Christmas Joy for Ibtisam and Haneen

December 2020

Three years ago the Kirk joined with Central Christian Church and a number of other Island churches in sponsoring the Toma family (Joseph, Basma and their four sons) of refugees from Iraq. Last year we learned that we could also sponsor Basma’s sister, Ibtisam Toma and her 17 year old daughter Haneen Alnas, who were refugees living in Jordan. After months of planning, the pair finally arrived in Prince Edward Island on December 10, 2020, and undertook two weeks’ quarantine in a Charlottetown motel.

On December 23, Ibtisam and Haneen were cleared by Public Health to leave quarantine and take up residence in the apartment that is being provided to them by the sponsoring churches. Each of the assisting churches agreed to furnish one of the rooms in the two bedroom apartment – the Kirk volunteered to furnish the bathroom. During late November and early December we successfully received congregational donations of all of the shower curtains, towels, paper products, toiletries and over-the-counter medications that were needed to properly outfit the bathroom. Given the current COVID-19 situation, which could see lock downs occur on short notice, it was also felt that Ibtisam and Haneen should have a computer to connect them to the outside world and assist Haneen with her school work. Consequently, the Kirk also bought the family a laptop computer and accompanying software to put under their Christmas tree.

On Christmas day, the extended Toma family will be celebrating Christmas together for the first time in many years. It is sure to be a joyous occasion! We thank God that we have been able to play a small part in this lovely family re-union.