Around Town: Refugee housing needed! Brian McConaghy, Carolyn Arends . . .

Newly arrived refugees are in desperate need of housing.

Newly arrived refugees are in desperate need of housing. Photo from Journey Home.

James Grunau sent an email to his partner churches last week regarding the desperate housing situation for many newly arriving refugee claimant families. Grunau runs Journey Home, which works with refugee claimants. He says the church community has already begun to respond, but he would love to hear from anyone who feels they might be able to help out.

Following is his plea to anyone who can offer housing:

Hello to our Church Partners,

Over six years ago we faced a crisis situation when 492 Tamil refugees arrived in Vancouver and Journey Home was asked to take 10 families. We turned to God and to the Church – and God provided. At this time we are moved to do the same with a current developing crisis. 

Yesterday I received an email from Mario of Inland Refugee Society, the organization where we receive most of our referrals for newly arriving families. I am passing his email on to you for you to read directly (see below) and get a sense of the desperation he, and we, are facing in this critical time of refugee claimant families arriving to “no room in the inn!”

Is this the time for the Church to again respond to Jesus’ words “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25)? I am making an urgent request, if you are able, to make this desperate need known to your congregation in whatever format you use and provide the opportunity for God’s people to respond. 

Maybe they can provide an unused basement suite, a spare room in their house, an empty apartment or . . . .  This could be for a limited period of time or for an extended time or for long-term. There is the possibility of “paid rent” being available once people have been able to register for Income Assistance after submitting their claim. Journey Home would be happy to follow up on all inquiries, answer questions and provide information.

Please make my contact information available: james@grunau.ca / 604.329.8112

We look forward to what God will do in blessing both the giver and the receiver. Who knows what could transpire! Thank you for whatever you are able to do and for caring!

James Grunau

Hi amigos, I am writing you with the purpose of getting support and practical suggestions. At this point I am desperate for the numerous new families we are helping.

Because we have already filled all the beds of our housing providers we were able to find only very temporary accommodation (two – three days) for most of the families. Currently, we have more than 40 single clients at Belkin House, three at Union Gospel Mission and six at Inasmuch; three families at ViFinday, three families at Fraser side, two families at Niza House, one family at Spring House, one family at a private house, one family we are paying at Helping House (they don’t have more space), we have also filled all the spaces at Kinbrace and Journey. ISS Welcome at Drake Street is closing, so they are not accepting new families.

Presently, we have the following families that need to be housed tomorrow:

1. Couple + three children from Afghanistan who live in our Richmond house, which we will close on February 22.
2. Couple + two children from Syria YWCA until tomorrow
3. Couple from Turkey, at St. Claire Hotel
4. Couple + one son, at Helping House until the end of this week, we’re paying $50/day for almost two weeks.
5. Couple + two children from Libya, YWCA until tomorrow
6. Mother with child from Afghanistan, 2400 Motel paid by the Canadian Red Cross
7. Couple from Iraq, staying in a hotel until the end of this week
8. Couple + two sons from Mexico, staying in a hotel until the end of this week 

Besides these families, we have to find accommodation for five single men [Iraq (two), Afghanistan, USA and France] and one single blind woman from Iran.

 As you may understand we really don’t know what to do for helping these 21 adults and 11 children to get a more permanent house. I don’t know either to whom I have to approach to seek solutions besides God, but you guys.

Sincerely,
Mario Ayala, MBA | Executive Director
Inland Refugee Society

Grunau says Journey Home has already begun to see a response, with people offering space in their homes – and one of the families he listed was actually housed in a church home over the weekend. Since Ayala wrote this note he has had two additional families to care for. One of his biggest challenges is housing families with four or five people.

Brian McConaghy in the Courier
 
brianmcconaghycourierI featured Brian McConaghy less than a month ago, as he was lined up to be a keynote speaker at Missions Fest. But it is very good to see him getting broader coverage in the Vancouver Courier, where Pat Johnson is featuring him and his work with Ratanak International in Cambodia, in a two-part series.
 
In the first part (February 9), Johnson wrote:

The creation of Ratanak International emerged from a series of events that McConaghy insists involve the hand of God.

“From a Christian standpoint, I believe it was God communicating clearly: Don’t worry about this stuff, I’m doing the heavy lifting. You just do what you’re told,” he says.

Operating a growing international charity while continuing his gruelling day job as an RCMP forensics guy, McConaghy’s path took another turn while he was working on the grisly Pickton case. It would change the focus of his work in Cambodia to the sexual exploitation of young people – and make him even more certain that something divine was guiding his work.

Go here for the full story.

Carolyn Arends for DRIME

carolynarendsdrime1Carolyn Arends is a very accomplished musician, with 12 albums, two Dove Awards and three Juno nominations under her belt. But even though she lives in Metro Vancouver, we don’t have many opportunities to see her perform these days – at least not ones I hear about. There are probably a number of reasons for that, including her role with Renovaré Institute for Christian Formation for the past couple of years.

Fortunately, though, she will be performing at North Langley Community Church this Saturday (February 18) in a benefit concert for DRIME.

An international ministry based out of Langley, DRIME “shares the love of Jesus on street corners around the world through drama and one-on-one conversations. DRIME has active teams in Canada, Mexico, Paraguay, Brazil, Benin, Togo, Kenya, Thailand and Hong Kong.

Briefly noted

Kevin and Julia Garratt spoke about their imprisonment in China following 30 years of work there, and their eventual freedom, at Broadway Church February 12.  Here is the video of their conversation with pastor Paul Moores. (I posted on the Garratts a couple of months ago.)

In its February Connections newsletter, Youth Unlimited ran an article on The ‘Pro-Compassionate’ Response to Bullying, in recognition of Anti-Bullying Day February 22. 
 
Crawford Kilian and The Tyee are carrying on their attempt to undermine private schools, this time by way of Donald Trump’s new Secretary of Education: Why Betsy DeVos Matters to Canadian Education. Go to my earlier article for some context.
 

February 16, 2017

A Reconciling Hope: The Regent Community Exhibit – February 16, 2017 at All Day
Dr. Abby Day: Reader in Race, Faith and Culture – February 16, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Corleone: The Shakespearean Godfather by David Mann – February 16, 2017 - February 25, 2017 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

February 17, 2017

Couples & Family Life Weekend Seminars – February 17, 2017 - February 19, 2017 at All Day
Discerning the Voice of God in Prayer: An Introduction – February 17, 2017 - February 19, 2017 at All Day
Hope for the Sold: Over 18 - A Documentary About Pornography – February 17, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Cathedral Organist Denis Bedard in Concert – February 17, 2017 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

February 18, 2017

Dr. Herbert Tsang: Technology Through the Eyes of Faith – February 18, 2017 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir: Songs of Loudest Praise - Workshop – February 18, 2017 at 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Festival of Hope Prayer Walks (Saturday mornings) – February 18, 2017 - February 25, 2017 at 9:30 am - 11:00 am
Jason Byassee: How to Listen to a Sermon – February 18, 2017 at 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
The Bible in the News Meet-Up Group (Saturday evenings) – February 18, 2017 - August 27, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
DRIME Presents: Story and Song - A Benefit Concert Featuring Carolyn Arends – February 18, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

February 19, 2017

Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir: Songs of Loudest Praise – February 19, 2017 at 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Jazz Vespers: Henry Young Quintet – February 19, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Taizé Contemplative Service – February 19, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Hope for the Sold: Over 18 - A Documentary About Pornography – February 19, 2017 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

February 20, 2017

Dr. John Wood: The Necessity of Death – February 20, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

February 21, 2017

Adam and the Genome: Intersection of Christian Faith and Genomic Evidence for Evolution – February 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

February 22, 2017

Art + Design Alumni Exhibition: Bayit / Lament – February 22, 2017 - March 27, 2017 at All Day
God and Reason: A Free Public Lecture Series (Wednesdays) – February 22, 2017 - March 15, 2017 at 12:30 pm - 1:20 pm
Jazz Evensong: Siobhan Walsh Group – February 22, 2017 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

February 23, 2017

Rise Up, Sister! – February 23, 2017 - February 26, 2017 at All Day
Art + Design Alumni Exhibition: Bayit / Lament – Opening Reception – February 23, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

February 24, 2017

When Should Christians Break Stuff?: Passing from the Image to the Prototype – February 24, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Bre McDaniel – February 24, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Trinity Western University’s SAMC Faculty + Friends Presents: Seasons of Life and Landscape – February 24, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Backstage Bash!: Worship Night & Heritage Hill EP Release Party with Patriot Sail – February 24, 2017 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

February 25, 2017

Christians at Work: Finding Your Calling, Making a Difference – February 25, 2017 at 8:30 am - 11:30 am
Brad Eastman: The Parables You Thought You Knew – February 25, 2017 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Canadian Chamber Choir Guest Performance – February 25, 2017 at 9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Randall Zachman: Every Christian Should Be an Astronomer – February 25, 2017 at 9:30 am - 12:00 pm
A Rocha: Winter Workshop & Seed Swap – February 25, 2017 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Coldest Night of the Year: CityReach Care Society – February 25, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Coldest Night of the Year: Cloverdale Community Kitchen – February 25, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Coldest Night of the Year: First United Church Walk – February 25, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Coldest Night of the Year: Fundraiser for MOMS – February 25, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
International Student Ministry: Concert and Fundraiser – February 25, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

February 26, 2017

Festival of Hope: Prayer Week – February 26, 2017 - March 3, 2017 at 12:00 am
Prayer Current: Engage the Conversation (Sundays) – February 26, 2017 - April 30, 2017 at 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Sundays at 3: Gerald Harder in Concert – February 26, 2017 at 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Jazz Vespers @ St. Andrew's United Church – February 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jazz Vespers: LJ Mountenay – February 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jazz Vespers: Olaf deShield – February 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

February 27, 2017

Redeveloping Dunbar Ryerson United Church: Open House – February 27, 2017 at 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Medical Assistance in Dying – February 27, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

March 1, 2017

Jazz Evensong: Darlene Ketchum & Friends – March 1, 2017 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

March 2, 2017

Commissionaires / Jacob Moon – March 2, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

March 3, 2017

Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope with Franklin Graham – March 3, 2017 - March 5, 2017 at All Day
Medical Assistance in Dying: Walking pastorally with those impacted by it – March 3, 2017 at 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Apologetics Canada Conference 2017 – March 3, 2017 - March 4, 2017 at 5:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Sideshow – March 3, 2017 - March 4, 2017 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

March 4, 2017

Tax Clinic – March 4, 2017 - April 15, 2017 at All Day
Finding God in All Things: Praying with Scripture and Imagination – March 4, 2017 at 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Jill Schuler & Joy Kirkwood: Biblical Creativity and Storytelling Through the Arts – March 4, 2017 at 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Liveword Conference – March 4, 2017 at 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Today's Modern Women of Faith Conference – March 4, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Tim & the Glory Boys – March 4, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

March 7, 2017

Entrepreneurial Growth and High Performance Workshop – March 7, 2017 at All Day
Summit Pacific College 75th Anniversary Dinner – March 7, 2017 at 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

March 8, 2017

International Women's Day Special Event: Men Talk About Women – March 8, 2017 at 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Jazz Evensong: Patty Verner & Friends – March 8, 2017 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

March 10, 2017

Capernwray Harbor Bible School Worship Night – March 10, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Norm Strauss – March 10, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

March 11, 2017

How to Become a Saint: a Lenten Retreat – March 11, 2017 at 8:30 am - 3:00 pm
Film Screening: Before the Flood – March 11, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Norm Strauss Concert – March 11, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Abendmusik: Lenten Vespers – March 11, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

March 12, 2017

Jazz Vespers: Linda Szentes and Friends – March 12, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
The Grenz Lectures 2017: The Crisis of Meaning in Canadian Culture – The Myths of Private Faith – March 12, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Abendmusik: Lenten Vespers – March 12, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

March 13, 2017

One Pass Ahead: Spring Break Basketball Camp – March 13, 2017 - March 17, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

March 14, 2017

Jane Eyre: The Musical – March 14, 2017 - April 1, 2017 at All Day

March 15, 2017

Jason Lepojarvi: How Many Loves? A Friendly Critique of C.S. Lewis's The Four Loves – March 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Jazz Evensong: Kristian Alexandrov / Shannon Gaye Trio – March 15, 2017 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

March 16, 2017

Dr. Ron Rittgers: Secularization Through Solace - Reflections on the Reformation and Modern Identity – March 16, 2017 at 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Dr. Ron Rittgers: The Radical Prophet Martin Luther – March 16, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Why Do People Stop Believing? – March 16, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

March 17, 2017

Graduate Art Exhibition: Passages – March 17, 2017 - April 29, 2017 at All Day

March 18, 2017

Theo's Rock n Roll Feast – March 18, 2017 at 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

March 22, 2017

Jazz Evensong: LJ Mountenay Quintet – March 22, 2017 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

March 23, 2017

Provincial Leadership Dinner, with Christy Clark – March 23, 2017 at 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Dr. Sam Reimer: Why Canadians aren’t Going to Church and What that Means for Evangelical Churches in Canada – March 23, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Why Do People Stop Believing? – March 23, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

March 24, 2017

BC Leadership Prayer Breakfast – March 24, 2017 at 7:30 am - 9:00 am
Dr. Sam Reimer: Is Canada Becoming More Religiously Polarized? – March 24, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Rhythm & Cello – March 24, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Valley Song by Athol Fugard – March 24, 2017 - April 8, 2017 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

March 25, 2017

Gibson and Gretsch Jazz Band – March 25, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Brentwood Concert Series: The Gleusteen Duo – March 25, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

March 26, 2017

The Choir of King's College Cambridge – March 26, 2017 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Jazz Vespers: Diane Lines – March 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
 

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