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Canada Day: A Story of Belonging

Rick Burdett / Thursday, June 27, 2019

Becoming Canadian

On December 11, 2018, my wife Chris and I became citizens of Canada. Prior to that, for the past nine years, we were permanent residents of Canada and citizens of the United States. We had immigrated to Canada in 2010, where I served as a pastor in a church in Delta, BC.  We left home, family, our church family, friends and the country we were blessed to live in; these were the places of belonging for us.

Moving to Canada, or any other country, has challenges to navigate. For nearly three years we had temporary status here; for six years we had permanent resident status but that is a bit of a misnomer as we needed to reapply for permanent status every 5 years. We” belonged” here in Canada … but not quite.

This past weekend we visited some of our kids in Seattle. Crossing the international border at Peace Arch into BC on Sunday night, Chris remarked that it was good to be home again. We were not yet at our house. We were in Canada. A new place of belonging for us.

This year, July 1, Canada Day, has a much deeper meaning to us. We celebrate the idea of freedom in union with the Provinces and Territories of Canada. It is a place of belonging for us and we are grateful to be Canadians.

True Belonging

While being grateful and blessed for our Canadian citizenship, we understand that we are still, only temporary residents. Chris and I really belong to one place, one family, one God – Jesus Christ. Even during our time of temporary status in Canada, we always belonged to the family of God. Our permanent residence is heaven. This is our true place of belonging.

Even during our time of temporary status in Canada, we always belonged to the family of God. Our permanent residence is heaven. This is our true place of belonging.

I love that all of us at Outreach Canada have the same vison to increase our heavenly family by sharing the gospel and making disciples. Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13; “I perceived there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in his toil – this is God’s gift to man.”

I love that Canada is the place we get to work in and work from. I love that Chris and I are Canadians and this July 1st we will celebrate with friends, a barbeque grill and give thanks for this great country, Canada, that God has so richly blessed. Happy Canada Day!

 


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