Humans of Redeemer

Elise Arsenault | Reporter

In 2010, a man by the name of Brandon Stanton began a photographic project in New York City that would grow to become a #1 New York Times bestseller and photoblog boasting over 15 million followers worldwide.

 Initially, Stanton set out to create what he calls “an exhaustive catalogue of New York City’s inhabitants,” comprised of 10,000 photos plotted across a city map. The concept took on a different form, however, as he began collecting pieces of conversation had with those he photographed. Photo captions would soon become as vital as the shots themselves, and, together, make for a captivating stream of stories he entitles, “Humans of New York.”

 This year, the Crown seeks to mimic Stanton’s idea on campus by asking thoughtful questions and taking candid photos of students, staff and faculty included in each issue.

 We know that stories are powerful, so the goal here is to further uncover our own. Scripture tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn, share the word of our testimony and give glory to God in every season. This column is simply another means to do so, and remind ourselves that our King, Jesus, is the ultimate author and finisher of our faith.


What’s a big risk you’ve taken?


“I decided to live in Hamilton this past summer only a month or two before the semester ended. It was so last minute, but definitely within God’s favour, because within two weeks I got a job and I found a house — everything lined up! I’d said was going to happen. And it did!”



(Right) “I’d say, doing a bunch of music auditions. For the musical, the choir, Alpha Praise…”

(Left) “Becoming an R.A. without knowing what would happen. That risk was rewarded, though — that’s for sure.”



“I took two years off after high school to do an internship with my church. I knew that’s where God wanted me to be, but everything in me was shouting ‘No, it’s two years off! You’ll be wasting time, and paying money.’ But after going, I don’t regret anything. I was learning to serve the church, God, and had boundaries that helped me to focus.”



“I’d say getting married! Seeing if I could be strong enough to do life with someone, and not let them down… It’s hard! Because all of a sudden, everything you do has ramifications for somebody else. In everything that I do, I have to think about him as well.”



“Well, it’d have to be something in the military — I was in the combat unit for over 25 years. Actually, I think the biggest risk I ever took was retiring from the military to start a new career. The military was so secure, since the pay and the benefits were good, but I left it for real estate. Here I was, thinking about bullets and gunshots, but nah! Retiring at 40 and starting a new career — that was the riskiest.”


“I had a moment where I felt like God was calling me to do social work. I was in denial, saying ‘Oh, I’m an introvert. I can be socially awkward — a socially awkward social worker? That’s going to be ridiculous!’ I had doubts about myself, but God was like, ‘You know what? I’ve got you through this whole journey, just trust me. Follow through.’ And now, after having studied Social Work, had placements, and doing Deedz, I can say that I’m loving it. God knows stuff!”



“I have two in my mind. The first one is swimming. I don’t know how to swim, and the first time I tried, it was to impress my friends. I jumped right into the deep end and almost drowned, but someone saved me.

   “The second one is picking Redeemer. I was deciding between here and Ryerson, and my mom told me to pick Redeemer so I can keep my Christian values. Sometimes I imagine life at Ryerson and, I don’t know, I imagine that everyone there is on his or her own… I like being here, people are friendly.”



(Left) “We once put our cat in the dryer…”

(Right) “Or that time we didn’t grocery shop for two weeks and Hennie yelled at us (and had us over for dinner).”