A “Thank You” to the Atlantic Baptist Women. On May 28th at the Atlantic Baptist Women’s (ABW) conference at Crandall University, I was presented with a cheque for $7,638.49 (Any guy would go to women’s conference for that!).
The ABW had “Walked for Refugees” and the money was given to help facilitate the many sponsorships currently undertaken by CABC churches. We are currently sponsoring 60 families with another 20 groups waiting to submit applications. Wow! (In 2014 we only applied to sponsor one family.)
This money is mostly being used for additional staff.
- Jacqueline Derrah has been indispensible in walking with groups and churches as they prepare for and receive families. She was recently in Beirut, seeing what God is doing as Lebanese Baptists respond to the Syrian crisis and attending a conference at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary called “The Church and Refugees”.
- Angie Murphy (who mostly volunteers) has guided groups in filling forms and has carefully checked every application (one case can have 8 different forms).
- Rachel McNally, who is a leader on her church’s sponsorship team and who has helped coordinate sponsorship efforts for many groups in the Annapolis Valley, is working for us in refugee ministry this summer as a student (the ABW gift is allowing us to extend her hours and pay for travel). Rachel is collecting and organizing data, interviewing groups and families and cleaning up and developing our online resources. Here she is heading out to visit a sponsorship group in New Brunswick.
Many of the ABW participants who “walked for refugees” also walk with refugees. They are part of sponsorship groups or are volunteering to welcome and settle other refugee families in their communities.
At the risk of not being invited to their conference next year, let me say that many of these women are not Spring chickens. Yet how they walk!! The amount of energy (blood, sweat and tears), prayer, time and money they have invested into the lives of newcomers belies their age.
For many of our groups, the hard work of sponsorship has begun. Families have arrived and teams are now absorbing the pain and sharing the burdens of people who have lost so much and who have so much to find.
To the ABW and all those walking with the vulnerable, I dedicate this little (wrote right now) poem:
Those who wait on the Lord, who soar and run
Do their greatest feat when the rest are done
When they walk, refusing to faint,
The path of persevering saint
Joining those who no longer fly
Returning with them, to the sky.
Thank you for your examples and God bless you all.
In Christ, who walked with us,