Ragnar and Elizabeth Niclasen, who serve among the Kankanaey people of the Philippines, are so thankful for many opportunities to spend time with Filipinos while still in Canada.
A family that lives quite near them has a Bible Study with Filipinos each week. The first time Ragnar and Elizabeth were able to attend, they wanted to surprise those that attended. They were asked to only speak English as they were chit chatting in the beginning. Once the Bible Study began, Ragnar and Elizabeth were introduced and asked to share their testimonies. Jaws dropped in disbelief when they started to speak the people’s native tongue. They could not believe they were listening to Caucasians speaking Tagalog!
Years ago morning walks around their neighbourhood in Baguio was the beginning of a Bible Study with friends Ragnar and Elizabeth made along the path. When they moved to Nayba they were so thankful that their Filipino co-worker, Roberto, was willing to continue to teach the group of believers, which is now a church. A couple of years ago Roberto’s son moved to Canada for work, and just last month brought his parents over for a visit and Ragnar and Elizabeth were able to spend an enjoyable day together with them!
The following week Ragnar and Elizabeth were invited to the home of a Filipino couple from the church they attend. Each month a group of Filipinos gathers in their home for a time of sharing. They were invited to the last one, which gave them an opportunity to meet many of their friends and to hear how each family ended up in Canada. This event also came with lots of yummy Filipino food, including pancit, adobo and lumpia.
Two sisters from Kankanaeyland also moved to Toronto several years ago to earn money so that they could help their family ‘back home’. Each summer they visit Niagara Falls by train, and the hours that Ragnar and Elizabeth are able to spend with them always fly by quickly, but they are thankful for each occasion and their time together catching up on things since the previous year.
There was even a Filipino Festival this year in Niagara Falls. They had lots of fun walking from stall to stall seeing what they had made and recognising almost every dish available along with their style of clothes, toys, music and lots more.
All of these events help keep Ragnar and Elizabeth ready for the day they will return to the Philippines, possibly in the autumn this year.