Very soon Owen Gretzinger will be returning to an orphanage in Trinidad with Chartwell Baptist church. They are collecting donations for the following items. Please bring them to church (Owen will be at the back after the service) on Sunday, March 4th, 2018.
Batteris (aa, aaa, 4d, 9v, a23, 18v, 12y0b1)
Printer Ink (Hp deskjet 662 black and coloured)
Hp office jet 61 (black and coloured)
Battery driven screwdriver
Plastic Mattress covers (Twin beds)
Lots of stickers (motivational etc.)
Side Walk Chalk
Cough and cold medicine
Allergy medicine 2-8 years old
Multi vitamins 2-8yrs old
Adult pampers/stay dry liners
Blood pressure machines
In just a couple of weeks Dave and Owen Gretzinger will be heading to an orphanage in Trinidad with Chartwell Baptist church. They are collecting donations for the following items:
Pencil case filled with pencil crayons, pens, pencil, eraser, and a mini ruler
Joint Pain Medication
Medication for gas pain
Pain-killers (headache and fever)
Histatussin liquid (for coughs and asthmatic conditions)
Allergy drops for eyes
First Aid Lidocaine Spray
Vicks vapour rub (children and adults)
Boys jockeys and boxers (sizes 4,6,8,10,12)
Girls undies (sizes 6,12,14)
Hair accessories for girls (clips, bows bandeaus, ponytail holders)
BIC pens (different colours)
Duct tape, scotch tape, masking tape and double sided tape
Permanent and White board markers
Zip lock bags (quart and gallon size)
Children/Teen and Adult Size Crocs
Almost three months ago we had the privilege of welcoming our Syrian friends to Canada. So much has happened in that time! What a joy it has been to get to know this lovely family and to share life with them while they transition into their new home here with us in Canada.
After a short stay with pastor Michel and Mary-Ellen, the family moved into the home of Mark and Sue while we waited for the lease on their townhouse to begin. This was a month of medical appointments, setting up finances and getting the kids started at school. It was a busy and sometimes challenging time as we learned to communicate with one another and worked to coordinate the many rides needed to and from appointments and school. Yet through it all we couldn’t be more impressed by the family’s sweetness, flexibility and willingness to work with us as we help to settle them.
We are becoming friends! The men have been invited as ‘friends’ on the father’s Facebook page and been given a glimpse into this man’s sense of humour and perspective in the midst of transition. He and Keith have been learning the bus system together as he heads to American Sign Language classes and Keith now gets a happy face emoji via text signalling that the trip was a success! Practical jokes have been played, communication blunders laughed about and warm thanks have been expressed.
Much of the day-to-day communication happens through the mother of the family. Her patience, wit and strength as she navigates so many details and new ways of doing things have been remarkable. In addition to caring for her family she is taking English classes three days a week. Again, as we have learned to communicate with one another, there has been a lot of laughter. Clearly one of this family’s strengths is their sense of humour.
It goes without saying that the kids have stolen our hearts. Who doesn’t love being greeted by an enthusiastic toddler running joyfully to the door? The eldest daughter has been picking up English quickly and charming us with her confident spunk. The eldest son is hopefully soon to be settled at EC Drury school for the deaf and has been working diligently to prepare. The infant daughter is healthy and adjusting well to being passed around from stranger to stranger while we help the family with various tasks. Watching them discover everything from Lake Ontario to the rooms in their new home has been a source of great fun and joy for us!
There have also been some deeply moving moments. Cathy describes being greeted by the family with news of the atrocities in Aleppo displayed on their cell phone. Words weren’t needed to communicate the profound mix of sorrow and joy the family was experiencing. She describes grieving with them one moment and then laughing with them over something the next. It is hard for us to wrap our heads around what they have experienced.
At the beginning of January the family moved into their more permanent house. It was amazing to see all of the donated furniture and items come together to make up a home. Thank you to all of you who have donated everything from time to money to things. This family’s home is a beautiful picture of our community working together. It should also be noted that our translators have been amazing! We are so thankful for them! There is still much to do as we help the family settle, but we are praising God for all that he has helped us do so far. Please continue to pray for the family as they work on learning the language, settling in at school and looking for work.
Julia Bowering - Associate Pastor, Kings Community Church
On Tuesday, November 8, 2016 while most were glued to their TV sets watching the U.S. election, six members of our Refugee Committee from Central Baptist Church and Kings Community Church were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our sponsored refugee family of six. It was 6:30 p.m. when their plane landed but it was past 10:00 p.m. by the time they cleared customs.
From the airport, we all made our way back to pastor Michel's home to settle in for their first night in Canada. Since then there has been a whirlwind of activity. On Wednesday we took them shopping for groceries. On Thursday it was meetings with settlement workers. Friday we took the family to the DAR Foundation for Friday Prayers, and then to an evening celebration at Pastor Michel's home (catered by Shamyat Middle East Cuisine) with members of the Refugee Committee along with our dedicated translators Amne, Ruba and Shireene. Saturday, it was doctor's appointments for the family and vaccines for the kids followed by an afternoon of playing in the leaves. Sunday was a day of rest. Monday was a dentist appointment for dad and eldest daughter. Tuesday was spent at the audiologist with dad and eldest son. Wednesday the family visited the temporary accommodations in Oakville where they will stay starting next week until the end of December; in January they will move into their own home in Oakville. On the Wednesday they also received their cell phone and together we managed to set it up for Arabic and downloaded the IMO video app. The excitement on their faces and in their voices as they connected via video link with their family and friends back at the Za'atari Refugee Camp in Jordan was priceless. A wonderful moment of joy amidst a traumatic week of disorientation and instability.
Thank you all for your continued generous support through prayers, donations and the investment of time into this incredibly resilient family that we now call friends. A special word of appreciation to our committee members, drivers, translators, and volunteers who have participated in this whirlwind journey of the past week. Please continue to pray for the family as they deal with the trauma of resettlement.
- Michel Belisle, Lead Pastor Central Baptist Church, Oakville, ON