Friday, January 16, 2009

What's the point?

Yesterday I was grateful to hop on a toasty warm bus after doing the "bus stop shuffle" to keep my toes from freezing. Icy roads and frigid conditions meant that the bus wasn't all that successful in starting and stopping. Now I may be mis-reading the bus driver's actions, but it seemed to me that when he found a stretch of open road, he sped up and enjoyed the chance to just go! So much so that when someone rang the bell, he almost forgot to stop and let them off.

Made me think of how much easier it would be if people weren't getting on and off all the time. The bus would always be on time, and complete its run with ease. But that's not the point of transit. It's about getting people to and from where they need to be.

THAT made me think of Welcome Home. If we were just a rooming house, life would be relatively easy. However, we believe God has called us to create a community where newly arrived refugees of all sorts can experience safety, support, encouragement and family... where each one can hear about and encounter Jesus. That means that there are a lot of stops and starts, and we're not always on time or sailing smoothly through our days with ease. With a lot of prayer, though, and a determination to stay focused on what we're about, we expect to see results... eventually.
Please pray that God would keep us focused and joyful as we depend on Him to do the greater work among us.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Transit Time

I’ve chosen to become a transit user and as I’ve logged some hours on the bus, I’ve had a few insights about transit time.

  1. Life is slower and requires more margin. I can’t hop on my bike 20 minutes before an appointment and arrive there sweaty, but on time! While I may chafe, this in-transit time has given me space to think, to pray and/or use my “Crackberry”. I get to choose my attitude and how I’ll use this “free time”.

  2. I do best when I accept the time restrictions and even plan for them. I’ve learned to do the 100 yd dash for the bus, sometimes making it and other times not. Sometimes the bus is early or late, and I’m the one who must adjust.

I was thinking about how my new experiences are helping me identify a bit more with my refugee friends. Their lives, now that they’ve arrived in Canada, are about waiting.

  • Waiting for work permits and interim support

  • waiting to learn English

  • waiting to be accredited to work in their profession

  • waiting to see their families again

  • waiting for us to provide closets for their rooms...

And, their claim process is about someone else telling them what they need to do, how it has to be done, where it must be submitted and when it’s due.

I’m grateful for a chance to invest in their lives. There’s nothing like a lively conversation with an unexpected friend on the bus to make the time fly! My prayer is that we can be friends for the journey who bring godly encouragement during the process.

I’ve also noticed that on longer bus trips I get so lulled into complacency that I stop looking for my stop and almost forget to get off! Welcome Home’s goal-setting process aims at helping each refugee identify what they’d like to accomplish, how we can help them get there and then celebrate when they do. I believe that’s what Jesus would have us do.

Please pray for our friends who are in “Transit Time” that they would come to know Jesus while they wait. And, pray that we would be good travel companions.