With all the media coverage about refugees crossing illegally into Canada, it’s all too easy to forget that these people are literally running for their lives – taking risks by crossing continents to find safety in a county that will listen to their story.
But each and every one of them has a history of what life was like before they fled. And each one of them wants a future for themselves and their families of safety, peace and a meaningful life.
That’s where inasmuch makes a difference. And that’s why we need your continued support – especially at Christmas time.
Moving out and moving on! Hope in action.
It would be very easy to let the traumatic stories of family members overwhelm us. But their pasts don’t define who they are, and as the Bible says in Hebrews 6: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” And that’s so evident in the stories of the folks who’ve moved out from inasmuch recently.
Our Kurdish/Iranian couple were at inasmuch almost 8 months. It was so neat to be able to celebrate with them when he secured a position as an IT Systems Administrator at a local high tech company. With a secure job and a brilliant future ahead of them, they moved into their own two-bedroom apartment in late October. They have a modest, cozy home thanks to the wonderful donations of good, quality furniture.
Our 64-year-old Kurdish couple, also at inasmuch for 8 months, are grabbing their new life in Canada with both hands! He’s working as a forklift operator at a local manufacturer and they’ve also moved to their own apartment. They were incredibly touched by the donations they received for their first home in Canada.
During their move he shared: “no one has ever helped and loved us the way you Christians have.”
Much of the success for both of these couples, and all previous family members, is the focused English teaching by Dr. Angela. We are so thankful for her!
Tough stories, told through tears
We don’t ask family members their stories. They are often too painful and too traumatic to talk about - especially when the folks are new to the country, new to inasmuch and still learning to trust.
But as family members start to settle, we get a glimpse into their lives.
Just this month we received a couple in their late 40s, both physicians from Iraq/Kurdistan. He is an orthopedic surgeon and worked for several months at a battlefield hospital north of Mosul with an American Christian organization. All we know about their journey is that they received death threats because the husband had accepted Jesus.
We can only imagine how it must feel to leave their three young children behind, while they pursue safety for their family.
Also joining the family this month is a couple from Afghanistan. They have little English but were able to communicate that they too fled in fear for their lives.
We have former Farsi-speaking family members returning to the house to help this new couple with interpretation and settling into our home.
And finally we welcomed a young couple from Ethiopia. They are the sweetest people – with smiles that light up a room! Among the few possessions they brought with them was an Amharic Bible. On the first evening together he started sharing their story of why they had to flee, but broke down in the telling.
It’s tough to see such trauma.
But even through these huge transitions in their lives, there is hope. All three couples have started coming to church with us on Sunday mornings. Two have begun attending an ESL Alpha Bible study at a local church.
They all have a long process before them. Refugee Protection hearings are now on a 5-6 month timeline due to three times the amount of asylum seekers arriving in Canada this year.