Review: "God In The Alley" by Greg Paul
Greg Pauls book is an incredible look at the Sanctuary community of Toronto plagued by homelessness, drug abuse, prostitution, AIDS, and unemployment. Paul ministers to those in the community and has chronicled his path to understanding what it truly means to be and see Jesus in our world.
When Jesus came to be among the world, he didn't go to the rich, healthy or famous. We went to be among the poor, the sick, the down-trodden. In doing the same, Paul comes to see how the presence of Christ is truly here and if you want to reach out to those who are hurting it is best to "move away from thinking about 'them,' and learn to think about 'us.'"
Paul tells some amazing stories of people in the Sanctuary community, who were up against all odds their entire lives. People don't grow up in this community, they end up there. They are young and old, rural and urban, poor and rich. They come from every walk of life and due to circumstances beyond their control they end up in a life of poverty, hurt and trouble. And yet, through Paul's church and ministry, many of these people do end up coming to Christ. It's a long road out of their situation and for many they often fall back after finding Christ, but the most important thing they come away with is that God loves them despite their circumstances. They come to know that Jesus came for all, and especially for the troubled to help them find peace.
Throughout his work, Paul not only witnessed people changing their lives, but he was transformed as well. He learned that the Spirit of Jesus is still very much in this world, and that you can see the presence of God where you least expect it. And when you do, you realize that that it makes sense His spirit was there all along.