•  Above: Ahmad, Kamal, and Mohamed ran to the lake with our marathon practice team

       

       September 2016

      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!

       

       


       

       

       

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      December 2015

      Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?  For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him."  

      When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Matt 2:1-3 NKJV


      Herod was an Edomite.  His ancestors converted to Judaism, and as ruler of Judea, he would have been very much aware of the prophecy concerning the Messiah.  And here he is—arriving within Herod’s own lifetime!  He had heirs.  How could this be happening?  He is understandably upset.

       

      But the part we gloss over perhaps—Jerusalem was troubled with him.  Jerusalem knew that Herod would not go easily.   A new King of the Jews?  That meant war. 

       

      So in self-interest and the interests of national security Herod plots.  He’ll do away with the Messiah before he becomes a problem.  (He clearly didn’t have much faith in God and the prophets if he thought it would be that easy!)  After being tricked by the wise men, Herod moves on to plan B—all infant boys in Bethlehem under the age of 2 are killed. 

       

      This reminds us of another infanticide, when Pharaoh orders all Jewish baby boys born in Egypt to be killed—also in the interests of national security. 

       

      But in both stories there are heroes.  In Egypt, centuries earlier, Pharaoh asks the midwives to murder Israelite baby boys as they are born.  But the midwives will not be accomplices in Pharaoh’s plot, and deceive him, thereby protecting innocent life.  This act of heroism has earned the humble midwives an honourable mention in history.  Likewise, the wise men refused to facilitate the assassination of the child king and avoided Herod on their way home. 

       

      Fearing loss of power blinded Herod.  Fear of war blinded Jerusalem.  Will fear blind us to the suffering of innocents, or will we, like the wise men and the midwives, stand on the right side of history?

       

       


       

       

       

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      September 2015

      In the past number of weeks, the plight of refugees has garnered global media attention.  It has also come to the forefront of our collective consciousness, as images and opinion flood social media.  The question many are asking: what can we do?

      Firstly, despite the unprecedented tide arriving in Europe, the choices facing refugees to stay and suffer, or risk life itself to flee to safety are not new. 

      At any given time there are millions of refugees who have been displaced by war, civil strife, and persecution.  Many receive aid in neighbouring countries—nations that may offer little more than life in a refugee camp, while the displaced wait for the conditions in their home country to improve, or to be sponsored and resettled abroad.  Wait times for these opportunities can take decades or a lifetime.  Many young people are born in refugee camps and know no other life.  To escape this fate, many make perilous journeys—as we have so tragically witnessed—and seek refugee status in safe countries where they can seek a permanent home.

      Due to geography, Europe is currently facing a disproportionate amount of refugees.  However, many refugees arrive in other safe countries such as Canada, Australia and the U.S. by land, sea and air.  Besides undertaking a dangerous journey, the refugee claimants that we serve have left their homes, many times their families, and have possibly spent their lifesavings to obtain freedom from war and persecution founded on race, religion, political opinion, nationality or membership in a social group. 
      When refugee claimants arrive they need help with their most basic needs: food, shelter, and most likely winter clothing.  In addition they need assistance with the refugee claim process, work permit applications, and accessing services.  They also long for community and friendship. 

      So what can we do?  Live out our faith in a way that pleases God.  In Matthew 25 Jesus lists things that please God: giving food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, and visiting those who are imprisoned.  This is not just an immediate response to a crisis, but a way of life. 

      Adam House has been living out Matthew 25; however, we do so only with through the generosity of our supporters.  Consider becoming a regular donor so that we can continue to increase our hospitality and expand our services. 

      Other ways you can help refugees: 

      • Raise funds from your family and friends by joining our Scotiabank Charity Team
      • Come up with a unique fundraising idea at your workplace 
      • Collect and donate non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies, warm winter jackets and footwear
      • Volunteer in a group or as an individual and be a friend to those in need
      • Rent a room or an apartment to refugees
      • Offer a job to a refugee: Many employers insist on hiring someone with Canadian experience.  Be different--give someone an opportunity to bless you

       

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