Just steps away from the front door of The Ottawa Mission, you will find a small office with a sign reading “Chaplain”. For the last 4 months Cosmas Ajawara has been sitting behind the desk in this office, offering spiritual support to anyone who walks through his open door.
“When people in the community ask me what I do on a daily basis as Mission Chaplain, sometimes it’s hard to describe,” says Chaplain Cosmas. “Spiritual support is much more than just offering prayers. A big part of my job is actually to just listen, because often someone who is homeless has no one to talk to and may not feel heard. I believe there’s a much deeper need for spiritual support in the shelter than most people think. “
As well as offering his ear to anyone who needs to talk, Chaplain Cosmas has many other duties. He visits with the patients who stay in The Mission’s 14-bed hospice and also holds a weekly meeting with men in our Stabilization addiction treatment program. He also organizes special spiritually-based discussion groups for staff at The Mission each week. And every weekday at 11:00 a.m. you can find him in the Chapel at The Ottawa Mission conducting a service for an average of 40 people.
“The people who attend our Chapel service every day are a mix of those staying at the shelter and also people in need in the community, who come to The Mission for lunch,” Chaplain Cosmas notes. “Some consider our Chapel their church and others come because they just love to sing – that’s a big part of the service. I see them all as members of The Mission ‘family’ because often it’s here they feel safe, welcome and cared for and that’s the true meaning of family.”