The view from mid-January

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Many people have been asking about the family’s arrival. The short answer is, “I don’t know when they’re coming!” We’re still waiting, but the good news is that we’ve been given their names, which is usually a sign that they are close to travelling.

The house has been fully furnished and is awaiting their arrival. There is nothing else we need, thanks to the outpouring of generous donations from members of this community. We’ve also received mountains of clothes, thanks to the Pass It On Café at the Missionary Church, which will be sorted shortly. Some items will be set aside for the family, while the rest will go into the Café for the family to choose, based on size and style preferences. The church has asked that no more items be donated.

We’ve learned that the family has an additional baby, so now there are 12 children with their 2 parents. The school-aged children will attend either Saugeen Central or St. Joseph’s school in Port Elgin; we leave the decision up to the parents.

Once the family gets here, no doubt there will be a flurry of excitement, but it’s important to give them the space and privacy that they need to adjust to a radically new life. I’ve been urged by Mennonite Central Committee to limit the number of people with whom they have contact, particularly in the initial weeks, in order not to overwhelm them and to help build trusting relationships with the core group members. We have no idea what they’ve been through prior to arriving, which is why it’s important to ease them into this new life.

We ask the community to respect that time and not show up excitedly to welcome the newcomers. There will be plenty of time to do so!

In the meantime, we continue to think about the future. We have enough funds to sponsor and resettle a second family, once the first has been settled. The more money we raise, the more newcomers we can bring, so if you are part of an organization that would like to hold a fundraiser on our behalf, please feel free to do so. We hope to organize some additional fundraisers in the near future. You can donate online here.

To all the many people who have inquired about volunteering:

At this point, we’re all just waiting! As tasks become apparent, after the family’s arrival, we will certainly reach out to the public for broader support. Also, we will need to form a second core group to spearhead the sponsorship of the second family, so let me know if you’re interested in becoming more committed to the cause.

Thank you, and stay tuned for updates!

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