Ten Years, Ten Things I’ve Learned

Posted by on Nov 23, 2017 in Newsletters | Comments Off

  It’s been ten years since I, Sharon Schmidt, was sent by Glencairn Church to serve refugees at Welcome Home Refugee House, right here in Kitchener-Waterloo. Who knew that this is where I’d be a decade later, loving this opportunity to serve God more than ever!     As you can imagine, I’ve learned a few things along the way, and with your permission, here are ten of them:  Humility- I am NOT God’s gift to refugees.  I’m a bit embarrassed to remember how arrogant and full of self I was in 2007.  Humility and respect will get me a lot further in launching trusting...

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“Home” is Not Just a Name.

Posted by on Mar 23, 2017 in Newsletters | Comments Off

Milly is a vibrant, determined young woman who volunteers at a local community health centre.  She’s waiting for her work permit to arrive and mulling over which area of health care she’d like to study.  Milly’s a pretty good basketball player and loves Snapchat.  However, her almost 20 years of life haven’t been easy. Thankfully, her refugee claim was recently accepted, so she can now begin to dream about and prepare for a future in Canada. We recently sat down to chat about the 4 months Milly’s lived with us and here are her perceptive reflections. What do you like about...

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Before My Head Was Very Sad

Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in Newsletters | Comments Off

She came to Welcome Home, a middle aged Ethiopian woman, exhausted, scared, and alone trying to find safety from an abusive husband. Communication was difficult with lack of English, and trust needed time to be built as she quietly went about her day to day activities, uncertain of this new environment and the strange new people she found herself living with. It’s now been a year since we were first introduced and the positive changes in this woman’s life are incredible. After a few months at a women’s shelter, she lives in her own apartment and loves to show people around while...

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Never Too Old!

Posted by on Sep 17, 2015 in Newsletters | Comments Off

When Aaron Schmidt was four years old, his family came to Canada as refugees. They struggled with learning a new language and adjusting to a new culture. In October 2011, at the age of 81, Aaron  rode 26 kilometres in the Ride for Refuge in Niagara, and helped raise more than $25,000 for Welcome Home. After a serious biking accident 20 years ago, Aaron knew his wife would only agree to him cycling if he raised funds for Welcome Home. He trained under the watchful eye of his daughter/team captain Joy and experienced pre-ride nerves after a bout of stress-induced shingles. However, as he said...

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Being a Refugee

Posted by on Jun 23, 2015 in Newsletters | Comments Off

Being a Refugee “If we are only looking for our own comfort and security without any sacrifice, nothing extraordinary will happen in our lives or in our environment; and we run the risk of wasting the opportunity to serve and help others, falling into the tedium of life without meaning.” Like many of the people present, we arrived at Waterloo with one backpack full of clothes and the other one full of illusions and dreams that had been stolen.  To start again, learning another language, another culture.  We walked the streets searching for something that we could identify with. Being...

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A Prayer for Refugees on World Refugee Day

Posted by on Jun 17, 2015 in Newsletters | Comments Off

A Prayer for Refugees   Loving God, We pray for the world’s refugees, They have experienced trauma beyond our imagining. God of healing, bring them healing. They endure the most trying of circumstances. God of strength, bring them strength. They face an uncertain future. God of hope, bring them hope.   We pray for the countries from which refugees come, They are experiencing conflict. God of healing, bring them healing. Their people are torn apart by violence & other types of persecution. God of strength, bring them strength. They face a difficult future. God of hope,...

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