Monday, January 18, 2010

Speed Dating?

As a newly single again person, I have no lack of well-meaning suggestions coming my way.  Among the options, I've been told to check out online dating and ... speed dating!  
Personal "earthquakes" aside, I can see that moving into Welcome Home is a lot like speed dating.  Sure, when a newly arrived refugee inquires about moving in, we try to tell them as clearly as we can about what this community living will be like.

But, imagine with me what their first days might feel like:
  • The first person I encounter comes from a culture that my entire family, for generations, has openly hated...
  • No one I meet speaks a word of my language- my head hurts just listening to them...
  • What kind of food is THAT??
  • I escape to the bathroom and wonder how to use that kind of toilet...
  • Back in my room, dazed, with my door locked, I'm left wondering if anyone here is like me at all.
Just before Christmas we had two new refugees move into Welcome Home, freshly arrived in Canada and struggling to take it all in.  Crammed into the kitchen, in the midst of the lovely chaos of a community meal and farewell party for our house supervisors , one of them exclaimed,
"I am SO happy to be part of Welcome Home!  In my country, we are like this all the time, but I thought that in Canada, everyone was just alone.  Thank you for letting me live here."

Now THAT's a God-thing:)