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On this Refugee Sunday, we would like to invite you to take a small step forward in “loving strangers as yourself”. 

‘About 1 in every 113 people worldwide are forcibly displaced, the majority of whom are women and children, according to the World Evangelical Alliance. World Refugee Sunday is held annually on the Sundays before and after June 20 (World Refugee Day) to remember this need and to participate in prayer and action, responding in practical ways to God’s call to "love the stranger as yourself."’ EFC

A new refugee family of six just arrived from Northern Iraq this week, during the time the world contemplates World Refugee Day.  They are temporarily staying in the apartment of Tara and Ribwar, another refugee family of five that we are walking alongside. These families are well connected to Mim Wickett, who serves on our Refugee Leadership Team.  

Mim says, "Tara has a very big heart and is quite prepared to host this family (which means cooking for 11 every day!) but Tenth could provide support in some very tangible ways. The family consists of parents who are both engineers and 4 children--a boy 16y, and girls 15y, 10y, 9y.  They all speak English well.

If possible, I think there are a few things that would be extremely helpful:

  1. spread the word to see if there is any temporary accommodation available--housesitting, basement suites, extra rooms
  2. assist Tara with Superstore gift cards as she regularly feeds her own family with food from the food bank and doesn't have a lot of extra resources
  3. be prepared to have several people come alongside the family for settlement support if they are open to this.

Maybe this isn't our timing, but God appears to have a different idea.  I think if there are people who have expressed an interest in refugee support, this would be a great way for them to dive in and get started."

On Saturday, Mim, Inneke (my wife) and I had a joyful time enjoying the warm hospitality and delicious food of Tara and Ribwar and the new family.  This was a special gift to us. I know that getting involved with these families will also be a special gift to you, as you help with tangible needs.  

An immediate need is for this new family to find short term housing.  If you have or know of a temporary place for them to live for the next month, it will help buy us some time to find longer term housing. If you have networks or ideas around finding housing in the city, we could use your expertise on the Refugee Response Team.  Email [email protected].ca if you can help.  

Closing thoughts

  • Mina: Tenth Kitsilano has been walking alongside Mina and her 2 daughters.  Her first connection was with Tenth East Van, but Kits took the baton as it was closer to where Mina lives.  On this Refugee Sunday, Mina moved from her super small basement suite into a larger apartment.  More good news is that her girls will be able to stay in the same school.
  • News: Dennis and our refugee leadership team will be following up with regular news updates.
  • Save the date! July 17th, come to After Spring, an award winning refugee film. Get your ticket(s)
  • Stay tuned: Refugee settlement training at Tenth with Journey Home and a Refugee Justice Journey in the late summer.  

Tenth Church family, together let's take a step forward in following Jesus by welcoming and loving strangers, ... strangers who become friends and family! 

 

Patrick, Mim, Dennis and the Refugee Leadership Team

[email protected]