Wednesday, April 20, 2016
A Drop in the Ocean
Recently I wrote about the heart-warming potluck supper held at Bridge St UC to welcome the Syrian family Belleville United Churches sponsored, as well as a Syrian family here in Canada through another group. The Al Mansour family is "our" sponsorship, while the Mustafas are sponsored by the Prince Edward County group. The latter family is living near Bridge St. and yesterday as I walked to work I passed the dad and five children (above) who were on the other side of the street. I realized he was shepherding them to school, and I called out a hello. He didn't have a clue who I was, but waved back just the same and said hello.
This brief encounter lifted my spirits and touched me. How brave the families are who have arrived across this country. They have endured civil war and displacement. They have lived in wretched conditions in refugee camps before finding themselves in a country with strange weather and an unknown language. Yet they are determined to build a life of meaning and hope.
Later I thought of Pope Francis' visit to a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, in solidarity with those who continue to arrive daily from distant places and at great peril. Francis returned to the Vatican with twelve Syrians from three families – all of them Muslims. His comment was that “all refugees are children of God,” adding that though his gesture was “a drop in the ocean” he hoped “the ocean will never be the same again”.
We too may feel that our efforts are a "drop in the ocean." Still we can ask God to open our hearts in love to the families we have sponsored and those we hope to bring to Canada.