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A Refugee Story from MCBC

posted 10 May 2018, 19:01 by June Miller, MCA Communications
A Refugee Story from MCBC
by Kevin Barkowski

Leandre's family in Mission, BC, with a vehicle donated by a local car dealership

Leandre was a young teen, living in the Republic of Congo, when Rebels confronted his father to force him to join their cause. They threatened the father with harm to his family.  They killed Leandre’s mother, and the rest of the family fled.  Soldiers caught Leandre and brought him to a field, made him dig his own grave, and left one soldier to shoot him after the grave had been dug.  The soldier, however, said that he liked Leandre's father, shot a bullet into the air so the others would think Leandre was killed, and told him to run away into the jungle and never be seen again.

Twenty years later, Cedar Valley Mennonite Church (CVMC) was meeting to discuss how to bring Leandre's family, who had just achieved refugee status, to Canada.  When the church found out that the family had an extended family also with refugee status, they asked other Mission churches to help keep the families together.  Eight churches and multiple community groups, together with private individuals, responded with finances and support, enabling Leandre's entire extended family to immigrate to Mission.

Recently, Leandre's family received more great news from Africa - Leandre was alive.  After twenty-two years of separation, CVMC and MCC are working at helping Leandre achieve refugee status so he can join his family in Mission.

"God's Spirit was moving in many ways for this transition to happen!"  Pastor Dan Rempel, CVMC