Winter supper for warm weather friends
In December 2008, Waterloo (Ont.) MB Church partnered with Kitchener-based Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support to provide dinner and volunteers for their annual winter party for new immigrants. More than 15 members prepared lasagnas, and 30 adults and children from Waterloo MB served, cleaned up, and interacted with families and individuals from Colombia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, and more.
Andrea Hill felt honoured to be part of the evening: “When I reflect on why these families would come out in the middle of a snow storm in their first winter in Canada, I realized many don’t have the resources for a night out, don’t have childcare, and don’t have larger social circles in the area.”
Hospitalidad Cristiano in the Fraser Valley
King Road MB Church, in conjunction with Bakerview MB Church, both in Abbotsford, B.C., has started a Friendship Centre program for a relatively new group in their area: Spanish-speaking people, most of them farm workers. Twice a month, the Centre offers a meal, a testimony, and soccer in the King Road gym. A school teacher from the King Road congregation teaches an English course, developed for the ministry.
The Friendship Centre at King Road is one of a number of MB initiatives to reach out to Hispanic newcomers. Cedar Park Church in Delta, B.C., works with 2 Baptist churches to offer 2 Hispanic services plus a meal each month. Bakerview, host to a Hispanic church since 1989, planted a Hispanic work at Broadway MB Church in nearby Chilliwack. It offers friendship nights, and its members attend the regular Broadway morning service once a month.