|Here they are, Ben and Mary, our great nephew and niece.|
You see, they have been quite active in their community, helping Syrian refugees get settled into their new country. But a family of 4, suddenly had to be at an embassy in Ottawa early on Monday morning. They live 5 hours away, so could they come here on Sunday and stay overnight?
Well yes, they could.
So, our small house suddenly had 9 extra people, 3 of whom were Sha and our two grands, 2 being Ben and Mary, and 4 being the refugee family. Of course, Sha, Danica and JJ just came for dinner and a visit and didn't spend the night, but the other 6 did and were on their way after morning breakfast.
What I wanted to say is what special people both Ben and Mary are. They give to their community and help those in need. They both took a day off work and drove these folk to and from a fairly distant city. Of course, these two wonderful people would have done this at any time, but it seemed like a nice story to share on my blog at Christmas.
It was also nice to meet this refugee family who are settling in very well. They are all doing really well in picking up English. Three of them had learned some of our language previously, but the little 5 year old, couldn't speak a word 6 months ago and now talks perfectly, or close to it.
Their story, or part of it, is that there was a multiple day battle over and around their apartment building. The family huddled in an interior room for several days, after which they woke up to find dead bodies strewn about outside. They decided that they must leave Syria, and it was 2 years ago that they fled to Turkey before ending up here in Canada 6 months ago. When they fled their homeland, they thought that they'd return in 3 months. I don't expect that they will ever return now.
They are a lovely family who are already becoming good Canadians.
Of relevance to Syria and refugees, I am embedding this saddest video ever of recent times in Aleppo where the children have stopped crying, which shows why we might want to open our hearts and countries.
After having prepared this blog, I found this long article about Jim Estill who has spearheaded the relief to refugees such as those who visited us. He is from Guelph, which is where Ben and Mary live, so it is all connected. He as well as people like Ben and Mary are doing remarkable, humanitarian things. In the spirit of caring and giving.
Like Scrooge at the end of A Christmas Carol, they keep Christmas in their hearts all year round.