Peace settlement

Mennonites in Toronto help refugees find new homes

February 10, 2014 | Web First
Micah Toub | The Grid

“Give love to your friends—and your enemies,” Luis Hurtarte whispered, quietly translating as members of the Toronto Mennonite New Life Church sang in Spanish. “Everybody needs love.

Love everybody like a brother or a sister.” Among the intimate congregation of about 20, a toddler, who had broken away from her family, held onto Hurtarte’s leg as he spoke. Raised by a single mother, the girl calls him “Papa,” even though they’re not related, creating a moment of harmony with the song’s message. Indeed, as other children ran around and members of the church—largely immigrants from Central and South America—embraced each other after worship, it was hard to tell who was family and who was not.

Harbouring and supporting refugees has become a tradition—a specialty, even—of Mennonite communities in North America.


--Posted Feb. 10, 2014

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