Sylvia’s Story

“Someone has to suffer and it has to be you”.  Sylvia lived a life where she didn’t always feel or know love. Sylvia, an artsy senior from our community, felt overlooked, used and underappreciated as a child. Through Jesus, she came to learn that God loves her and that inspires her to move past the place of hurt and serve Him however she can.

For Sylvia, life was difficult growing up. She was the fifth child born in a household of eight. Her family struggled to show her love. Sylvia was kept away from school (while all her siblings weren’t) and took care of the family. There were times she wanted to run away, but she didn’t have anywhere to go. Sometimes, she felt as though no one loved her.  One of the hardest things she was told was, “Someone has to suffer, and it must be you”. Looking back, Sylvia now knows the resentment placed on her was misdirected but it was difficult to understand as a child.

When Sylvia was in Jamaica her friends introduced her to church, and she built a relationship with God. However, at 33 years old she fell pregnant and had no support. Years later, Sylvia migrated to Canada with her boys who were two and four at the time. Life was hard, and she struggled to care for her children on her own. 

Despite her past hurt and hardship, God has been actively reconstructing the broken pieces of her life and He’s been using Sylvia in such amazing ways. While growing up she did many domestic chores like cooking and cleaning, and throughout that process, she developed a natural talent for cooking.  For many years others benefited from this gift but now with joy she serves her community with them.

Things changed during the Covid-19 pandemic when she retired from her job. She helped prepare food for church moments and learned how much she enjoys volunteering with the food bank, with our NextGen team and spending her time knitting beautiful pieces to share with everyone. “Sometimes as a human, I cry… I said, ‘Why did they do that?’… but God answered every little thing…he kept me and never changed because he loved me” (Sylvia Clennons, 2024). Sylvia says God gave her the power to forgive others who hurt her and to be resilient. It wasn’t easy but God empowers her to love wholeheartedly and serve her community. Serving – that’s something she would continue to do for as long as she can. Her encouragement for others is to find ways to give back and serve others.

Want to know more? Join us for Easter.

Written by Rannella Billy

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