Above: Ahmad, Kamal, and Mohamed ran to the lake with our marathon practice team
David & Sara Jondro from Arkansas, spent their summer living at Adam House and working evening shifts as night managers. Below, they recall one of the most interesting nights of the summer.
July 29—the Friday night of a long weekend—and a night like many others: we checked that all the chores had been completed and spent time with some of our new friends. We lay down to sleep and were dozing off when just after midnight, DING DONG. I assumed that it was someone that had stayed out late and needed the door to be unlocked. I heard the footsteps of a resident head to the front door and open it, then shut my eyes to continue my slumber.
“Tup, tup, tup," on our door. I readied myself quickly, wondering what was going on. The resident who had gone to the door began to quickly explain that there was a family that needed shelter. Still waking, I glanced down the hall and saw a couple sitting on the edge of the sofa in the front room.
I knew that we didn't have room for any more people in the house, in fact, there was already one man sleeping on the sofa in the basement. When I walked into the lobby, I was shocked to see that there were also 4 young boys and a teenage girl.
The family, refugees from Sudan, had been traveling around Toronto on foot, looking for a place to stay. We did not simply want to turn them out on to the street, so we reached out to the Adam House staff to find out what we should do. Being after midnight, we did not hear back from them right away, and so we called other organizations in Toronto, to see if we could find shelter for them.
As we were calling something amazing started to happen—the residents of Adam House started to bring food and drinks to the family, and talk to them about their struggles, immediately welcoming and caring. They assured the family that they would not be turned out to sleep on the street. We were all determined to stay up the rest of the night in that lobby until they were sheltered.
After a dozen phone calls, no space was found; however, the staff had a plan. They knew that there would be several people moving after the long weekend, and so we just needed a temporary solution. So at 2am we woke up the gentleman who was sleeping in the basement and asked if he would kindly consent to sleeping on a cot in our board room. He wanted to help the family and quickly assented. We all worked together to get bedding ready so that the family could spend a few nights in the basement.
We celebrated our success with a very early breakfast—at 4am! It all felt surreal: what I had witnessed and what I was a part of. We were part of a home and a family, caring for those in need.
The following was written by our Program Manager. A refugee himself, and former resident of Adam House, he came to Canada without his wife and children. They were reunited in January 2016 after 4.5 years apart. Two adopted children remain abroad. We hope and pray for their reunification.
GOD IS GOOD!!!!!
Just as a long journey begins with one step, so does a long time starts with one hour! It became four and a half years apart and continents away!
As time flew by, month after month, and year after year; we became weary and the quality of our faith became a pendulum. We fell short of asking, God, do you use a 48-hour day clock?” Yet God’s answer was unwavering: “This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.” Habakkuk 2:3.
…and yet anxiety in us rose and fell as fear gripped us to fever limits! We got filled to overflow by a deep sense of emptiness, as we continued to ask; where is your favor, God? As we often know and deny, God’s response is always unequivocal: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6
…but we are only human!! Sometimes it did not matter that we knew that even the birds thrive with no gardens of their own, for sometimes we got by with a bare minimum of supplies. But God reminded us that “He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.” Isaiah 40:11.
Alas! It still got harder and harder with the passage of time! We were cumbered with the weight of uncertainty; the cloudiness cast upon us by doubts and suspicions; the unsettling fangs of impatience; the chill of fear – all weighing in on us! But as we now gladly see through the rear mirror; “We were hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we were perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9.
This is all because God is always good! Oh, God is good, because we can now sing - sing testimonies of the goodness of God! We feel His goodness even though some of our loved ones are still in the depth of the yawning valleys of human loneliness, for in Him we embrace faith, faith we tasted by what He brought us through. Oh yes, God is good, for; “… I will sing of His strength; I will sing aloud of His steadfast love in the morning. For He has been to us a fortress and a refuge in the day of our distress.” Psalm 59:16
Because it is true, and God is never changing, we are happy to join you in glorifying Him to say; that, whatever, why-ever, wherever, whenever, however, whoever it is: “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.” James 5:13
May we all, therefore; “Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort;" 2 Corinthians 1:3.
GLORY BE TO GOD ALMIGHTY!!!
This poem was written by our Program Manager, for Father's Day 2014. A refugee himself, and former resident of Adam House, he came to Canada without his wife and children was expressing the longing to be together. They were reunited in January 2016 after 4 1/2 years apart. Pray for refugees in similar circumstances, that they would remain faithful to their unions and that God would comfort them and their families during their time of separation.
Oh Heavenly Father of the fatherless!
Behold, Heavenly Father; desperate fathers, fatherless children, husbandless wives;
Oh Lord, as fathers flee, the household is broken and detached like tree-trunks from their branches;
Oh God, mould the children, so your potter’s hands may shape them
before the soil they are goes hard and wild;
Oh God, give meaning, for the fathers’ love is only but a promise, whisper - a Skype-line;
love in the foggy valleys of uncertainty;
Oh Father, tend the fields, for the fathers are so gone like the crow,
while the crops wrestle the wild fingers of the weeds;
Oh fathers, trust in Him who is seated in the empty chair at the family alter,
where the fatherless find the worth to wait;
Oh Lord, fortify from temptations and keep chaste, the matrimonial wonder-harvests of treasure you created from the time the man and woman said I do; and cool them down as they crave and burn to flames in the cold winter nights or shiver in the hot summer spells with passion;
Then show the way, Almighty Father;
Show at your time Lord, show it in your way;
Show the why, Lord;
Show, Lord, that to You, someday is same day, that day!
Praise be to Lord God Almighty, the Father of the fathers!