I was born in Canada and I’m proud to be Canadian! However, my heritage is Mennonite and my ancestors arrived in Canada via a long journey over many years. They came from Central and Eastern Europe through the Ukraine, eventually settling here in Saskatchewan on the Canadian Prairies. I absolutely love my country, all of its ‘privileges’ and freedom, its democracy, and its history; but I’m realizing now just how much more, especially over the last few years, I’ve grown to value and appreciate its vast and modern cultural diversity of today!

PAUSE … The World Junior Gold Medal game is about to start; Canada vs Russia. Now that’s diversity …, but eh … I am Canadian, and I like my hockey so I’ll be back in a couple of hours.

Wow, that was absolutely intense! What a game. 5-4 Canada. Way to go boys and thanks for bringing that Gold Medal back home!

CD flag (2)CD chief

So where was I? Oh ya, cultural diversity. There’s so much we can learn from each other, I mean … my taste buds really appreciate all the flavours and dishes that come from the different corners of the world, but we have much more than that to share with each other. As an example, I really admire the way the Asian culture cares for their elderly. I think we can learn from them. And what about Canada’s own ‘First Nations’ and ‘Inuit’ peoples and how they respect and honour the wisdom of their elders.

CD flag (1)CD kids

Having said that, our day care; Little Souls Daycare, has in my opinion become a cultural gem. Since opening our doors we have had more than 10 different employees from a variety of other countries as caregivers’ for the children. These ladies have come to Canada from all over the world including nations such as Israel, Canada, First Nations, Germany, Bangladesh, India, Bhutan, Philippines, Ukraine, Belarus, South Korea, and Jamaica. And over the last few years I’ve had the privilege of witnessing this making of a beautiful collage of cultural diversity right before my eyes, so … I was quite excited when all of the national flags and poles that I ordered for display in the daycare arrived this week. Such a colourful tapestry of one ‘collective’ people, and I can’t wait to see them all mounted in our daycare!

Today, in a world where racism still exists, and where the tension between blacks and whites is escalating, I still remember a song from my childhood that went something like this … “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world … red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in his site … Jesus loves the little children of the world.” I think we can all still learn from this song, and I’m blessed to be a part of an organization that values each person no matter the colour of their skin and or where they come from, as its through such diversity and acceptance that I believe we can continue to change the world; one person at a time!

 


Joe Miller – Executive Director

Joe Miller is the Executive Director for Souls Harbour Rescue Mission. After working in the manufacturing industry for many years, he felt called to move from 'building things' to 'building people.' He has a passion to see the people that walk through the Mission's doors, get the help they need; whatever their situation may be. He enjoys fishing and the outdoors and often finds God in the stillness of nature. He writes here his thoughts on poverty, society, faith, and his reflections on life.