A Canadian welcome to international students

Vernon church is welcoming students from around the world and introducing them to Canadian culture

  • Mar. 12, 2017 7:00 a.m.

Cara Brady/Morning Star Staff

Pat Springborn put two good thoughts together and came up with an exciting new program for her church.

“One of my honey customers came to church with me and told me she thought our church was open and friendly. I had heard about International Student Ministries in Kelowna and I thought that would be a good outreach for us,” said Springborn, a member of the new program committee at Community Baptist Church.

The church is already working in the community with programs to provide meals to Dorothy Alexander Learning Centre and runs an after-school care program, Apple Tree Day Care, at the church. The church also makes its kitchen available for cooking classes run through the Vernon Recreation Centre.

“We believe in being involved in the community,” said Pastor Karl Popke.

International Student Ministries Canada is active in Kelowna, and people from Vernon attended the Lantern Festival dinner there to learn more.

“We saw that people were having a good time and were telling us it was wonderful so we wanted to do something here,” said Springborn. “The students and their host families were interacting with community members and getting to know Canadians.”

There were students from seven countries, including Korea, China, Japan and Brazil, at the event which was a chance for them to meet each other as well.

“The students come with varying degrees of English language skills and they want to practise English. It’s also an opportunity for them to ask practical questions about Canadian life and culture, maybe something as simple as how to take the bus,” said Popke. “We want to ask the students what they want to do and how we can help them. We also invite the host families to get involved. And it has been suggested that high school students who need volunteer hours to graduate could help us here to get those hours.”

Members of the congregation will be using their skills and interests to help the students enjoy their time in Canada. For example, someone with an interest in a sport or hobby might share that with the students.

“We want to be part of their lives and we want them to be part of our lives,” said Springborn.

The first project for international students and host families at Community Baptist Church was a dinner Feb. 11.

There will be a pizza and games night Friday at 6 p.m., which is open to all international students and their families. Please call 250-542-4028 to confirm attendance.

Other activities are already being planned, including a night where the students will supply recipes from their countries, the committee will supply the ingredients and everyone will cook and eat together.

For more information about International Student Ministries of Canada activities at Community Baptist Church, call 250-542-4028.

Just Posted

Date set for Silver Creek man’s bail ruling

Curtis Sagmoen will learn on Feb. 28 if he will be released from custody

UPDATE: Serwa second fastest in ski cross seeding

Kelowna ski cross racer has solid run in the seeding round of the women’s ski cross event

Liberals lukewarm on budget

Liberal North Okanagan-Shuswap MLAs unimpressed with NDP budget

Viper players finalists for league honours

Ty Taylor and Josh Prokop of Vernon Vipers nominated for league hardware

Overnight chill falls short of Feb. 21 records

Icy temperatures across the Okanagan-Shuswap don’t beat lows set in 1910, 1894

Thief helps himself to cash register

Vernon business asking for public’s help to identify suspect

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Team USA beats Canada 3-2 on the shootout to take home Olympic gold

Americans win their first gold medal since 1998

Two Haida men detained for crossing U.S.-Canada border

Edenshaw and Frisby travelled from Alaska to Prince Rupert for the All Native Basketball Tournament

Alberta takes out full-page ads in B.C. over strained relationship

It’s the latest move between the two provinces over progress on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

B.C. teacher suspended over allegedly using N-word in worksheets

Trafalgar Elementary teacher under investigation by Vancouver School Board

Toddler swept away in Ontario floods

Toddler missing as flooding forces thousands from their homes in Ontario

BC BUDGET: New money helps seniors’ care shortage

Job stability for care aides key to recruitment, union leader says

Mixed messages on B.C.’s efforts to cool hot housing market

Economist says undersupply of homes in Metro Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna will keep prices high

Most Read