A Note From Anne

When Jim and I left Cole Harbour on Feb 27th to go to Florida and our car broke down 1 hour into our journey, we had to return to Halifax and our two month trip was delayed a whole day. At the time, we thought that was the worst thing that could happen to us. Little did we know what was in store for not only us, but everybody.

From the disbelief of COVID-19 to the tragic death of our good friend and great CHC supporter, Kathy Warren, and then to the horrific details of the last weekend it is hard to see any relief from the overwhelming grief that has overcome us.

I thought I would reach out to our Muslim friends and send them our thoughts and prayers during Ramadan. Yesterday I received a text from Israa and I thought I should share it with you.

Hi Anne, It’s been a year and we’re here. It has been the most beautiful year for me, and I am so happy that I got to know you and know people like you. I wish you all your life full of happiness and joy.

Ziad wrote:

All of us miss seeing everybody.

Even though we feel that the world has gone mad, it is the texts from the people that Cole Harbour Cares has helped that keeps us moving forward.

At the present time, Cole Harbour Cares may not be meeting but donations are still coming in from the pledges. There are half a dozen churches that still want to hear our story when the pandemic restrictions ease. We will get through this and we will continue to fund raise when the time is right.

In the meantime, hold the people in your “bubble” a little tighter

Till we meet again,

Anne

Khaled’s Story

Update from Cole Harbour Cares

In 2007, years before civil war erupted in their homeland of Syria, Khaled and his wife, Nour, emigrated to Nova Scotia. Young, ambitious and hard working, they soon became part of our community. Nour worked as a medical lab technologist at the QEII hospital in Halifax while Khaled learned the restaurant business. 

By 2013, Khaled had bought Station 1, a restaurant in Dartmouth. Nour was now the working mother of two. Tragically, the Syrian civil war had begun. Many of Khaled’s friends and former co-workers, now Syrian refugees living in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, reached out to him pleading for help. Khaled and Nour approached the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) to ask if there was a refugee sponsorship group working in the Dartmouth area to help Nour’s family relocate to Nova Scotia.

Fortunately, Cole Harbour Cares (CHC), our refugee sponsorship group, with members from the congregations of Cole Harbour Woodside United Church, St. Andrews Anglican Church, Woodlawn United Church, along with community members from Dartmouth, was registered with ISANS. When CHC contacted Khaled to help sponsor his wife’s family, Khaled and Nour, with the help of friends at the lab dept of QEII hospital, had already sponsored Nour’s family from Turkey. However, Khaled told us he had a former co-worker, with a family of five, who were refugees living in Jordan, waiting for sponsors. CHC gladly sponsored this family, who years later still live, go to school and work in our area.

When this year long sponsorship was up, CHC prepared to disband but Khaled had another request. A friend, whose home and restaurant was destroyed in Syria, was now a refugee with a young family, living in Lebanon. Would we help them? CHC revitalized the group and agreed to sponsor this second family. With Khaled’s encouragement, and the dedication of CHC, this family of five is now thriving in Dartmouth. It is wonderful both of CHC’s families have stayed in Nova Scotia, learned English, and successfully found jobs.

Khaled didn’t stop there. During the years CHC was working with these two families, he approached other sponsorship groups to help more Syrians begin new lives in the safety and care of generous Nova Scotians. He, himself, also formed a group of 5 to sponsor Syrian friends. In the last few years, Khaled has selflessly helped more than 20 Syrian refugees settle in Nova Scotia. They have stayed and prospered, found jobs and put down roots in our communities. 

CHC has decided we would like to sponsor one more family. Khaled’s. Because of all the work and years of dedication Khaled has given to other refugees, we want to sponsor members of Khaled’s Syrian family. We need your help.

CHC cannot do this alone. We are asking other sponsorship groups, other churches and community members, to join us in making this dream come true. Khaled has done so much for Nova Scotia in helping sponsor groups bring Syrians here. Please join us in our efforts for his family. 

There are five members of Khaled’s family we wish to sponsor: two nephews who are 22 and 27 years old and his 31-year-old niece, her husband and child. The fundraising requirement to sponsor Khaled’s family is $16,000 for each single male and $23,000 for the young family.

Working together we can help provide these young family members with a bright future in the warmth and safety of Nova Scotia.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Need a reason to venture out this winter? Well, come out and share a meal with your church friends, Saturday Feb 29th. We have lined up hosts that are looking forward to serving and sharing a meal with surprise guests!

  • Date: Saturday Feb 29th
  • Time: 630pm
  • Cost: $30 per guest
  • Location: Guests will be told the day of the event.

Tickets can be purchased after Sunday service, or by contacting Lee Warren.

Volunteers needed @ Kidston June 8

Camp Kidston is looking for any volunteers able to help this Saturday June 8th get the camp ready for the summer season. If you haven’t had the chance to go to camp, it is wonderful place to spend the day. If you have friends able to lend a hand please bring them along. All are welcome. You can either reach out to Lee Warren, or to the camp directly on Facebook to let them know you will be there. Thanks!

 

 

Update on Al Asadi family

Cole Harbour Cares received word in April that the family of Ziad, Israa, Jana, Mona and Mahmoud had cleared all their interviews and security checks and were scheduled to arrive in Halifax on May 17th 2019.

First order of business was to find a 3 bedroom apartment which proved to be almost impossible. There is a terrible shortage of suitable apartments in Halifax/Dartmouth area and we were very fortunate to hear of one becoming available on  Portland Street in Dartmouth on May 1st. Thanks to the generosity of many people, we were able to fully furnish the apartment prior to the family’s arrival.

It was a stressful time leading up to May 17th because we were not sure if the Lebanese authorities would allow the family to leave but when we heard they were on an Air Canada flight from Istanbul to Toronto we started to celebrate.

There were 20 Cole Harbour Cares members and 7 or 8 children waiting for the family to arrive. Words cannot describe what a joyful feeling it was to see them come through to the arrivals lounge at Halifax airport. Their smiles said everything.

They are starting to settle in. They understand most of what we say and they are very keen to learn English. They now have a bank account and Nova Scotia documentation. Jana and Mona are ready to start attending Hawthorne school at the end of May. Ziad and Israa will be going for English testing at ISANS and will be assigned an appropriate English level in the near future.

Ziad is eager to start working at Station 1 restaurant in Tacoma. Please pop in and see him. He loves to meet all his new Canadian friends.

Cole Harbour Cares members are visiting the family regularly to help them learn conversational English.

Thank you to all our many supporters. We know you kept the family in your hearts and prayers. They are so grateful for another chance at life and so happy to finally be living in Canada

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

Are you interested in sharing a meal with friends?

The church will be hosting a dinner fundraiser Saturday February 9th 6pm. We have lined up hosts that will be opening their homes to share a meal. We are now looking for guests to attend. Tickets are $30 a person. Families are welcome. Kids 12 are under will eat for free.

The fun part of the event is that the hosts won’t know who will be joining them for dinner! It will be a surprise when they arrive at the door. Guests will be told the day of the event where they will be going. It is sure to be a fun evening of fellowship.

As travel will be involved for guests of this event, getting to a host’s home, we will let you know that all hosts are located in the Cole Harbour area.

If you are interested in attending as a guest, contact Lee Warren to reserve a seat.