Waiting for the family

On July 26th a family of four Liberians, who fled a civil war and who have been living in a refugee camp for six years, will board an airplane in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa, and start winging their way toward Canada.

The family will find a clean, fully furnished, comfortable, bright, three-bedroom apartment waiting for them when they arrive in Fredericton July 27th. The cathedral and 10 Anglican parishes have been collecting funds, furniture and food for the family, comprised of Phillip Weah, Esther Gmah and teenaged children Arene and Catherine Gmah. A team from the cathedral, Christ Church Parish Church, St. Margaret’s, St. Mary’s York and All Saints (Marysville) has been working hard to move furniture and supplies, clean and set up the apartment. Congregations have been enormously generous in donating items. The refugee sponsorship committee expresses gratitude for the help and asks for ongoing prayer for the Liberian family.

k_and_r_schmidt_at_workWhen they arive they will be nervously stepping into a whole new world. They will receive a warm welcome from members of the Greater Fredericton Area Anglican Parishes, a refugee sponsorship committee representing 10 parishes and the cathedral.

“We have been praying, preparing and raising funds for many months in anticipation of the family’s arrival, but we have been given only two and a half weeks notice of the specific date,” said Archdeacon Patricia Drummond who speaks for the committee.

setup“We have a LOT to do before that time, the most urgent being to find a convenient, three-bedroom apartment for a reasonable rent into which we can move the many furniture items and supplies we have accumulated,” she said. “We also need to stock the apartment with groceries. And there is considerable paperwork to do and meetings to set up related to banking, documentation, language assessments, health care, and so on.”

She added that it will be helpful for the African newcomers because it is not the dead of winter, but it will be hectic for the organizers because it is summer when some volunteers are away on holidays.

“In speaking over a scratchy telephone line with the father of the family, I discovered that the family is Christian. We would have happily accepted any faith, but this does make things easier in a number of ways.”

In speaking over a scratchy telephone line with the father of the family, I discovered that the family is Christian …

Liberia is on the west coast of Africa

Liberia is on the west coast of Africa

The archdeacon sincerely thanked everyone for their donations and moral support. Prayers for the family will be very much appreciated.

“Some people have asked if they can still contribute financially, and the answer is yes because we must support this family for an entire year,” she noted. “People in the various parishes have been generous, but we do not yet have enough money to cover the whole year. Cheques can be made payable to Christ Church Parish Church, marking Refugee Fund on the memo line. Any contribution is welcome.”

The only remaining item needed on our 10-page list of furniture and supplies is a chair suitable to use at a computer desk. It does not have to be new but it does have to function.

“God has been very good to us as we prepare for the family, and we know He will watch over them on their long journey here,” Archdeacon Drummond concluded.

Ann Deveau


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