News from the Vancouver Airport Chapel - Winter 2022-2023
Our big story is the Chapel's beautiful 'Refreshing', accomplished by YVR's Drew Pankrath and our Board Members Rozalind Wee and Catriona Day. We received a gorgeous paint job and carpet cleaning from YVR, and in addition a whole set of 'sharp looking' furniture to enhance the atmostphere of our facility! The only drawback is that we have been too occupied with the renovations to offer the annual Christmas Drop-In. However, the last week of December we are sharing hot apple cider and tasty goodies to our hard-working airport employees (especially in this cold and snow of late, eh?)
Recent People Stories: (with updates!)
1. An Anglican priest from NYC accidentally left his laptop computer at YVR security check before returning home. He was horrified to lose years of sermon and teaching notes, and reached out to the Chapel for help. I immediately contacted our YVR liaison who was able to backcheck with YVR security and the airline, and finally found the computer a few days later. Subsequently Fed Ex in NYC returned the prized item to the priest and we quickly received email words of deep gratitude and later mailed gifts of thanks for these actions. We are so blessed to have the huge support of YVR Airport Authority and the opportunity to work with them for the well-being of our passengers and employees!
UPDATE: This grateful priest has twice sent gifts to YVR, the airline and the Chapel to show his joy and appreciation!
2. Refugee Claimants from Mexico and Kurdish Iraq have recently been brought to our door by Airport Customs officials (CBSA). Their stories were very touching and needed a response:
A middle class Mexican family of 7 owned a nice restaurant in a small town, but their establishment was burned down and their lives threatened by a local drug gang. They had to flee with only a few suitcases. Arriving as refugee claimants, they were told to stay in Vancouver for a month until their court interview, with plans afterwards to stay with an uncle in Calgary. We called numerous family shelters in Vancouver but all were completely full. Thankfully a Spanish-speaking employee at YVR 'happened' to come by, intervened and called friends to come and provide for all their needs, an amazing answer to prayer for this beleaguered family of faith - faith in God and in the goodness of Canadian people!
Update: We recently heard that this family has settled in Calgary and is now beginning to work to support themselves, thank God!
A Kurdish-Iraqi mother with 2 sons arrived late one Friday afternoon, with only the 13 year old boy able to speak any English. They had escaped persecution in Iraq and in refugee camps for several years before finally reaching Canada. Now safe, their challenge was where and how to live until their month-away court interview (to decide if they could remain in Canada... such is the plight of all Refugee Claimants). Once again, no family shelters in the Lower Mainland were available. However, an airport friend from Richmond contacted a Kurdish-speaking employee at YVR who called them immediately, and a friend of his was able to come right away, pick them up and take them home - after 24 hours of travel and 36 hours of waiting! Thank God for good people of faith who are willing to help strangers in time of need!
Update: I heard from another YVR employee that this family is doing well and getting settled into life in Vancouver... good news!