Janet KristensenPastor Elim City Church
Janet's Story :
I am an immigrant.
I came to Canada with my parents in 1966 and we settled in Montreal. My first view of Canada was from the ship, which brought us from Southampton U.K. As we sailed down the immense St. Lawrence River, I realized, even at that young age, that life would be very different in this new land.
Indeed it was.
I think what impressed and scared me the most was the hugeness of everything. Finding my way around a big cosmopolitan city was at first unnerving, but also exciting. In this new life I began to meet all kinds of people from all over the world and long-time friendships were made. This was accompanied by a newly found appreciation for the kinds of life some had endured.
Some of the people I met were people who had escaped from countries with intolerable injustices. T. hese experiences changed me and I realized how sheltered a life I had led up until this time. I was appalled by some people’s histories of abuse, but inspired by their courage to overcome the past and start afresh. Their stories put something into me. It has given me a great sense of fulfilment to stand up against injustice, and to help others overcome their setbacks.
I am a proud Canadian, and I am so glad to live in a country such as ours where all are welcome and dealt with fairly. Recently I arrived home from an overseas trip and at the airport in Toronto, one of the first signs I read was “You have arrived in Canada where everyone is welcome”.
My inspiration is that we can live together in peace and unity celebrating our different backgrounds, and thereby showcase our country and population to be one of the most welcoming countries in the world.