people. “He is on a mission with Jesus in the neighbourhood to help the city become more and more Christ-like,” said Lyne. “Truly no one is better to take care of that centre because people in the neighbourhood have seen the changes in this man’s life.”