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About The Mission

The House of Refuge Mission is a rich and somewhat rocky story of what the radical love of God
can move us to do. Started in the late sixties as an outreach ministry by Max Solbrekken and
Josephine Britton, the mission’s vision was to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to provide
assistance to those in greatest need within the community of Edmonton.

This vision entered a new chapter when Bob Warden and others took the bold step to register
the Mission as a not-for-profit company in 1973. This solidified the position of the mission as an
entity recognized by the law. Warden’s commitment to the cause was emphatic, saying, “Josie
(Josephine Britton) was running into financial trouble, so I took over. I made a commitment to
make sure the rent was always paid.” This heroic commitment was exactly what the mission
needed as over the next 18 years, the mission run smoothly, operating out of basement of the
Cochrane block on 102 Avenue and 96 Street.

This was a season of stability that saw the mission minister to a tremendous number of persons
in the area, and the mission was able to establish itself as a city on a hill for all the needy in
Edmonton. However, and as the Lord saw fit, in 1991 the Cochrane Block was condemned, and
the mission had to move. Unable to find a place for the next three years, the mission operated
out of street alleys and other temporary spaces it could find.

In 1994, they rented the church at 114th Street and Jasper Avenue. It was around this time that
the Mission’s founding father Bob Warden passed on into glory. This heralded the beginning of
a difficult period for the mission as they were unable to meet their rental obligations, forcing
them to shut down in October 2003. This remained as such for another three years when in
2006, through the grace of God, they took over the Lighthouse Mission at 103A Avenue and
Jasper Avenue from Sedrick Vassell. This was to last only until October 2013, when the building
burned down. Ever since then, the mission has been operating out of an alley between two
businesses that understand and empathise with the mandate of the mission.

The story of the House of Refuge Mission is one of radical love and undying hope. Ever run
through the efforts of love-inspired volunteers, the mission is indeed a house of refuge for the
destitute. All that happens at the Mission is about preaching the Good News to those in need,
about fulfilling the mandate of our Lord Jesus Christ, proclaimed in Isaiah 61:1;
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
With hundreds of stories of hope, deliverance and new beginnings emanating from the Mission,
our commitment at the mission is unwavering and unrelenting. Determined to always be
available for those in greatest need in our midst, we welcome you to join us and partner with us.
Through your contribution: in time, prayer, money or any other form, help us to keep fulfilling this
mandate until that glorious day of our Lord Jesus Christ.