What is it like to leave your home for good? To move to a country far far away? I have never done that, although there are stories from my mother and my grandmother about this.
The closest I am coming to it, is the choice Eugene and I are making to move to Alberta. Emphasis on the word “choice”…we don’t have to move, we could have remained in Ontario, although the employment prospects were not so good here. We are choosing to move. That’s the difference because refugees who leave their homes, they don’t choose that. Statistics in the paper talk about millions of people displaced from Syria. They had to flee or they would be killed.
Right now I am busy getting ready to sell our house and I am sorting through all our household possessions…I can’t take everything! The past weeks have been filled with getting rid of sentimental objects that we can’t afford to move across the country. It’s a hard process. But again, this is nothing what it’s like to be a refugee, they often flee with nothing…. There isn’t even time to sell their possessions, they just flee.
I’m moving to Alberta, where the culture and language are basically the same, refugees have to learn to navigate a new culture and a new language, they often face discrimination.
I think about how hard this move is on me, and I realize I can’t imagine how hard it is to be refugee. This Sunday we are talking about welcoming refugees… it’s important to think about this as we get our heads around welcoming a family from Columbia in the next weeks or months. Our scripture this week includes “love the alien as yourself…” The alien/refugee could be us!
This week’s prayer; Open our hearts to the challenges of being a refugee, and help the family that is coming to our church to find a quick and safe passage to Canada.