Since August last year, our team have given housing, settlement services, English language teaching and employment support to 25 refugee claimants. That might not seem like a huge amount, but each one of those 25 people has experienced the wraparound services that Inasmuch delivers. And in each one of those interactions, they’ve seen what it truly means to love your neighbour.
In their own words ...
We love our family. We love the amazing people who come to live in our houses and the people who we serve. Each of them has their own story and carry their own burdens. But their lives are often touched when they come to Inasmuch in ways they didn’t expect. We thought it would be wonderful if we shared some of their thoughts with you in this update – in their own words.
From the Middle East
Suddenly God sends someone to help you by providing a place to stay, three meals a day, transportation to follow your case for refugee claim. This is Inasmuch… I call it angel - the blessed place; taking care for you more than your family, booking a doctor’s appointment for you if you needed, every day watching you and asking: “How do you feel? Are you ok? Don’t need anything?” Getting your papers for work, finding you a job, helping you to get a place for rent, asking friends to furnish your home. All the people who lived there are all friends, because no one forgets what Inasmuch did for them.
From central Africa
The process of becoming a refugee in Canada is complex and overwhelming but Peter, Dawn-Lynn, and Inasmuch team tremendously reduced this burden by providing me the necessary spiritual, financial, and social support. Inasmuch provided me a house, food, clothing. They gave me useful information about other community and government resources that are available for refugee claimants. Inasmuch was home and a true blessing for me.
I came across some beautiful people from around the world. The love, food, fun, and warmth I experienced made Inasmuch a terrific home. The experience I had in Inasmuch was a perfect introduction to true Canadian hospitality and I will forever remain grateful.
From North East Africa
… after about twenty minutes, he came to the house and helped me with the bags. When I arrived by the car, a very beautiful and bright smile with a big hug welcomed me. That was Dawn-Lynn. I WILL NEVER EVER FORGET THAT FACE FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. Inasmuch helped us with a lot of things. Since our ID process was delayed, we were not able to receive any social assistance from the government.
We were almost out of money but we were not starved or become homeless because of these two incredible couples. We also got the chance to update our English language. We have been taking English language courses once in a week with our lovely, brilliant and innocent teacher, Angela and twice in a week at Seven Oaks Church.
I don’t feel that I am alone here, because now I have Canadian mother, father and family. Words are not enough to express my deep feeling about Inasmuch. All the people from Inasmuch have a big place in my heart. God bless you all.
From a war-torn country
When I met them, my past experience completely changed. I was shocked by the compassionate, caring, and warm assistance and help they provided to me. Inasmuch has tirelessly helped me with my application process, my medical needs, transportation, getting a BC driver's license and, most importantly, the certainty that Inasmuch will unequivocally help me and treat as a human being, rather than as a "client" or a number.
Also, I was very impressed by how professional, resourceful, and punctual the Inasmuch team are. Now, I no longer feel alone in Canada. In fact, I feel that Inasmuch cares about me and will help me with my settlement process in my new country, Canada. Thank you so very much Inasmuch.
From Central Africa
Before I came to Inasmuch, I was worried about funding a place to live. Inasmuch welcomed me very warmly. Inasmuch is very important and special to me because it’s my Home, where they showed me selfless and generous love.
Another from the Middle East
Inasmuch helped me and my husband to find love, hope, and family again, after leaving our families. We have an amazing family here which we feel deeply and that made us to be happy and feel secure with our new life.
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
Forgive us quoting from Winnie The Pooh, but these simple few words have captured some of the extra special joy and generosity we've received from children over the last few months.
We were with with our grandchildren on Christmas Eve morning, opening gifts and celebrating, and you could tell they were itching to tell us something. They were so excited, but we didn't know why. It turns out they had a very special gift for us. They presented us with a specially wrapped box, and when we opened it we found $100 from each of them for Inasmuch.
But it wasn't the money that mattered in that moment.
We wish you could have seen the excitement in their faces as they presented the gift. They knew that their small gesture would make a big difference. And they could see the joy they had brought on our faces! It was such a special moment.
The kids also baked special Inasmuch cookies and sold them around their neighbourhoods too. They are passionate supporters of Inasmuch.
And there are many more stories like these. For example, through our work at the Abbotsford Community Hub Centre, others have seen what we do and have been moved to get involved. The six year old son of the pharmacist at the Hub asked that he didn't receive any birthday presents this year, but that his friends and family would donate to Inasmuch to celebrate. He raised a lot of money for Inasmuch, as well as spreading the word of our work throughout his own little network. So humbling.
Finally, after we spoke at Northview recently, we were talking to folks in the lobby and a little girl, with whispy blonde curls, crept up to us, tugged on my sleeve and gave me a small bag with all her change in it. She simply said: "this is for your people."
These simple things just melt our hearts.
Thank you just doesn't seem enough! We couldn't do any of the work we do, this without your support, encouragement or prayers. It makes a huge difference. Thank you.