Photo essay: Walls of Freedom Outreach Centre

Walls of Freedom van
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Photographer Tony Schellenberg and I visited Walls of Freedom Outreach Centre on March 24, 2017 to meet with pastor Jim Wiseman.

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The community service plaque signed by Queen Elizabeth that hung behind his desk was the first thing we noticed. It was awarded to Wiseman during his days as a military recreation instructor in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

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Wiseman formed Walls of Freedom on March 23, 2007 – ten years and a day to the date of our visit. He and wife Jacqie, along with a support team of volunteers carry out the ministry of Walls of Freedom.

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The outreach centre youth room is lined with board games. Donated athletic equipment and two not-so-flat televisions take up most of the small space. It’s packed with kids every Friday night.
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The walls are adorned with old-time hockey plaques and hand-drawn portraits. Wiseman says the pictures sometimes tell a story of what the young men and women are going through.
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Lately Walls of Freedom has run into some bad luck, and face considerable financial burdens: A series of unforeseen events and circumstances leads to a handful of hefty repair bills estimated at $25,000, and Wiseman isn’t exactly sure where he’ll find the money to pay for it all. The elevator (pictured above) is locked, in need of rewiring.

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Wiseman knows every square inch of Winnipeg’s downtown core. He and Jacqie spend a great deal of time on these streets — they’ve embedded themselves the community.

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“I am not consumed by daily results, I am consumed by the word of God. What does God have to say to me that will inspire others today?” says Wiseman. “My responsibility is to share the gospel.”

Photography by Tony Schellenberg

Written by Carson Samson

Carson Samson (CGD) is the Director of Church Relations for Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba. He has been a creative communications professional since 1999. Carson is married to Donna Lee, who works in healthcare management. They have two fun-loving kids (a boy and a girl) and an English Mastiff.

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