Dave Pedersen was shocked and horrified to discover the brutal life that the homeless suffer all over Canada.
Pedersen, who graduated from Vanier Secondary School, spent last summer on Hastings Street in Vancouver sharing his beliefs and his music with the less fortunate.
This summer, Pedersen has organized a similar expedition for Whitehorse. He has teamed up with his cousin, Michael Wiens, and a fellow Christian they went to elementary school with in Three Hills, Alberta, Jon Rendall.
They decided to live in Whitehorse for the summer and conduct their own style of ministry outreach. They call it “Project Love, Whitehorse”.
The three missionaries plan to live at Robert Service Campground and play music on a regular basis to provide food and comfort to anyone in need. They have been given $1,500 from Carson Dyson so that they can provide the necessary food. They are working primarily with the Riverdale Baptist Church.
“We are not here to convert people; we are here to love people,” says Rendall.
The three of them play instruments and they are excited to jam with, or for, anyone who is interested. Pedersen plays guitar and sings and Wiens plays the bass.
They are also planning to record a CD. They play a mixture of music — some religious, some not — and they have even written some of their own songs.
Pedersen speaks passionately about his past experiences and how he has helped people through their struggles and hardships: “My goal is just to be with the people and build relationships,” Pedersen explains.
These three kindhearted young men are giving up luxuries, like comfy mattresses, to sleep in tents on the hard, cold ground because their message is they are willing to sacrifice parts of their own lives to help other people.
“We will have an open-tent policy,” Pederson says enthusiastically as Wiens and Rendall nod swiftly.
They want everyone to feel comfortable and welcome. Pedersen, Wiens and Rendall have all been involved with youth groups in the past and they hope the youth of Whitehorse will not hesitate to drop by their campsite.
They say they have some good bonding games up their sleeves.
As well as sharing music, they will all exchange stories about how religion and faith has helped them. They hope to increase focus on prayer.
“It’d be cool to see more people come out to prayer meetings than just a couple of old grannies,” Pedersen jokes casually.
The three of them have no quota or overall goal to reach in this project. They are simply going to hang out and share the love.
PHOTO: HEIDI LOOS