Caring for Migrant Workers in Leamington

care package Care Packages from Faith Mennonite Church

“Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9). Thank you for coming to Canada to work! We know you and your families have made many sacrifices to be here. We are so sorry that you have become ill and are isolated. Our congregations are praying for you. We are asking God that you will be fully restored to health and that your families will be well. We hope you enjoy the small treat.”

This was part of the note inside Faith Mennonite’s care packages for migrant workers in the Leamington area.

“Businesses are shutting down for days in our area – large, cooperative greenhouses. It impacts all of us,” says Ruth Boehm, pastor at Faith Mennonite Church in Leamington, ON. Although most of Ontario had moved into Phase 3 a few weeks ago, Windsor-Essex County moved into Phase 3 just this week. They have dealt with many outbreaks, especially in agriculture and agri-food sectors.

“We are grateful for our migrant workers,” says Ruth. “How does the church address the racism within our community towards them?”

The pastoral care team was wrestling with this question. They contacted their friend, Pastor Saul Hernandez from Templo Cristiano La Buena Semilla, to help them to dream about how to connect with the migrant workers in their community. They formed a plan. Not entirely sure if the public health unit would allow them to connect with the migrant workers, they began to think about care packages for them.

Two days later, they received the call. “How soon can you get them here?!”  

The public health unit asked many questions! Then they waited. Would they be able to get these care packages to the people in quarantine, or would their efforts be in vain? Two days later, they received the call. “How soon can you get them here?!”  

Faith Mennonite jumped into action! Armed with inside knowledge, they purchased the sweet food of choice for many migrant workers in their area - Today’s Croissant. They created and translated a note of encouragement from Faith and Templo Christiano La Buena Semilla and included that in the simple, sweet treat for those in quarantine.

Many of the migrant workers were in hotel accommodations in the Windsor area and only the public health unit knew where they were. Ruth drove the packages to Windsor that day and left them with Public Health.

“It was us doing something as a gesture to our community and saying we care about you and are trying to break the stigma,” says Ruth. “We have to find a way to reach out. It is just more hopeful when you are doing something for someone else. It’s about offering hope and then it grows also within you.”

People across MCEC continue to find creative and innovate ways to stay connected during this time of pandemic - covid stories of hope. 

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