There's not a day goes by without the news of troubles and terrorism across the world. It's easy to forget that there are individual stories and tragedies that are changing the lives of people forever.
At inasmuch we see right into the heart of those very personal stories and it's often impossible to find the right words to say.
Take two of our couples at inasmuch right now. They've fled their homes in Iraq and Afghanistan because of very clear and definite threats to their lives. Imagine for a moment how it must be to run halfway across the globe in fear for your life - but have to leave your children behind.
And if that wasn't bad enough, imagine how it feels when you've found a place of safety to have your refugee claim hearing postponed indefinitely. It's like trauma upon trauma.
Yet these are the realities we deal with every day at inasmuch.
But despite the tough days, where we feel helpless and powerless to comfort those in real pain and suffering immense loss, we have hope. And it's that hope that lets us walk alongside out family members.
Simple words that mean so much.
Recently we received a letter from a couple that have been at inasmuch for a few months. It was written in Farsi and translated for us. We wanted to share this extract so you can see how your support makes a very real difference to refugee claimants when they first come to Canada.
"From the very beginning moments Mrs. Dawn-Lynn and Mr. Peter approached and treated us in a way that we really felt like God has sent us angels to help us cope easier with our many hardships and difficulties we have been facing over the past several months. We have been experiencing a very warm welcome.
"There has been lots of humanitarian, emotional, and financial support from Inasmuch. In here we are four families each from different backgrounds and nationalities who live happily together like a single family. We are very grateful to Mr. Peter and his wife Mrs. Dawn-Lynn and their friends for their support. Their good behavior and support helped us cope easier with homesickness, trauma, and separation from our children.
"We hope that in the future in return of all care and support that Canada provided us, we try our best to contribute in our community in this beautiful country.”
These words touched our hearts. We are so grateful for who God brings to inasmuch.
Canada’s new wave of asylum seekers
It has been three years since we moved into Inasmuch and there have been 34 people who have lived in the house. We've shared in the lives of people from 11 nationalities, but the need continues to increase dramatically.
We have been attending meetings in Vancouver with the 22 agencies who provide shelter and assistance to refugee claimants (asylum seekers). In the past two years there has been a 200% increase in asylum seekers in the Lower Mainland which is overwhelming all services.
Inasmuch is a part of a planning and response forum that will take place with government and service providers in early May. If you have a few minutes, click on the link below and you will be amazed at the situation being faced here in Canada.
There's been so much happening at the house since our last newsletter. Here are some highlights...
Our young Ethiopian couple are doing well. He's got a job at a local manufacturing company and she is working at the local Christian bookshop and coffeehouse. Their English is excellent and they're planning on moving to their own apartment in the next month. It's been a joy to have them with us.
The couple from Afghanistan are doing well, despite the pain of being away from their children. He had no English when he arrived but is now able to have simple conversations. She is working as a support assistant at a local school - where all the children love her!
Our Iraqi couple are also doing well - both of them have undergone training and background checks to enable them to work with adults with learning difficulties at a local organization. They too are finding it incredibly difficult to be separated from their children back home in Iraq.