Connections triumph over differences

Photo provided by Rev. Tuula Van Gaasbeek

Photo provided by Rev. Tuula Van Gaasbeek

Jenn Ardon (CLWR’s Church Liaison & Volunteer Coordinator) received this great story from Rev. Tuula Van Gaasbeek
 at St. Philip’s Lutheran Church in Etobicoke, ON yesterday:

St. Philip’s Lutheran Church in Etobicoke (Toronto) has partnered with MADBAKH WOMEN’S INITIATIVE, which is a Somali organization established 20 years ago to strengthen families and empower women who came to Canada as refugees from Somalia.
 We provide them space (and volunteers) to help with after-school tutoring and parenting classes.

Some of the women also wanted to learn how to sew and when they heard we were sewing quilts to be sent to refugee camps, they wanted to come and help! It was a delicate dance as our ladies had their system, working seamlessly. These new women messed up the existing system!

Sewing quilts. Photo provided by Rev. Tuula Van Gaasbeek

Sewing quilts. Photo provided by Rev. Tuula Van Gaasbeek

But, they let them in! 
This is rather remarkable: our German Lutheran ladies working side by side with Somali Muslim women to help ease the pain of women and children far away in refugee camps. Many of our German women know what it was like in Europe after WWII and how they had to leave in search of better life and safety. They, too, had lost everything. So, the connection with these Somali women who came from refugee camps is there. It is simply amazing to see them work together. The quilts, of course, are sent to CLWR. This, in my opinion, is the true work of Holy Spirit. Today we are celebrating together – we are all going out for an end of the season lunch!

Thank you for all that you do to facilitate these kinds of holy encounters.

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