The Edmonton Dream Centre

Bearing Burdens…Changing Lives

By Courtney Vera

Fourteen years after its conception, the Edmonton Dream Centre continues to grow and flourish as a ministry that offers new beginnings and fresh hope to women who have lost their way. Be inspired and challenged as Loredana Reddekopp, Executive Director shares her story of serving the Lord in places of deep spiritual and physical need—truly living out Paul’s command to “bear…one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

t: What was the inspiration for the Edmonton Dream Centre?

L: Over 15 years ago, a businessman in Edmonton was moved by the need he saw among the homeless and addiction- driven people in the city. In 1998, this man purchased a house in downtown Edmonton with the vision of using it to transform lives through relational care, counselling, and housing—this marked the official birth of the Edmonton Dream Centre. Over time, another house was purchased. Today, we operate out of a 16-suite facility.

My personal journey with the Edmonton Dream Centre began in 2009 when that same man approached me to ask if I would be willing to become a board member for the Dream Centre. At the time, I didn’t know much about the organization, but I was passionate about bringing hope and healing to people who are marginalized, lost, homeless and needy—a specific passion and love that God developed within me by allowing me to be a foster parent. God has continued to use that passion and love to fuel my ministry at the Edmonton Dream Centre.

In February 2011, I was privileged to become the Executive Director. This has granted me the opportunity to employ the progressive program and model that we currently practice. At the Dream Centre, we believe in enabling women to be successful on their own, which is achieved by giving them the tools to move beyond past failures. Hope continually proves to be the catalyst to recovery—we consistently see that changed thinking is the precursor to changed behavior and, ultimately, transformed destiny. God continues to free women from crisis and give them new life paths.

t: How has the gospel come to life for you and others through this ministry?

L: When Jesus presented the truth of the gospel to His followers, it was always a message of action. The Book of James tells us that if we don’t have deeds connected to our faith, then our faith is dead. Serving at the Dream Centre has enabled me to put feet and action to my faith. I am motivated to serve by Micah 6:8: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

The residents need to hear about what Christ can do for them, but they also need to see what Christ is like through people loving and caring for them. The residents’ needs are genuine; by helping them address those needs through the truth of the gospel, life transformation occurs. The power of the gospel is evidenced every day as I see women break free from the bondage of destructive thinking and behavior.

Another wonderful way the gospel has come to life at the Dream Centre has been through the residents sharing their testimonies at various churches and organizations across the province. This has been an encouragement, both to the residents and their audiences, because the stories highlight God’s transformational power.

t: What have you learned about God through these experiences?

L: I have seen how God’s compassion and love urge His followers to minister to those whom the world has forgotten. I have seen that while addiction can affect anyone—regardless of social status, age or poverty—God remembers those people and works through organizations like the Dream Centre to extend His love toward them. God has also shown me that transformation often happens by process. One of the challenges of ministering to people with addictions is realizing that the road from point A to point B is not necessarily a straight one; the process of change requires commitment and patience. Most of all, our focus can’t be on just putting people through a program because it’s our job—we need to give these people everything we have to offer.

t: What would you say to others who want to make a similar impact in their community?

L: All you need is true desire—if someone deeply wants to start a ministry like this, they are certainly able. The first step is simply to identify, discern and understand the unique needs in the community. Next, it’s important to liaise with others who already have successful programs in other communities; afterward, establish your own strategic plan. Gather a team of supporters who are willing to stand with you and be committed to following through. Stay passionate and never give up. Believe and expect God to do what you can’t do in your own strength. Pray, pray and pray some more!

t: What is your vision for the future of the Dream Centre?

L: Each week we have to turn women away due to space limitations, so our goal at the Dream Centre is to enlarge our facility in order that more women and children in crisis situations can find hope and healing, as well as an opportunity to accomplish their goals and work toward a brand-new future. We are in the beginning stages of articulating the need for expanded programming, formulating a business plan, inquiring about land for building, and encouraging people to partner with us financially as we work toward moving into a larger facility that will be fully equipped to house those who need to start afresh.

Real PEOPLE. Real LIFE. Real HOPE.

That’s the truth and it’s my motto!

Loredana Reddekopp is the executive director of the Edmonton Dream Centre and also a pastor’s wife, mother, friend and passionate lover of Jesus Chris. Visit www.edmontondreamcentre.ca

Courtney Vera is a communications assistant at The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada’s International Office.

This article appeared in the August/September 2012 issue of testimony, the bi-monthly publication of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. ©2012 The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.

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One Response to “The Edmonton Dream Centre”

  1. Bethany Zelent June 12, 2017 5:47 pm #

    Hi there,

    I work at the Edmonton Dream Centre as a counsellor and I just wanted to see if it is possible to have the photo removed on the article “Edmonton Dream Centre: Bearing Burdens…Changing Lives” by Courtney Vera. Our location is confidential to ensure the safety of our women, as many are fleeing domestic violence, and the photo of our building makes it easy to locate.

    Thank you so much in advance,
    Bethany.

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