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(Blog) From the Pews: Families Reunited| Beautiful!

From the Pews offers members of the UCiM community an opportunity to share their own faith journeys, questions, challenges &/or doubts. We invite you to walk with our Brothers & Sisters & share your feedback and thoughts. And, should you be so moved & feel you too would like to contribute to this aspect of our ministry, please contact Dea. Richard! He would be excited to walk with you, & support your 500-800 word submission, which might include your own photo to accompany the blog and a brief 2-3 sentence description as to who you are!

I want to tell everyone that a family reunification event is a beautiful thing; a thing blessed by God. I will be experiencing this wonderful moment with my son and my new daughter in law in early September. Our family has been hoping for this moment for ten long years while enjoying some short term visits in between, which included our son’s wedding in Jakarta, Indonesia to a wonderful Indonesian woman. In, all, we have visited them twice and my son has returned home twice as well. The rest of the time we used Skype on the internet. Thank God for those Skype visits! But they cannot replace the loving value of a real life hug!

At 19, my son decided to leave Canada and teach English overseas to local students in Indonesia. After a year, he decided to stay longer since he really liked the adventure he was on, he was experiencing this new culture in depth and he had made many friends from England, Australia, and the U.S., who were teachers as well. Progressing in his job, he was persuaded to teach Koreans at a private school in Indonesia, which he lived nearby with his wife. Now, after ten years of living in Indonesia, my son has announced the good news to my wife and I that he and his wife were ready to return to Canada for good, to pursue their education, careers, and for family reunification. After getting all the required documents cleared by the various government agencies, which allow my son’s wife to live in and enjoy Canada, they will finally be reunited with us in Winnipeg,

I am sure that many people can relate to this loving event of a family reunited in its many shapes and forms. Consider that invitation to your granddaughter or grandson’s graduation or maybe their wedding, when there is all that love and pride about to burst right out of you! I have seen “that look” in people’s eyes, when they tell the stories of their family, of three generations reunited. Feelings of love and pride should go hand in hand! God has blessed this family and has travelled with them.

Sometimes I hear stories of one’s parents returning from hospital stays and witness the tears of joy in my friends as they tell me that there is hope of one more opportunity to share some time with their aging parents. It is a time to reunite with them, sometimes another chance to make peace. I have seen the joy in the eyes of those aging parents as well, as they struggle for another year in the hope to witness another grandchild, to make that wedding, a graduation or some other special family landmark in their lives. They pray to God for another chance, for more time, to survive, for another family reunification event. We often pray to God with Thanks for these opportunities because we know how precious time is with our families. Remember people; teach your kids the importance of family as we will all want family visits together, especially as we age.

There are those happy times when parents return home with their babies to expand their families or our children come home from college for the summer, or when one’s relative returns from a foreign and distant land after a long, extended stay. We all pray to God that they travel safely on their journey back to us, to the sanctuary we call “home.” We hope and pray that God has been their best friend, confidant and guide, since they were so far away from us. Still, once arrived, we should make every effort to celebrate their homecoming; it is to be planned with love, a special meal to share, pictures and shared memories – and be sure to include everyone.

So, I am suggesting we should celebrate every chance we get to have a family reunification event. Time is more precious than gold. Time together as a family is the greatest gift of all, for young people or older folks. Also, please do not forget those close to you in the process, the other important family members that stay with you through thick and thin. Celebrate together.

Family reunification has always been important, as stories in our Bible remind us. The well known parable of the prodigal son that returns or when Joseph (the Pharaoh’s chosen one) joins his many brothers or Mary’s joy when her son, Jesus, joins her at a wedding and when Jesus joins his Father in Heaven as he foretold must happen, even though the journey was difficult. Yes, there are many examples.

As in nature, we acknowledge that our youth must leave the nest, our homes, to pursue their own journeys in life. They need to experience new things on their own, sometimes make mistakes and learn from them, but it is with such great joy that we can reunite. Any family reunification; make it beautiful, make it a blessed event, invite God into your home, and Thank God for the opportunity. Welcome Home Kids. Amen.

This Blog is from Douglas Purdey.
A member and active volunteer of UCiM since 1987.
UCiM people are my extended family that I love!
There is always Good News around UCiM!

From the Pews blog


  1. Thank you ,Doug for the touching statement on the gift and blessing of family .Can it be said often enough? Even those on the margins of society form a “family” of sorts and one doesn’t have to spend much time with street people to observe how dedicated they are to their” family’ members.
    So yes let us rejoice in our families be they biological or otherwise. Is it not a compliment to have someone say to us “you are like family?”
    There is of course another side to this focus on and delight in family however that discussion is for another time.

  2. I thank you Linzer for your comments.
    Families in the 50’s and 60’s WERE different from today. Families in the 70’s and 80’s took on a different colour and shape and perhaps a lighter side to commitment. In the 90’s and new millenium, many families, became even lighter to commitment, and became extended families with more children to raise, various parental combinations or blended families of faith.
    In the streets of all North American cities, even gangs recruit to be part of their “family”, which is a dark picture of false protection and false security. But the common thread throughout history is the human desire “to be part of a family.”
    We can only hope that those lost in our society find a safe haven, a safe community, where one can find a family atmosphere, perhaps through their local Church, and feel the Love and support that we all desire through our lives.
    Lucky are we that have stong family, church and community support, like a tree, may we offer sanctuary and shade to those weary travellers along their journey looking for a safe haven.

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