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I was recently with members of our truly remarkable refugee ministry or leadership team. They were talking about how they had had the privilege of helping a gifted physician and project manager from Afghanistan settle into Vancouver.

When a professional from another country like Afghanistan comes to Canada as a refugee, he/she may have a stellar resume, but with no Canadian experience and the exotic-sounding name, it’s almost certain that they’ll never get a call back for a job interview. One of the members of our Tenth refugee ministry team Rita Heidebrecht (Janke) is the Director of Quality Improvement, Projects and Evaluation at Child Health BC. She and another member of our congregation, Katrina Stein, got to know this physician from Afghanistan. In conversation, they recognized his significant experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm would be of value to the health system in BC. They supported him through coaching and connecting him to a project management opportunity with a health team in Vancouver. He was successful in being hired to do the type of work he had expertise in and in a role that can launch his career here in Canada. He is doing great work, looking at what the next level in his professional track might be.

Rita and the refugee core leadership ministry team are exercising the creative and compassionate imagination of Christ as they envision possibilities for newcomers to Canada!

And one of the gifts of reimagining the church as the body of Christ is that it helps us recognize that each of us has been given a manifestation of the Spirit for the common good (I Corinthians 12:7). And so each of us plays a significant role in creating and re-creating the beautiful presence of Christ in the world.

From the sermon "The Body of Christ"

Ken Shigematsu
Senior Pastor, Tenth Church 

If you would like to be enriched by sharing your gift in welcoming refugees and newcomers to Canada, shoot off an email to or learn more at

NOTE: Picture at the top has Rita Heidebrecht on the left with Pastor Ken preaching on the right.