Welcome to Canada [my week in review]

So I know I promised to share more about Fairtrade labels, and I still will. But first I thought I’d share something exciting I’ve been busy with this past week – welcoming a refugee family to our city!

For over a year now, I have been part of a group applying to sponsor a refugee family. It has been a long process, and earlier this year we still had not been matched with a family. In February, a family came up for us to sponsor. We said yes, and exactly 7 weeks later they arrived!

While much of what we hear about the refugee crisis focuses on Syria and the middle east, there are still many refugees in other parts of the world. We had, in fact, intended to sponsor a Syrian family, but, due to government restrictions, that didn’t end up working out. The family that we ended up being matched with comes from a country that has known conflict for over 50 years. It has been more than 5 years since they had to leave their home country.

Now, I haven’t talked yet on my blog about the connection between faith and justice, but it would be impossible for me to share this story without telling you what God has done. It has been such an honor to be part God’s justice for this family. Often when we think of justice, we think of punishment for the one who has committed injustice. But God’s justice is more than that. It involves restoring the ones the injustice was committed against. And that’s what I am witnessing in action.

In the past several weeks, as we rushed to make sure everything was ready for this family’s arrival, we have seen God’s provision over and over. Household items were donated; another local church group bought new bunk beds for the family; their new home was renovated and made ready in record time; everything came together miraculously and on time.

Through these first few days of welcoming them to their new home, I have been struck with how
fiercely God is acting on their behalf. Here we are doing our best to provide for them and make sure things are in place to protect them, and I’m seeing whoa He is way ahead of us. We can’t keep up with the good things He is doing for them!

I later learned that they had cried out to God, asking Him to do something about their situation. The very next day they received the call that their travel arrangements had been made for them to come to Canada. They too are very aware that all of this is from God’s hand.

I’ve become very aware that God’s plan is so much bigger than the part we are playing. But what an honor and privilege it is to have a front-row seat to what He is doing for this family, and to be used by Him this way.

The Bible has a lot to say about welcoming foreigners. They seem to hold a special place in God’s heart. For ideas on how you can be part of welcoming newcomers to Canada, check out this link.

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