In early January, three Syrian refugees named Therese, Salma and Marwa, came to Canada as privately sponsored refugees. They had been driven from their homes in Damascus, Syria by the civil war. In the conflict, they lost family members, friends and neighbors. Most tragically, one of Salma’s three daughters was shot in the head and killed in Damascus shortly before they fled. Leaving behind everything they knew, they arrived in Canada in January completely destitute, having no family in Calgary, no money, and no possessions.
The ladies were originally brought by the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS). However, the ladies are not Catholics, but rather Presbyterian Syrians from a Presbyterian church in Damascus! The ladies desired to be part of a Presbyterian church and came to Woodgreen Presbyterian Church. Woodgreen welcomed them into the church and also assumed responsibility for providing for them and helping them settle in Calgary.
Since arriving Therese, Salma and Marwa, have become a wonderful part of the congregation. Regarding settlement and integration into Canadian Society, the ladies are working hard on their English as a Second Language studies. Woodgreen has found and furnished a condo for them to live in, created a monthly support budget, and is helping them learn how to live in Canada.
Settling in a new country with absolutely nothing and with no support from the government (because they are privately sponsored refugees) requires a lot of money. Woodgreen is grateful for other PCA congregations partnering with us in the support of these Syrian refugees.