Jon Adaskin, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada:

An Open Letter to the Guests of Siloam Mission

On Saturday, December 8, 2012, I along with several colleagues took part in the annual Help-Portrait event here in Winnipeg.

We were at different venues around the city for the day, giving portraits for free! I was at Siloam Mission.

This is an open letter to the guests of Siloam Mission.

First of all, let me start by saying Thank You so very much for inviting us into your home. We felt so comfortable and welcome, the warmth from each and every one of you was felt by every one of us! The amount of love you have there is incredible, we also felt your love and gratefulness. Actually, it is US who are grateful.

I can appreciate that you may have had your dignity assaulted, vandalized or cruelly mocked at times, but it can’t be taken away from you unless it is surrendered, which we learned you simply won’t do… that’s courage and integrity.

Winston Churchill said “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.” How true is that?

I learned this valuable lesson from you, the guests of Siloam, that every life deserves a certain amount of dignity, no matter how poor or damaged the shell that carries it. I am flawed too, we all are to some extent.

When I feel like I’m really at a low point, I look back at my time photographing you all at Siloam and draw strength from all the amazing people there. I’m weak compared to you.

I look forward to returning again next year. This was the second year I’ve been there, and I hope to be there every year from now on!

Again, Thank You all for making the event a great success, and Thank You for effecting me in such a positive way. I’m so very proud to have met each of you (or seen you from last year).

This is a picture of me, Darren Fast, Bob Tinker, Jerry Grajewski, and Jim Todd! Photo by Ron Cantiveros (Filipino Journal).