Geraldine Ymana

A few years ago, I experienced a pivotal time of change in my relationships and career. When I first moved to Toronto, I struggled to nest and call it home. I deeply desired a sense of community and belonging. So, I began to soul search and look for people who could bring me closer to God and connect me to a community.

It was at this point that my Mom reminded me of one of our favourite Bible verses to pray whenever you find yourself at a crossroads: Luke 11:9 “So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.”  I really took that scripture to heart and soon discovered the doors of St. Basil’s. I knocked and they flew wide open!

Two things immediately drew me in: Fr. Chris’ homilies and Leanna who was absolutely instrumental in identifying opportunities to get involved. One homily in particular that really hit home and called me to take action – it was about the need to prune dead buds in order to grow, John 15:1-8. Even though I still felt like a bit of a stranger to the church community, I went ahead and emailed Leanna asking if there anything I could get involved in. The answer I got back was, YES!

Enthusiasm is contagious, and so I ended up signing up for almost everything! I have come to love the ministries and people of this church. Not only did I find a community to belong to, but I have also experienced a real deepening of my prayer life through service of others. The way that the other volunteers who help out in ministries like the holiday bake sales, Miller Group and John Ford First Sunday food drive, give so selflessly of their time and resources has made me grow in gratitude and happiness.

Community is what I treasure most about St. Basil’s. Here, I experience God through others. I am so thankful that I am able to bring my whole self to this community, build strong relationships, and have authentic and challenging conversations. In this very big city, I can finally say that I am home!