Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love. Mother Teresa

Renting a house, filling in paperwork for health care/SIN cards/child tax credits, registering children for school, taking a man to a mosque at his request, taking a family to the agriculture museum to watch cows being milked, demonstrating how a washing machine works, donating clothes/money/furniture, demonstrating how to shop for food, showing how buses work, playing charades while teaching kids english, buying kids an ice cream after a walk in the park.

Compared with God’s unconditional grace and love, these are small things. Collectively, these acts over the last few months have changed the lives of a family of seven who are experiencing God’s love after a very difficult time in their lives.

In late August we learned that our family would be arriving in a few weeks. Several days before they were scheduled to arrive, we contacted our family through an arabic speaking interpreter to introduce ourselves. Near the end of our conversation we asked if they had any questions, only one – where in Canada were they going? At midnight on September 6th, 2016 – after a 33 hour journey – our sponsored family of seven arrived at the Ottawa airport. Our family – who spoke no English – were met by a small welcoming committee and several arabic speaking members of the community. We took them to a small furnished apartment where they stayed until the beginning of October – when they moved into a rented house in the Carling/Woodroffe area.

Our welcoming committee has had daily contact with our family, communicating with them through interpreters on occasion – but mostly through communication applications on our iPhones, hand gestures and the international language of love. Our sponsored family knows that a large number of people in St. Paul’s have sponsored them, however in order to reduce the strain on them during this difficult transition phase we have limited the number of volunteers who have worked with them up until now.

Our family is adjusting well to their new environment and are grateful to be in Canada – they are truly nice people and are welcome additions to our country. The girls are all now going to school and both parents are studying English as a second language. Our work will continue with medical and dental appointments, helping our family adjust to the realities and the fun of winter, and helping them progress towards the ultimate goal of being self sufficient. We are now slowly introducing our sponsored family to more volunteers and the larger family in St. Paul’s will have a chance to meet them on November 20th 2016.

We are blessed with this opportunity to make the world a better place, to express God’s infinite grace through small acts with great love, to experience Christianity as a verb, not a noun.