More Than Miracles
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198 pages

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With Holy chutzpah and a bold trust in miracles led Morris and Annie Zeidman to found The Scott Mission in 1941. With the help of their children, they built one of Toronto’s best-loved inner city ministries: “the Miracle on Spadina.” Through the eyes of their daughter Elaine Zeidman Markovic, a remarkable story unfolds of blessings,
heartbreak and personal triumph—and the presence of God who never failed, even in the darkest hours, to renew hope and restore their faith.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 septembre 2015
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781927355756
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0500€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


More Than Miracles: Elaine Zeidman Markovic and the Story of The Scott Mission
Copyright © 2015 Scott Mission
All rights reserved
Printed in Canada
International Standard Book Number 978-1-927355-74-9
ISBN 978-1-927355-75-6 EPUB
Published by:
Castle Quay Books
19-24 Laguna Pkwy, Lagoon City, Brechin, Ontario, L0K 1B0
Tel: (416) 573-3249
Edited by Marina Hofman Willard, and Lori Mackay
Cover design by Burst Impressions
Printed at Essence Printing, Belleville, Ontario
All rights reserved. This book or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form without prior written permission of the publishers.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise specified, are from The Holy Bible, King James Version . Copyright © 1977, 1984, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers. All rights reserved. • Scripture quotations marked NIV are from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. • Scripture quotations marked NKJV are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982. Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers. • Scripture quotations marked NRSV are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, and are used by permission.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Volman, Ben, author
More than miracles : Elaine Zeidman Markovic and the story of Scott Mission / Elaine Markovic, Ben Volman.
Issued in print and electronic formats.
ISBN 978-1-927355-74-9 (paperback).--ISBN 978-1-927355-75-6 (epub)
1. Scott Mission--History. 2. Zeidman, Morris, 1894-1964. 3. Zeidman, Annie. 4. Homeless persons--Services for--Ontario--Toronto. 5. Poor--Services for--Ontario--Toronto. 6. Jewish Christians--Ontario--Toronto--Biography. I. Volman, Ben, author II. Title.
BV2820.T67M37 2015 266'.0220922713541 C2015-905572-5
Table of Contents
Introduction: Meeting Elaine
1. Finding Laine
2. An Interesting Wedding
3. Holy Chutzpah—The Challenge of a Call
4. The Soup Kitchen Years
5. That Jewish Gentleman
6. The Scott—and the Zeidmans—Carry On
7. The Lord Will Provide
8. Confronting the Holocaust
9. The Good Samaritan of “Czenstochova”
10. Growing Pains
11. Elaine Begins Her Mission Career
12. Public Choices—Private Struggles, Part 1
13. Public Choices—Private Struggles, Part 2
14. “The Miracle on Spadina Avenue”
Photo Section
15. One More Vision
16. “See You in the Morning”
17. The Good Samaritan Wears Horn-Rimmed Glasses
18. “As For God, His Way Is Perfect”
19. Alex in the Pulpit and in Print
20. Losing Alex
21. An Unexpected Turn
22. Praying Through
23. The Gracious Hand of the Lord
24. Elaine’s People
25. A New Generation: Jae, Lois, Sera and Andrew
26. Learning to Pray for Herself
27. Reflections on a Life in Ministry
28. “Let Me Hear Your Voice in the Morning”
29. Afterwards: A Final Task
Index of Poetry Selections
Works Cited
If you asked the average Torontonian what they knew of the Scott Mission, the vast and overwhelming majority, young or old, long-time resident or new to the city, would have positive words to say about “a place that helps the poor and homeless.”
And that is true. In fact, founded in 1941, the Mission has for 75 years developed and maintained the same core ministries that have served the poor and neediest of our city.
But what Ben Volman has achieved in this inspiring new book, More Than Miracles: Elaine Zeidman Markovic and the Story of The Scott Mission , goes well beyond an historic overview. It is a celebration of the achievements of the remarkable Zeidman family, a testimony of service and of generosity of supporters and, moreover, the unique story of Elaine Zeidman Markovic.
What emerges is a tapestry of overcoming adversity, of faith and love, and a clear message that one woman, through long-term ministry, has made a difference in the Scott Mission and in Toronto itself.
That great theologian and evangelist Andrew Murray wrote in his 1885 classic With Christ in the School of Prayer :
It is when we give ourselves to be a blessing that we can specially count on the blessing of God. It is when we draw near to God as the friend of the poor and the perishing that we may count on his friendliness; the righteous person who is the friend of the poor, is very specially the friend of God.
In that spirit, may you be blessed by this book as you meet friends of the poor and very special friends of God.
David C. Onley
Ontario Lieutenant Governor, 2007–2014
Meeting Elaine
As Elaine Zeidman Markovic came downstairs from her second-floor office to the foyer of the Scott Mission, her steps were deliberate, unhurried. Each time we met, I’d experience that ethereal aura of serenity that permeated the air around her. It seemed as much a part of Elaine as her thin, elegant appearance.
In contrast, activity at “The Scott” can seem overwhelming, especially on a first visit. A dozen things are going on at once. Counsellors are directing people to different parts of the building depending on their needs. In the dining room, transient men are being fed, while colourfully dressed immigrant families go by with their arms full of groceries and bags of clothes. A women’s Bible study is about to start—it’s not in English. Mothers speaking some unfamiliar dialect are dropping off babies and toddlers for an hour’s respite. In a time when everyone has a cellphone or an e-mail address, a homeless man is asking for mail. This is the only place where his family can reach him.
Elaine moved calmly through all of this. She’d been serving here through six decades. Many of those years were spent at the front desk, receiving people while they coped with every conceivable personal crisis. She would take the first steps: offering a meal, groceries, clothing or a handout. If the Mission couldn’t help, she’d have a referral, making sure the client had the means to get there.
But over the years, Elaine had learned that the most important part of her task wasn’t providing groceries or clothing, urgent as that seemed. What mattered most took place in the first moments of meeting, whether it was an elderly woman needing help to pay the rent or a wide-eyed immigrant stumbling over their English. Each client should feel that they were heard, understood and valued and, despite any awkwardness, a measure of their humanity was restored. With that approach, it’s not surprising that for many, Elaine was the heart of a work known in Toronto as “the miracle on Spadina.”
Since the Scott Mission was founded in 1941 by her parents, Morris and Annie Zeidman, it has expanded exponentially; the services have grown and changed to meet the increasingly complex needs of the downtown core and a growing city of millions. But Elaine’s greatest concerns were the spiritual and personal welfare of the staff and clients around her. Beyond efficiencies and success rates, she expected the Mission to sustain the values taught by her parents decades before.
I’d follow her upstairs, where we settled into her office, a sunlit refuge full of memories around a pleasantly disorganized desk with stacks of projects, books and papers. Pictures of Elaine’s extended family could be seen in every direction: Morris and Annie; her husband, Mica (pronounced Mee’ cha); daughters Lois and Sera; her late older brother, Alex; a vacation picture from Greece with son-in-law Thanasis; another showing her relaxed against the dark blue Mediterranean.
As we cleared room for the laptop, Elaine would prepare to recount the story of the Mission as she’d seen it unfolding over a lifetime. Annie, her mother, had long since warned her, “When I die, don’t let anybody write any books about me.” But Elaine wanted a new generation to understand Morris and Annie’s legacy and to give future ones a glimpse of the divine presence that helped them to establish the ministry.
While the book was still in concept form, a prominent Canadian Christian magazine featured the Mission, noting briefly that it was founded “by a Polish immigrant.” It’s been about 50 years since Elaine’s father was ranked among Toronto’s best-known clergy. Her parents regularly appeared in newspapers and on the radio as models of selfless aid to the poor during the darkest years of the Depression.
Inner-city missionaries are rarely popular figures, but the Zeidmans were revered in their own city and across Canada. Their integrity and determination to meet the pressing needs of the poor, the homeless and struggling new Canadians in downtown Toronto led to the Mission’s expansion over the post-war years from a Bay St. storefront into one of the city’s most highly visible ministries. In 1961 Morris was named a Canadian “Citizen of the Year.” Not bad for an immigrant who arrived in 1912 with no English or high school diploma.
Work began on this book in April 2008 with a series of interviews about Elaine’s personal life, the Zeidman family and the Mission. (In a review of an early chapter she’d been emphatic: “‘Mission’ must always be capitalized.”) Elaine was asked to choose photos or mementoes to prompt her memories and begin our conversations. At the first interview she presented a photo of Annie, hair swept up in a kerchief, emerging from an outhouse,

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