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Karen Dickey’s sermon for the first Sunday of Advent 2018 began like this: “Today marks the beginning of the Season of Advent.  Advent from the Latin Adventus …meaning coming.

Something’s coming. And what’s coming is deeply promising. What’s coming is shalom … a vision of well-being brighter than any dream. A NEW CREATION we call it … for it is such a radical re-arrangement, a total transfiguring of what we know.It’s coming … and it’s not yet.

In lots of ways this describes the tension in which Leyla is living at the moment. She is in Victoria, a city that has become home. She has a job. She has people she calls ‘family’.  And yet, her beloved husband is not here…yet.

When Karen asked if Leyla would speak about her experience of hope on the first Sunday of Advent, Leyla very quickly said “Yes, I will share my hope.

And so that Sunday, Leyla spoke without notes to the congregation of James Bay United Church, despite her fear, about her story of hope. The courage that brought her to Victoria shone through her words.  She had come to Victoria by herself, not knowing she would have help as she made a new life in this strange city.  

Here is the link so you might listen to Leyla’s words of hope.