Again this year, about 100 people attended the Train Station barbecue in Courtenay.
The Train Station Christian Based Outreach has been meeting every Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. for more than five years. The meetings feature a time of old-time gospel music, refreshments, testimonies, fellowship and prayer.
“This year’s BBQ was a little different because about 50 per cent of the people that came out were people that we invited from the Sonshine Soup Kitchen, located at St. George’s Church,” said spokesman Murray Coulter.
“Our small Train Station string band has been providing encouraging gospel music at the Soup Kitchen once a month. As a result, we have gotten to know some of the folks that have lunch there, and many showed up at the BBQ.”
Organizers served more than 144 hamburgers, pop, chips and hotdogs. After everyone had eaten, they sat and listened to gospel music provided by Chad Block.
“I know it was God that encouraged us to start having these meetings at the train station in January of 2006,” said Coulter. “This is an outreach to the homeless and addicted, to the weary and brokenhearted, as well as to many local church people.”
“In the last five years we have had well over 100 testimonies from just ordinary people of how the love of God has changed their lives,” he added. “Everything from deliverance from addictions to drugs and alcohol, to restored marriages, miracle healings, recovery from debt and much much more. These are real-life people with real-life problems that God has been able to solve.”
The Train Station is being run by the Comox Valley Direction Society, and the Tuesday night gospel meetings rent the facility for a nominal fee.
“The old E&N building that was built in 1914 is an awesome landmark and heritage site; it has much history and fond memories for many Valley residents,” said Coulter. “The old building is now in need of some repairs, and a new roof is the first thing that will be needed.
“I certainly hope that the City of Courtenay and other local supporters will start taking some action to see that this beautiful heritage building is preserved. It is one of the only meeting places available for AA, NA and other important outreaches that find the building centrally located and affordable.”
The group will not meet this month but plans to return the second Tuesday of September from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
— Train Station Christian Based Outreach