One of the greatest needs and blessing is the gift of family and Naomi House is becoming more and more like family as the residents and staff do life together. Family shares the journey, listens to each other’s stories, pitches in to help each other, and laughs and cries together. This is happening at Naomi House, and life has become richer for all of us. Thank you to our many partners who have helped to make this possible by your financial support, visits, hospitality, classes offered and prayer. Gather around us as we share the story of the last half year.
New Naomi House Video!
Naomi House produced a new video, featuring life at Naomi House. It is a five-minute video giving insight into the lives of refugees and what it is like to live at Naomi House.
TRAUMA SUPPORT CLASSES
Last fall Jane Kamabu, a trained counselor approached us about volunteering to begin a Trauma Support Group. She had seen the need for a support group because of hearing the stories of former refugees from City Church that she had been counseling. About the same time a former 15-year resident of the US, Shaharazad (Sherry), a former refugee herself, became interested in offering her trauma training to help newcomers with past trauma. Often trauma becomes amplified after about five years of being settled in a safe country, as they finally are in a safe place where they are secure enough to let down their guard. In February the Thursday class was started with six people attending, including two Naomi House residents. Healing is taking place as trust is established and stories are shared in a caring environment. The women are understanding that they are not alone and that it is possible to go forward where the trauma remains a memory but no longer a crippling one.
TRAUMA TRAINING SEMINARS
Many Manitoban people now have formed friendships with former refugees and are coming to realize that the trauma their friends have faced is more than what they feel equipped to come alongside with. Or perhaps you are a former refugee or newcomer to Canada and are now surprised by the flashbacks and the terror that is now your constant rehabilitating companion. It can be a helpless feeling, but Naomi House would like to offer free, supportive and informative training by a qualified counselor who herself has experienced trauma as a newcomer. Her name is Shaharazad (Sherry) and is mentioned above. You can choose from the following three dates: Monday, July 22nd, or Thursday, August 29th from 7-9 pm or Saturday, September 14, from 9-11 am. Please call 204-415-1752 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. Feel free to invite friends and ask them to sign up.
BETHESDA CHURCH CONVERSATION CIRCLE
A close-knit group has developed around the times together over refreshments, crafts, stories, Christmas and Easter Celebrations, and baby showers! A group of ladies from Bethesda Church, along with Jyoti, the Office Manager, have been meeting on Tuesday nights with Naomi House residents for over a year. It is the highlight of the week for some, whether facilitator or resident.
Last fall we were able to purchase eight sewing machine. A sewing class was launched in January. Three sets of classes have been held. A very gifted and experienced teacher, Pauline, started attending City Church a few years ago and has been instrumental in leading the class. At the first one eight ladies, all former refugees, sewed jean bags and then graduated to sewing simple dresses. A few of them have showed exceptional initiative and have gone on to sew dresses on their own, some with the hope of starting a sewing business! Most of them re-enrolled in the second class where they were taught to sew more complicated clothing items. Another class for beginners, was held during Spring Break, especially focusing on junior and high school girls. The girls each sewed a pair of gym pants and some are eager to try more projects, so the plan is to do another day class or two during the summer holidays.
ANNUAL COFFEE AND DESSERT FUNDRAISER
Naomi House is grateful to all the participants, guests, volunteers and donors that made the April 6, 2019, annual Coffee and Dessert, at Grant Memorial Church, a very successful and enjoyable event. About 225 people attended and a total of $26,000 was raised to go towards purchasing a van for Naomi House, couches for the multi-purpose room and funds for the general operating expenses of the ministry. The Katatoka Singers, formerly from Uganda, did an amazing job via song and testimony of sharing their story. A Congolese woman and a Canadian woman shared the timelines of their lives and how their lives have intersected in Winnipeg, and how they have journeyed together as friends in Canada for ten years. People’s hearts were touched as we saw the reality that together we are stronger and lives are enriched as we partner together. Thank you to all those who took part in various ways. Your interest and partnership is much appreciated!
Please take note the next Coffee and Dessert Night is scheduled for Friday, April 17, 2020, 6:30 pm at a different venue, which is NKMB Church (North Kildonan Mennonite Brethren Church), located at 1315 Gateway Road. You may be wanting to think about ways you might want to be involved. Dessert contributions are appreciated as well as silent auction items. Last year we had a wide range of items such as tickets to Blue Bomber games, trees from a nursery, limited edition paintings, hand-crafted quilts, Palliser Gift card, mukluks, laser art plaques, museum admission packages, Bison simulator experience, restaurant gift cards, etc. Perhaps this will give you some ideas as to what you might want to contribute for 2020! Or perhaps you would like to volunteer your services as an assistant sleuth and find auction items!
MANITOBA REGIONAL REFUGEE ROUNDTABLE (M3R)
Our first Manitoba Regional Refugee Roundtable (M3R) was hosted on March 9 at City Church, as last minute the committee realized that Naomi House was too small a venue for the ninety-one people who had registered! People from all over southern Manitoba were inspired to hear Tom Denton, who was the key-note speaker, a man in his senior years, who, along with volunteers has processed more refugee applicants than anyone else in Canada! Videos, roundtable discussions, stories, and guided prayer times all served to help create more awareness of the opportunity and the needs of newcomers in Manitoba.
Please consider joining us this fall, October 23-25 in Toronto for the North American Refugee Roundtable!
MEET OUR NEW VOLUNTEER STAFF MEMBERS
Candace and Brett Loewen have become regular volunteers at Naomi House as of January of this year. They had spent some time overseas with AIM, and were learning the Arabic language when it became obvious to them that their children would need more medical attention than what they could be given in the country that they were in, so they returned to Steinbach. They were eager to see how they could plug into the lives of newcomers and were referred to Naomi House. They are still on faith support with AIM but working with us in partnership. They come with great people and administrative skills and Candice has since taken a course on properly filling in refugee sponsorship forms. They have both been instrumental in helping people fill out paperwork, teaching English and helping us apply to become a Sponsorship Agreement Holder with the government. We are looking forward to a Naomi House outing to their home in July sometime.
ROYAL BANK VOLUNTEERS
Volunteers from the Royal Bank have come in to help with various projects associated with Naomi House, thirteen times over the past three years! They have done things such as helping with the Naomi House garage sale fundraiser, roof-top garden planting, special celebration dinners etc. Each time RBC has donated $1,000 to match their volunteer contributions.
Ride for Refuge 2019!
Many people took part in last year’s Annual Ride for Refuge, which is a “family-friendly cycling and walking fundraising event that helps support charities who provide refuge and hope for some of the most vulnerable people on earth” Across Canada 2.3 million dollars was raised for various charities and many people chose to walk or ride for Naomi House and together we raised $19,960.
The next event is scheduled for October 5th, 2019, meeting at Knowles Ave Covenant Christian Reformed Church. “Your participation in the ride is a way to stand up for those whole lives are deeply and often permanently affected by forces and events they can\t control, or who are exploited by the greedy and powerful who care nothing about human suffering” Consider becoming a team captain and sign up today at https://rideforrefuge.org/location/winnipeg. And a sincere thank you!
FALL COURSE – YOU WELCOMED ME
Starting in September Naomi House will be offering a six-week video and discussion course called “You Welcomed Me.” It is based on a new book by Intervarsity Press, authored by Kent Annan, with the subtitle, “Loving Refugees and Immigrants Because God First Loved Us.” This course is open to anyone who wants to become better informed about refugee issues as well as wanting to gain a Biblical perspective and network with other people of like passions. We will also explore opportunities to become involved with newcomers in Winnipeg as well as opportunities Manitobans have to sponsor specific families by name. The exact dates are yet to be determined but if you are interested then please let us know by emailing email@example.com.
Who We Are
Naomi House exists to provide short-term housing to refugee new arrivals from every ethnic and religious background. Emotional and spiritual support is offered to newcomers that choose us as their residence. We assist the refugee with settlement and seek to advocate on their behalf by engaging the community, especially the local churches. Ultimately, our goal is to provide the support, connections and skills that will enable refugees to lead a healthy and productive life.
Come for a Tour
If you or your group would like a tour of Naomi House or would like to discuss volunteer opportunities, or have a skill you would like to offer, please stop by and see us between 9:30-4:30. We can make arrangements if you have a small group that would like to come by sometime. Please contact Jyoti for more information.
Naomi House is a ministry of City Church of Winnipeg. When making a donation to Naomi House please be sure to indicate that your gift is for Naomi House.