Leaders: Aaron and Cherie White, Jon and Carla Evans (The War College)
Address: 108 West Hastings, Vancouver, BC.
Mailing Address: PO Box 88088 Chinatown Post Office, Vancouver BC, V6A 4A4
Blog: thewarcollege.blogspot.com / www.warroom614.blogspot.com
Area Website: www.bc.salvationarmy.ca
Meet The Team
Cherie and Aaron White have served in 614 Vancouver for seven years. Like all the soldiers and members of 614 Vancouver, they live in the Downtown Eastside, raising their family of four children, and living with and loving the people in their neighbourhood. Cherie focuses on women’s outreach and discipleship, particularly amongst prostituted women and those struggling with addictions. Aaron spends his time discipling, creating cell talk material for the Corps and for groups around the world, teaching, and justice projects. He is the co-author of FUTURIZE, THE HITCH HIKER’s GUIDE TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD and REVOLUTION, along with other collaborations. Aaron and Cherie have served in The Salvation Army in England and Canada.
Jon and Carla Evans are multiplying pioneers of cells who help lead 614 Vancouver and specifically lead The War College’s Vancouver campus as Spiritual Formation Director and Training Principal respectively. They share four university degrees and a family with three young children. Both officers’ kids, the Evans’s have served God in cities across Canada and bring a passion emerging out of intimacy to their roles in the Corps and The War College. Both lead cell groups, teach at The War College and disciple within the College and the community.
The White’s and the Evans’s lead a committed and mostly young group of leaders who have made 614 Vancouver, and the Downtown Eastside, their home.
The Rhythm of 614
The main focus of our life together is not set meeting times or formal worship services, but rather life lived with each other and with our neighbours. We all live within a ten minute walking distance, and most of our neighbourhood is comprised of people living in local slum hotels, in shelters, in co-ops or on the street, though there is a growing gentrification that is bringing in a new population as well.
Our community work is entirely hands on and face-to-face. It is centered more around inviting people to sit down at a family dinner table than distributing food in a line-up. We are postured to walk people through a journey of recovery and celebration in a way that affirms their dignity and offers them authentic family and community. And because we are local, we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We make friends with our neighbours through life lived in the community, and through intentional efforts of visitation and outreach. When our friends are ready to leave a life of addiction, prostitution, or homelessness, we are able to help them into detox and recovery, and we can be with them through the entire difficult process. We advocate for them, support them practically and spiritually, surround them with dedicated people, and help them discover a vision for new life. We connect people with local housing, employment, ongoing recovery services, and faith community. Over the years we have been enormously blessed to participate in the lives of a many who have gone from street-entrenched and addicted to full recovery and fullness of life.
In aid of all of this, we run a few organized programs:
Cell Groups – Our Corps is organized into cell groups. Instead of meeting for a weekly worship service, we meet in small groups in people’s homes, hotels, homeless shelters, and local parks. Each cell group is lead by one person with an assistant, and is usually comprised of no more than 12 people per cell. Cells include welcome, worship, word, and witness portions, using cell outlines that we create. Cells are places of community, worship, teaching, and outreach.
RE:cre8 Cafe – Opens up to an alley near Hastings and Abbott. Open four evenings a week, it provides a safe, dry, friendly place to develop relationships. Operated nearly completely by 614 members, RE:cre8 has become a hub of community in the neighbourhood and a great drawing pool for cells.
RE:genr8 – Our cell-based children’s initiative, reaching local children and their parents. Run by Caro Lander and a team of mentors, this ministry offers love and service every week to a multitude of local families.
The War College – While the war remains the same, the third millennium has introduced a myriad of changes to the nature of the battles we face. Soldiers require training to face these old enemies in new garb with an effective Godly response. This School honours our heritage while establishing a legacy for the next generation. Students come for a year (with a 3-month placement during the summer) and have the option of staying on for a Phase 2a and Phase 2b year as well, where they delve more deeply into community life in the model of the Trinity, and explorations of their specific vocations.
Battle School – A discipling effort for people coming out of recovery. This program, created and run by Mitchell and Sally Stevens, includes three month modules in which students learn the basics of prayer, bible study, budgeting and service, amongst other things. The program is specifically tailored to each student.
War Room – A 24 hour/day, seven day/week prayer meeting operating since February 2004. The War Room was located in a slum hotel room, overlooking the symbolic centre of the neighbourhood. It is now located above a homeless shelter and women’s refuge, and is operating according to a community rhythm of prayer. We run seasons of non-stop prayer, and other seasons of three-times daily prayers centered on the Psalms. The space is open to all, and incorporates art, music, Scripture, and intercession. 614 cell-mates, War College students, local residents and brothers and sisters from outside churches join together in prayer for Yahweh to establish His presence in the downtown eastside, in Canada and across the globe. 614 Vancouver is a recognized “Boiler Room” prayer centre for 24-7 Prayer. www.24-7prayer.ca www.24-7prayer.com
Kneedrill – The weekly prayer meeting of 614 Vancouver, held above a Salvation Army Emergency Shelter.
The Journey – A three-day retreat for women from the downtown eastside to BC’s beautiful sunshine coast. Women already in relationship with corps members are sponsored to attend the retreat, to be encouraged, ministered to and prayed with.
Hope Renfrew – A community and family-based recovery and transition house for women from the Journey and in 614 community, run by soldiers Donny and Jenea Melanson-Gomez.
League Of Mercy – A weekly visitation to our friends and neighbours living in SRO (Single Residence Occupancy) hotels, bringing love, joy, assistance, community, and the announcement of the Kingdom.
Night Vision – Our weekly street outreach with women who are being prostituted.
Street Combat – Our weekly street outreach, offering prayer and assistance to those living on the streets of the DTES.
Community Apartments – Expanding and establishing authentic community in the DTES. Shared living for love’s purposes. The people are mixed but the mission is the same: love.
Celebrate Recovery – Partnering with other Salvation Army units, we send many leaders and friends to participate in this faith-based 12-step recovery program.
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