This summer has been one of incredible beginnings for the team at New Hope and for those who, quite quickly, begin to feel more like family than simply newcomers to Canada. Moving from paralysis to productivity means that new beginnings become a regular occurrence, as life in a new country brings with it changes both commonplace and unexpected. Here are a number of those new beginnings that have happened over the summer, and continue to happen as we work together each day at New Hope.
New schools to play at
Every morning there is a bustle of excitement as over a dozen children rush out the door to their new school. We have 15 children under twelve years of age at New Hope, all registered in a nearby Surrey public school. The school has done an amazing job receiving them and figuring out how best to place them in the right class for sake of learning. Just like Canadian children, sometimes not every child seems excited to head out the door in the morning, but by 3:00 in the afternoon there is a huge sense of energy as they arrive home with smiles from their day of learning and play. Are they happy because they went to school? Or is because they have finished school for the day?
New languages to learn
We are in a big push to help with english language acquisition right now. All children are in school and doing famously while most parents attend ESL classes. Each day we do a "homework club" with the kids where they get help with their school work and practice english. Three times a week a number of mothers in the building also meet for english learning (as women). We are starting to do some one-on-one tutoring with adults in the privacy of their apartments as learning is hard for some, and potentially more embarrassing than satisfying, as they face the challenge of a new language. We flex in order for them to succeed.
New stories to be shared
One of our newest residents was a reporter in his homeland and had the misfortune of producing news that was unflattering to a particular group in his country. The group visited his home and threatened he and his family, so he knew that it was time to flee to safety, arriving in Canada in March. Today, he's improving his english and also picking up "barbering/hair cutting" skills because he figures he can make a living with it (media work is out of the question due to language issues). He's just finishing his training course and has offered hair cuts to everyone in the building!
And of course, new goodbyes
It's amazing to think it is already happening, but our first family left us at the end of August as they had tuned up their english skills, found jobs, and realized that they needed to live closer to their employment. They had only been with us 6 months but they were ready to go so we prayed with them, hugged them, helped them with luggage and tearfully sent them on their way. Like any graduation, it was a time of mixed emotions.
But also, new hello's
Finally, a new family came last week to take the spot recently vacated by our first graduates. They came to us from Iran and are supported by the Cariboo Road Christian Fellowship in Burnaby. The church team provided start up furniture, food, and beddings and have identified a team of 6-10 individuals who will give 6-10 hours per week to help this new family settle into Canada. We are very excited to support them as they begin their journey of new beginnings as well.
As we continue seeing many new beginnings we encourage you to send us a message, come for a visit, or get together with your friends and family to share with them the exciting things happening at New Hope this year.
With thanks for your support and prayers,
~ Jamey McDonald
If you or someone you know would be interested in volunteering with New Hope, check out our Take Action page, call us at 778-394-1191, or email us at
New Hope Community Services Society
13478 Hilton Road
Surrey, BC V3R 5J4