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FAMILY LIFE | The Challenges of a Couple Moving to Canada – Part 1

IT has been encouraging to follow the lives of young couples and families from Davao as they ventured out in other countries. Although this pandemic has forced most professionals to work from home, there is still that desire for others to venture out into other countries if and when things open up. May the stories help couples and families weigh things based on these experiences. The different stories tell of God’s work in myriad ways to show how He makes a difference whatever the challenges may be for those who seek Him when given the chance. Today, we have Kendon & Jane Bongato relate their experiences.

We moved to Canada in 2013 and if you asked us why, our answer seven years ago was so different from what we would tell you today. My wife jokingly answered people, “Syempre, para yumaman!” We wanted a greener pasture where we can start to build our family. So, we applied for a permanent residency in Canada under the Federal Skilled Worker program.

While we hope for something better abroad, the reality is that we will start somewhere, and that starting point might be the most difficult one. To help us prepare for our move, we attended an information session provided by the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP) where our eyes were opened to the reality of changes in our careers, lifestyle, and ministry.

Here are some of the areas where we had the opportunity to grow when we started our lives in Canada. Our humble beginnings are wonderful and exciting events where God taught us a lot of lessons and brought us to where we are right now.

Career. In the Philippines, I worked as a Certified Public Accountant and my wife as a preschool teacher. Without Canadian education and experiences, I couldn’t get a job related to accounting. So, I set aside the CPA title in my resumes when I started applying for jobs in Canada. My first job was a cleaner and my wife was a cashier. We were part-time workers, but fulltime job seekers as we applied to different companies everyday (at least 10 resumes a day). We grabbed whatever decent job opportunities came our way. When my wife got a job as a daycare worker, I went to school and took a Professional Administrative Diploma. At that time, my wife’s take-home pay was just enough to pay our bills, but by God’s grace our needs were met until I graduated. God blessed me with a job related to accounting when I was hired as an Accounting Administrative Assistant in the provincial government. My wife also took the same program and found a job in the municipal government right after she graduated.

Finances. One of the realities of living in Canada are mortgage, car loans and many other types of loans. Spending usually means using your credit card and using it more often to increase your credit score. That way you can apply for all types of loans. This is where God taught us a great lesson about trust and reliance on His daily provision. God is truly a great provider as my wife and I found full time jobs, and there would be no need for us to have double or triple jobs to make both ends meet. We learned to spend wisely (spending on a cash basis) and give generously. We also learned not to complain but be thankful for work no matter how challenging it may be at times. (To be continued).

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