One Ministry, One Church, One Message Worldwide
Creflo Dollar Ministries has a wide reach across nations, bringing people the message of God’s grace and love. Did you know that we do outreach in Canada? Creflo Dollar Ministries Canada is based in Toronto, and we recently caught up with them to get a glimpse of how the outreach work there is going. We spoke with Doug Whitehead, managing director of CDM Canada, and Gerrick Denton, business and data analyst.
Warming the Homeless
CDM Canada began 2020 with an outreach familiar to them, Warming the Homeless. On January 20th and February 7th, a volunteer team of 23 ministered for approximately two hours. They drove up and down the streets of downtown Toronto and stopped wherever people were laying under cold blankets or sitting up with blankets wrapped around to survive the night. The team witnessed to 35 people whose only option was to sleep on the sidewalk, and provided blankets, tarps, hats, gloves, and hand-warmers to help protect them during temperatures of 15 degrees Fahrenheit. The volunteers also distributed Creflo Dollar’s book, Simple Favor, to those who would accept it, as well as prayed with them for protection, guidance, and provision. For some, just having someone acknowledge them and show love and concern meant the world to them. Imagine losing hope and being in 15-degree weather with no resources. Now imagine volunteering in that same 15-degree weather to simply show love.
COVID-19: Scaling Back to Move Forward
Like most other organizations, CDM Canada was obstructed by the safety restrictions at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most people were confined to their homes, so the ministry was forced to temporarily suspend mission activities from March to July 2020. According to Doug, “We didn’t do anything at that time because nobody knew what you were allowed to do or what kind of contact you could have with people. Since then, we have been able to continue our activities with a few exceptions.” The ministry had to scale back, regroup, and adjust to new protocols in order to move forward with outreach. For example, there’s a lot of really close contact during the street missions and they couldn’t guarantee the safety of the volunteers who assist with that outreach. So, they focused on COVID relief for people that reached out to the office instead, and continued with their annual Back to School drive, Thanksgiving food baskets, and Christmas toys.
Like CDM offices around the world, CDM Canada sometimes teams up with local churches and community organizations to provide aid. Most of the 2020-2021 school year in the Toronto area was virtual, so school-related needs increased when students were set to return to in-person schooling. In August 2021, members of a local church were in need of backpacks and school supplies for their children, but the church didn’t have the means to provide that assistance this year. CDM Canada moved alongside them to provide the supplies. The event was held at the church and combined with a special service for the youth.
COVID relief efforts gave the CDM ambassadors in other parts of Canada a chance to step up. They reached out to their local communities and put names forward of people who needed assistance; they acted on behalf of the CDM Canada office in their local neighborhoods to provide COVID relief to people who can’t be reached by the main office in Toronto. “We’ve got a good concentration of partners out on the east coast, which is north of Maine and the northeast U.S., but the true partner base is spread across Canada with larger concentrations in the major cities,” said Gerrick.
The CDM Canada office was able to broaden its reach from coast to coast with their monthly partner letter as an outreach tool. The monthly partner letter contains a special word from Creflo Dollar to the people who have chosen to partner with Creflo Dollar Ministries, and also contains updates on the outreach work CDM Canada has been doing. From the west coast of British Columbia, all the way to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland on the east coast, the monthly partner letter puts out a call to action to find people in local communities that need help.
For example, a woman who runs a bed and breakfast a few hours north of Toronto extends her home to the community for people to come listen to Creflo and Taffi Dollar’s teachings. Along with many other CDM Canada ministry partners, she participates in the distribution of relief baskets, gift cards, and ministry materials to local neighborhoods, women’s groups, and shelters. Partners throughout the country do much the same thing. They reach out to the community and find where the need is; then CDM Canada provides the ministry materials to meet the needs in those local areas. The ministry provides the resources, but these precious partners are the people on the ground, distributing things and praying for those who need assistance.
One partner always includes prayer for her community when she contacts the CDM Canada office. She connected with a shelter in her community and met a family there whose daughter is wheelchair-bound. Her mother is her full-time caregiver and the family just escaped a house fire last fall. They were in a tough situation financially and, through our partner, we were able to alleviate some of their burden during the holiday season by providing a Thanksgiving meal. The family was beyond grateful, and very impacted by the fact that people they didn’t know wanted to help them get back on their feet.
The Toronto office also delivered Thanksgiving baskets to a low-income housing community. One of the residents contacted the ministry for help for herself, but also mentioned that there were people in her building in similar situations to her own. She gave CDM Canada the names of the families in need in her community and helped lead the outreach team to the correct doors.
That’s what we are called to do as World Changers, and CDM Canada is at the forefront of being the hands and feet of Jesus. Stay tuned for more about CDM Canada in our article next month!