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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Contagious Love Missions Hit Western Canada
An epidemic of kindness breaks out in downtown Calgary.

contagious love 1
Leaving a little message of God's love.
By Helen Yalbir
Calgary, Alberta (Canada). December 10, 2010. Despite the subzero temperatures of one of Canada´s coldest cities, the hearts of 19 young men and women were on fire in Calgary, Alberta. Wearing heavy winter coats, scarves, boots and gloves, the youth embarked on the first even Contagious Love Missions in downtown Calgary. Kiera Curran, the main events coordinator, described it saying, "We´re starting a charity revolution! Just one act of kindness at a time."
Inspired by the 2000 movie Pay it Forward, the idea quickly evolved into a youth mission with the same principle; do a random act of kindness for someone, and instead of them paying it back, they pay it forward to another person.
"After our first planning meeting, we attended Theology on Tap and the guest speaker, without knowing it, confirmed our idea. His whole testimony was about the value of doing random acts of kindness," explained Kiera.
"We all looked at each other with mouths wide open." This appeared to be a providential green light from above. "We knew God wanted this project to move forward!"
The objective of the mission was to bring the real Christmas spirit to the cold streets of Calgary. It was an excuse to evangelize those people who get easily caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. "When you start on the grounds of charity, people´s hearts are open, and you can share with them about the real meaning of Christmas," said one participant.
So, to mark the first Sunday of Advent, the missionaries donned winterwear and a smile and hit the streets. In groups of 3-4 with $10 in their back pocket, they embarked on a mission to see who could do the most
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Gestures of service, no strings attached.
creative act of kindness. 
Some groups stopped to buy cups of coffee and hand them out to the frozen people standing idle at the bus stop. Others feverishly wrote encouraging notes to leave on people´s windshields. Others purchased gloves and socks and took them to the local homeless shelter. "You were sent from God!" said one man as he happily received a pair of socks from the missionaries.
Tara Bailey, currently giving a volunteer year in Calgary with the Regnum Christi Mission Corps, decided to buy a teddy bear and offer it to the first little kid she saw.  "I was looking for a little kid to give it to...I saw one on a bus, I ran on and handed it to him. He just lit up and hugged it super tight. It was awesome!"
At the end of the afternoon, the missionaries regrouped at a local restaurant to share pictures and stories from the day. Each came back with a huge smile, rosy cheeks from the cold winter weather, and a handful of encounters. 
"I love to make people smile. I don´t want it to end with this mission," commented Christine, another missionary, as she warmed her hands with a hot cup of coffee. A just reward after a long day of giving.



Related links web site
Mission Network
Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center and the Center for Family Development
Changing Hearts
Cancun-Chetumal Prelature
Helping Hands Medical Missions

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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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