Sponsored Family Update

By Sandra Seaborn, Associate Priest

Posted on February 10, 2016

The St. Paul's sponsored family has arrived safely and is settling in! On Tuesday morning, members of our core group along with an interpreter drove to an airport hotel. The lobby was full of expectant faces and one harried looking immigration officer.

The family saw us before we knew where to look. Our welcome sign, with their last name in Arabic and English, had caught the mother's attention. Quickly her eldest was by her side, extending his hand eagerly. The daughter smiled shyly while the father signed the final form. The middle son showed up flanked by boys from another family who quickly melted back into the crowd as it became clear it was time to move.

The family spent their first hours in Canada, before we even met them, filling out paperwork. While not an exciting way to begin, it does mean that social insurance, interim health plan and permanent residency status documents are all taken care of. Paperwork that will speed up the possibility of finding their own accommodation and allows them to get medical care and language assessment done quickly.

We spent the first day together sharing a meal, walking about the neighbourhood, explaining the microwave and even playing a little in the snow.

Thank you all for your generous and timely support. We had less than a week's notice of the family's arrival but the community of St. Paul's was incredible in quickly rallying around. What a joy to be able to offer this displaced family such a warm and hospitable welcome.

The next months, the quiet and steady work of rebuilding, healing and learning new ways of speaking and living will happen. Because of you, we've had a solid start.