Tenth provides housing and basic necessities of life for asylum seekers during their first few months in Canada (modeled after our ministry partner Journey Home Community). One of the recent arrivals we are supporting shares the impact of finding a supportive community in Canada.
The situation in our home country was not good and getting worse every day. We applied for a US visa, but the decision was hard to make because my husband could not come with us, and it was very hard for me and my three kids to come alone. My kids didn’t know at the time that their dad couldn’t come with us. We came to the US first and my children and I crossed the border to Canada one week later. We came during winter with just with one bag and no stroller or anything for my kids.
I was crying a lot. I couldn’t stop crying that day. Then, day by day, I got stronger. It was very hard being alone in a country you don’t know anyone with three very young kids. The youngest one was only 9 months old. It was so hard and scary to come, but I thought, I will just come and see what happens. I thought I would have to go to a shelter.
When we arrived, I met Journey Home and Tenth Church, and got lots of help from them. I feel very lucky to have met them, and to be connected to a community of other people who have the same experience as me. The people here are very nice, and even though I’m different from them they don’t treat me differently, they respect different cultures and religions. It was hard coming here and being alone, but I knew that my kids would be safer here. That’s why I didn’t give up – I was thinking about the future of the kids.
Since being in Canada, a very good experience for all of us was camping, especially for the kids. They loved the ferry because it was their first time. Kayaking was very nice and another new experience for the kids. From the time we came, they haven’t played with other kids, but at camp they made Canadian friends for the first time.