Remembering Ruth

A Message from Rev. Maya Landell

The sounds of the refugee support service and gathering at table are still on my ears, as I wept through stories of people’s journey to Canada and the way that refugee support committee members have been changed through relationship.

I hope you didn’t miss us on the CBC – The story will run again on CBC’s our Toronto Saturday, Sunday at noon and Monday at 1pm – here is the news clip:

So many good responses from around the world to this good news story, what a blessing to share this hope!

This week we listen to the sounds of Peace (concert Saturday night at 7 pm) and we pray into peace and remembrance. It is a time to reflect on The Story of Ruth, the one who was brave enough to cross a border to care for another, who set out into unknown territory, who trusted, who chose to care for her mother-in-law Naomi above all else.

The book that gives us the famous words “where you go, I will go, where you lie, I will lie, your people will be my people and your God will be my God. I wonder about refugees fleeing and holding onto each other. I also can’t help but thinking of the many war brides who left home and came to Canada, trusting that love would sustain them in new life across the ocean – what courage!

This ancient story has been read by millions of people, and will have new wisdom for us this week, I leave you with Ruth’s Prayer:

This is my prayer to a God that I don’t really know.
I am on a journey.
Protect me and guide me as I find my way.
Help me to always care for my family to the best of my abilities.
Lead me to where I can find work and food.
Shelter me in a warm and loving home.
And if it is Your will,
Renew my heart so that it may be open to receive new love.
Be with me as I work and provide and care.
Open my ears so that I can understand what I don’t know.
My heart is heavy at the losses I’ve endured
and yet I want to embrace this new chapter of my life,
so I praise you Lord and thank You for this second chance
and the blessings that will come my way in the future.
Amen. (Monique Ocampo)

Veteran’s Stories

Peter Tower’s WWII Service
Peter was one of the last groups of Canadian volunteers to go overseas, when he departed at age of 19. During basic training he demonstrated excellent marksmanship, but his flat footedness banished him to driving (maybe luckily) and he was dispatched to Canadian Army’s Service Corp to drive ambulances and shuttle officers around.

He landed in Naples and began driving jeep and truck ambulances, picking up casualties, sometimes directly out of foxholes and transporting them to field hospitals.

After the Italian campaign ended, his group was moved via ship and convoy to the Western front. He continued to do ambulance duty through the battles of northern France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, until the ceasefire. He grove Canadian officers into enemy territory to deliver surrender terms to German units. He then stayed-on during occupation to empty prison camps and help repatriate inmates with their home countries.

Jean Annie Vanwart, mother of Nancy Tully is planning to attend the Remembrance Service this Sunday at 10:30 am. Jean’s service in WWII is documented in a book titled “Extraordinary Women, Extraordinary Times” by Sherry Pringle. She was also interviewed by CBC. Here is a link to the interview.

Caring for our vets at Sunnybrook