Thank You!

Friday, October 18, 2013

The first ever Christmas gift my father, sister and I received, was the gift of refuge.

My family made several traumatic attempts to escaped Vietnam after the war. It was the fourth of these attempts that we made it out to the open sea, however this time with only half of the family able to get out. We then endured four days in a raging storm, which almost swallow us to the deep. The waves took us to an unknown island, where our boat finally fell apart. Before we could rejoice that we were alive, we were surrounded by pirates, who took anything that was of valued. We were then caged, tortured and some were harmed for a few days, before they gave us up to United Nations Troops, who took us to a refugee camp on an Island call Pulau Bidong, just of Kuala Lumpur. After a few months, My father sister and I were the few fortunate among the 68 in our boat from Vietnam, that were accepted to come to Australia.

Along with this gift of refuge, that we received in 1982 from Australia, we were also given the most hospitable welcome and care by the people of Australia.We arrived at Midway Hostel, in Maribyrnong in 1982, with nothing in our hands. We were weary and overwhelmed, but the care and generosity of people fill us with great joy. We were free and we were welcome!

Among the many of the locals who came in everyday to assist us, there were a community of people from Moonee Ponds Baptist Church, who invited us and drove us to their homes to for dinners, or took us on outings and even took us strangers with them on their Christmas vocation. We spoke hardly a word of English, but we soon learn from participating in the large family Christmas gathering on a farm in Cohuna. That first Christmas, we also got to stay in a caravan in with another family in Torquay.This community worked tirelessly for 8 years, to reunite us with my mother and two brothers.
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In October 1989, my mother and two bothers came out of the door at the airport, with not only my father, sister and I waiting to welcome them, but 50 new friends, also welcoming them with tears of joy.

Thank you for giving my family this gift of refuge and freedom and thank you for your extraordinary hospitality and care. You have model to me what life can be and what is worth working for.


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Welcome

Art Work by Liz Braid: lizbraid.com
lizzie.braid@gmail.com

now that the walk is done

How you can help

with ongoing work of supporting Asylum Seekers

  • Consider partnering with us to creat a place of welcome and support for Asylum Seekers.

  • OMID (Persian word for Hope) is a community of Asylum Seekers who gather each Thursday evenings at Brunswick Baptist Church, from 5 to 9pm. The group engages in an English class and then food an conversations before reading the scriptures together, something Iranians love to do.


    You can come along and participate in English learning and conversations
    You can contribute food or money for food to go to cooking a persian feast each week
  • Provide useful English learning resources


  • We are also looking for large donations to go towards helping asylum seekers with their legal fee. It can cost $7,000 or more to go through the process of applying for their visa, this is tough when they are not allow to work


  • You can also help us set up a community garden for Asylum Seekers and people in the community to interact together


  • Let Tri know if you like to participate in some shape or form

    tri@brunswickbaptistchurch.org.au

    Ongoing advocacy work

    15th Oct Asylum Seeker Dinner
    Moreland Town Hall

    14th Sep Freedom concert with
    Melbourne Mass Choir

    13th Sep Ashburton Men's
    Brekfast

    11th Sept Ivanhoe Gammer

    6th Aug Human Rights Forum
    Brunswick Sec Colloge

    Tri's activities during Refugee Week

    Sharing stories with Arnold Zable
    Thursday 19th, Coburg Library 12pm

    Pilgrimage as an act of prayer
    Friday 20th, Footscray Baptist Church 7:30pm

    Giving a speech (3pm) at the March for Justice
    Sunday 22nd, from City Sq 1:30pm to Queensbridge 3pm

    Sharing stories in Aireys Inlet at the Lightkeepers Inn Motel
    Saturday 28th June, 3pm

    Sharing stories at an Ecumenical Service in Anglesea
    Sunday 29th 10am at Anglesea Uniting Church


    Please sponsor the walkers Give.Everydayhero.com.au

    March 16th - April 20th 2014

    Brunswick to Dallas 12.8km 16/03
    to Craigieburn (10.2km) 17/03
    to Wallan (37km)18/03
    to Kilmore (14km) 19/03
    to Broadford (14.2km) 20/03
    to Seymour (29.4km) 21/03
    to Avenel (19.2km) 22/03
    to Longwood (20km) 23/03
    to Euroa (18km) 24/03
    to Violet Town (19.2km) 25/03
    to Benalla (30.3km) 26/03
    in Benalla 27/03
    to Glenrowan (24.2km) 28/03
    to Wangaratta (16.1km) 29/03
    to Springhurst (24km) 30/03
    to Chiltern (14.1km) 31/03
    to Wodonga (27.7km) 1/04

    NSW
    to Thurgoona (14.9) 2/04
    to Gerogery (27.4km) 3/04
    to Morven (24.2km) (Culcairn)4/03
    to Henty (17.2km) 5/04
    in Henty 6/04
    to Wagga Wagga (32.9km) 7/04 (riding)
    to Oura (20.4km) 8/04 (riding)
    to Wantabadgery (20.8km) 9/04 (riding)
    to Nangus (20.7km) 10/04
    to Gundagai (20.9km) 11/04
    to Jugiong (40km) 12/04 (riding)
    to Yass (60.8) 13/04 (riding)
    (Wee Jasper State Forest)
    Yass 16/04
    to Hall/ Nth Canberra 17/04 (riding)

    to Canberra (14.8km) April 18th
    Friday 1pm - Welcome event

    Sun 20th April: Canberra Easter Celebration!

    Join us in Canberra
    Good Friday, 18th April, 1pm, John Dunmore Lang Place
    (between the Portrait Gallery and Questacon)
    or walk in with us - meet at 11.30am outside ABC 666 Studios, cnr Northbourne Ave & Wakefield Ave, Dickson

    Raising funds for:

    Sanctuary House Providing supported accommodations for people seeking asylum.


    Al funds donated via the link on this website or facebook go directly to Baptcare Sanctuary facilities - which provide accommodation to over 70 asylum seekers.
    If you want to contribute financially to the project: to pay project manager (1 day a week), petrol, costs of signage, etc, please use the account below.

    Gift of Refuge

    BSB: 704922

    No: 100014358

    Alternatively, give directly to BaptCare via link (BaptCare logo) above

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