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LETTER: Reader hopes the Sault rallies around Sensei Chris

He and his 11-year-old son with special needs were students of the Sault International Karate Dojo that suffered a devastating fire recently
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The following letter to the editor was submitted by Pastor Thomas Telfer following a fire that recently destroyed the Sault International Karate Dojo:

People matter. In a world where instantaneous access to news and images from the other side of the globe are constantly being projected into our line of sight, it is easy to forget that our biggest potential may lie closer to home. While noise and heat are generated by international and national headlines, local needs and community concerns are largely passed by without notice.

We are blessed to have many of the social institutions we enjoy. Nonetheless, these cannot, they should never be expected to, replace individuals genuinely invested in the lives of those around them. As both a pastor serving a small Northern Ontario community and a parent of children with special needs, I have seen the power of this truth strikingly demonstrated, both positively and negatively.   

Sensei Chris Troch is the kind of person who genuinely cares about the people within his circle of influence. My 11-year-old son and I began training at Sault Ste. Marie IKD with Sensei Chris in September.

Anyone who works alongside kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder can appreciate how grateful our family is to have a partner who is able to help us flourish instead of merely survive. In the months since our joining the dojo, Sensei has worked patiently and resolutely to help Tommy and I grow and learn. The fruit of that time together has reached far beyond the walls of the dojo.

Many of you will, no doubt, have heard of the fire that has damaged the downtown location that houses our dojo. What a blessing it is to live at a time crowdfunding sites and other tools let us rally behind those in our community who have been touched by loss and hardship. What an indictment if we are so distracted that we have become deaf to the needs of our neighbours.

I urge you to consider rallying around Sensei Chris so that he can continue to have an impact in our community. While you are at it, maybe look around to see if you don’t have an opportunity to make an impact yourself.

For more information or to get involved please go to:

- Pastor T.J. (Thomas) Telfer

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