Christians Welcome Migrant Workers through Concert
PHo To: © JAnE AndrES
A welcome concert hanks migrant work- ers for their hard work in harvesting crops in the niagara rea. In May, the concert featured the toronto Mass Choir.
maica to meet some of their families. “It was wonderful to meet
their awesome families and to
get a sense of what they leave
behind to come to Canada,” explains Andres.
But Christians in at least one farming
community are working hard to make
migrant workers feel welcome.
Jane Andres is the owner of Apple-
wood Hollow Bed and Breakfast in Ni-
agara-on-the-Lake, Ont. Her first attempt
at outreach to the migrant workers that
moved into her community each year was
modest – the draping of a Jamaican flag
and a sign with a simple “Thank You.”
When a worker asked her the reason
for the sign, Andres responded, “I just
want to thank you for your hard work in
harvesting our crops.”
the annual arrival of international migrant workers into Canada’s farming communities is a dramatic change in the makeup of those
Over 26,000 migrant farm workers
come to Canada each year through the
Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, a
government program that helps Canadian
farmers hire international labour.
With her eyes open to the
physical, emotional and spiritual
needs of migrant workers, the
next step for Andres was to get
other people on board and organize an event to reach out to them.
A welcome concert in 2007
featured soul musicians New-worldson, whose reggae influence
appealed to the migrant workers.
In May 2013 the welcome
concert featured the Toronto
Mass Choir, and it was another
huge success. The event was
hosted at Orchard Park Bible
Church in Niagara-on-the-Lake
to accommodate the growing numbers. It was a time for
migrant workers, farmers and
people from the community to
join together and experience
something beyond cultural differences.
“One of the scripture passages that inspired me to action and sustained me over
the years was Jesus’ command for us to love
God and love our neighbours,” explains
Ironically, those same workers often
feel invisible in their temporary home.
Eventually, along with the crops a
friendship grew. Andres even visited Ja-
She sees a huge need to reach migrant
workers and dreams of a time when
churches will catch a vision for this min-
istry. “The place to start is not with pro-
grams but with friendship, with taking the
time to get to know the workers personally,
to do something as simple as offering a ride
to church.” Ft –Stephen Bedard
Apologetics by Blog
A group of Canadian bloggers has grouped together to form a blogging coalition to provide apologetics to a generation that lives online. The Canadian Apologetics Coalition (CAC) collaborates in writing, encouraging one
another and promoting their respective work.
The CAC presently consists of a dozen blogs. Some of the
blogs belong to individual writers, while others are maintained
by multiple bloggers and contain feature articles posted from
other blogs and websites.
share a Twitter feed (@maplecoalition) to keep one another
and their readers updated on their writing activities.
They are also proudly Canadian, acknowledging that a
distinctly Canadian approach to apologetics acknowledges
the multicultural, multifaith reality of our country.
Jojo ruba is a Calgary youth pastor and executive director
of Faith Beyond Belief ( blog.faithbeyondbelief.ca), one of the
“modern apologetics is different because young people are
so desperate for this kind of information, and all this information is available online about why Christianity is not true. It’s
so important for us to be online providing reasons for why