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Wings of Prayer Ministries
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Wings of Prayer Ministries

Wings of Prayer Ministries Even as a 10 year old boy, being raised on a farm just outside of Thorndale Ontario, John Trudgeon knew that he wanted to be a preacher. As the young lad preached across the river that ran through his family property, I imagine that a stray cow or pig may have been on the receiving end of one of his Gospel messages.

After retiring from a 30-year career with General Motors, and a 7-year stint driving for Robert Q Travel, John earned his PHD in Religious Education/ Counselling in 2012.

Wings of Prayer Ministries Well before John had a formal title attached to his name, he had in innate desire to care for the forgotten and the disenfranchised in the London area. In 2002, Wings of Prayer Ministries became a Para church ministry with an emphasis on providing food, furniture and clothing for those in need. The Ministry was patterned after the Matthew 25 passage regarding the care of the needy which states in verse 40 of the NIV version of the Bible, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” It also echoes the heart of the Father who “Defends the cause of the fatherless, and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing” (Deuteronomy 10:18 NIV version)

WOPM received its charity status in 2004, and in 2006, the Ministry teamed up with another ministry (Oasis Fellowship) to start a church. A facility was rented on Dundas St. East in 2009, and when the facility was no longer available for rent, the combined ministries moved to the original Under the Volcano restaurant at the corner of Colborne and Bathurst Streets. Wings of Prayer Ministries The building was strategically located, close to the Salvation Army Centre of Hope, the Men’s Mission, and near 3 large London Housing apartment complexes. With its conspicuous location, in the heart of the Soho community, the goal of the church was to draw in the emotionally wounded, those dealing with addictions, and those who had given up on life in general.

Wings of Prayer Ministries
Pastor John and his wife Helen
With the help of his wife Helen, who has a doctorate degree in counselling, and is the WOPM administrator, Pastor John’s goal was for the facility to provide a safe and nurturing environment where life skills such as cooking, budgeting, and personal hygiene could be taught in conjunction with the godly principles of counselling, mentorship and discipleship. The building was to become, not only a place where the Gospel is preached, it was to serve as a place of spiritual and emotional healing.... a Christian “hospital,” so to speak.

In 2011, WOPM and Oasis Fellowship separated when Pastors Doug and Aileen Mc Geachie (leaders of Oasis Fellowship), moved to Baja Mexico to run a mission house under the umbrella of Victory Churches International. When WOPM moved to their present location on Colborne St., Pastors John and Helen backed the purchase of the building using their own home as collateral. John and Helen never received a salary or even an honorarium until approximately 2 years ago when the Board of Directors finally insisted that Pastor John receive a small token salary.

The building itself is not strictly a place of worship. There is housing upstairs for 4 individuals, who each have their own bedroom, and share a large kitchen, two bathrooms, and a small common area. These residents are being housed here, in part, because the rent is very affordable; however, some of the tenants have issues with homelessness, addictions and mental illness, while others who had been hospitalized were unable to be released until housing was in place. Renting to marginalized individuals has proven to be a challenge. There have been several landlord/tenant issues over the years....unpaid rent, damage to the units, harassment, noise and smoking violations, as well as court costs associated with tenant eviction issues, to name a few.

The Colborne St. facility is open from 8:00 am to noon Monday to Wednesday, and has provided emergency food boxes similar to those of the London Food Bank. Several agencies such as the St. Leonard’s Community Services and the Canadian Mental Health Association still look to WOPM for start-up goods such as kitchenware, towels and bedding. Four times each year, WOPM endeavours to hold seasonal clothing give-aways.

Wings of Prayer Ministries Before Pastor John had hip replacement surgery, WOPM had a critical furniture delivery component attached to its list of “helping” functions. At least 2 or 3 times a week, Pastor John and his volunteer assistant(s) would deliver mattresses, bed frames, tables, chairs, lamps, etc. to those in need. The positive reactions, the smiles and the tears of gratitude of these recipients, (who never thought anyone would care enough about them to display such kindness), has been truly heart-warming to the pastors and to the volunteers. Several of the furniture recipients have been young single mothers who couldn’t get their children out of foster care until they had beds and furniture in place for them. These moms were shocked and thrilled that anyone would do this for them, and that there was no charge. (You see, for several years, Pastor John had collected scrap metal, in order to cover the cost of the fuel needed to deliver the furniture, and that’s the reason there was no charge for delivery. But eventually, the Ministry accountant stepped in and told the pastor that he needed to start charging a small delivery fee. Even so, the fee was often waived when the client was unable to come up with the money.)

Wings of Prayer Ministries   Wings of Prayer Ministries

In addition to a weekly Wednesday evening Bible Study and Sunday worship service, WOPM conducts weekly hymn-sings for seniors at 2 city retirement/nursing care residences, and until recently, the Ministry delivered day-old baked goods to some of the London Housing complexes in the area.

On Sundays, the worship team leads the rest of the congregants through the use of pre-recorded music. There are no bands, no hoopla, no pyrotechnics, and no frills. As far as Pastor John’s preaching style is concerned, there are no “bells and whistles” involved. The Word is preached; salvation is the goal. The recurring message is, “repent, read the Word, assemble yourselves, face your consequences...but believe on God as a God of mercy and grace and of second chances.”

Each service is followed by a meal provided on a rotational basis by those who can afford to prepare a light lunch for a small group. The meal not only provides sustenance for those that are in need, it also serves as a time of fellowship and bonding, as any “family” meal should.

WOPM is overseen by a Board of Directors, and Pastors John and Helen are grateful for the Board’s continued godly advice, support, and prayers. Constructive advice has always been welcomed by the pastors and prayer has been the catalyst to push the pastors to “keep-on-keeping-on” when it would have been easy and logical to “pack-it-all-in” and merely enjoy retirement. Even though WOPM and its mandate to help the underdog has been the fulfillment of a young boy’s dream, the road has not been an easy one. The financial challenges involved in simply trying to keep the church doors open, as well as the challenges posed by the upstairs tenants, has lead to countless sleepless, prayer-filled nights for the pair. In addition to the financial and tenant related issues, Pastors John and Helen’s physical bodies have paid the price for the strenuous physical labour involved in the furniture deliveries and building repairs/renovations. Pastor John underwent hip replacement surgery in October of 2018, and Pastor Helen is now scheduled for knee replacement surgery.

WOPM has been blessed by a local church that has supplied the church with hats, mitts, scarves and socks for the winter clothing-give-away, as a component of their Christmas outreach project. However, WOPM is in desperate need of men’s gently used blue jeans, track pants, hoodies, winter coats and jackets, as well as financial donations to keep the pastor’s vision alive and functioning.

If you would like to make a financial contribution or donate any gently used men’s clothing, please contact Pastors John and Helen at wingsofprayer@rogers.com or call the church office at 519-936-1490. May the Lord richly bless you as you help support the vision of Wings of Prayer Ministries Inc.