stories from the field

Room in the Inn

The scene is dramatic. Mary, on the donkey, very pregnant and starting to go into labour. Joseph, frantically going from inn to inn trying to find someone, anyone, to give them a place to stay for the night. But there is no place. As the scenes are re-enacted many ask, “Didn’t they see that she was about to give birth? Why didn’t they have compassion on them?”

The answer was simple – “There was no room for them in the inn.”

Jump ahead to the year 2015. The news footage shows massive movements of people as they try to escape ISIS, different governments, and look for a safe place for their families. And now it is time for us as Christians to answer the same question – “Will we make room in our inn?”

Across Canada, many churches are answering “yes” to this question. One of these churches is in the Owen Sound, Ontario area. In late August, they were part of a sponsorship program which brought in a refugee family of four from Eritrea.

“When I heard of the refugee crisis, I knew I had to help,” explained Christian, a church member. “Imagine … leaving all your belongings, getting on a rubber dinghy with your children, as you pray that you make it to the other side. No one does that for no reason.”

The refugee committee is made up of 6 couples who each take different responsibilities that include fundraising, translating, medical, education, paperwork, ESL and driving.

“It is important to realize that sponsoring a family is more than just a money thing. Anyone can give money but the time commitment is huge, especially in the first year,” explained Diana, a refugee committee member. “But it is worth it,” she quickly added. “It is what Jesus wants us to do. We are blessed so we can share our blessings. How can I not share all that God has given me?”

Many firsts have taken place for the Eritrean family over the last 4 months such as seeing snow, riding a bicycle and swimming. “For me, a highlight was watching Grandma write her name for the first time,” explained Jeff, the pastor of the sponsoring church. Grandma, who was married at 11, had never had an opportunity to go to school but is now studying English five days a week.

When Grandma was asked what she would say to refugees waiting to come to Canada, she smiled and said, “Tell them Canada is good and the people are kind. Come, you are welcome here.”

Would you like to learn how you can help the unreached peoples that are coming here to Canada? Consider sponsoring a refugee family. More information can be found at www.theEFC.ca/MiddleEastRefugees. Pioneers also has several teams that are ministering to Canada’s newcomers. If you would like to learn more about joining our full-time missionary work here in Canada, you can talk to a mission mobilizer by calling us at 866-268-8778 or emailing us at go@pioneers.ca.

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