Lenten Devotion for March 22, 2023

Today’s Good Courage reading is a meditation on courage rooted in hope. It describes a family’s long and arduous journey from Eritrea, via a refugee camp in Sudan, to Northern Saskatchewan.

A little over 25 years ago my wife and I were a freshly married couple. We we wanted to start our married life, and hopefully, a family, in a place as close to her folks as we could manage. She was called to a full-time position at a church in Windsor, and I found a part-time job at another. We packed up and moved from the prairies to Southwestern Ontario. (A lovely place, but still two hours from my wife’s parents.)

This was the late 1990’s. The nightly news was all about the conflict in the aftermath of the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. Many people fled their homes, and sought new places to live, and raise their families.

The Windsor Multi-Cultural Association connected us with a family who’d made their way from Bosnia to Canada, via Germany. A husband and wife, and two young boys. He’d been raised Muslim, and she Catholic. They wanted a life for their children safe from the ethnic and religious and political tensions, violence and war into which they had been born.

They became our friends, and our extended family. They helped us move into, and renovate our first home, including the nursery for our first child.

Their courage, and undefeatable hope that life could be better, and that their sons could have opportunities not available to them, still inspires me.

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