The Mountain of the Lord: A Place of Hope

School children in Gujarat, India. Source: Gujarat Jesuit Province

My move to Canada as a young woman has been one of my most challenging, yet courageous endeavours of my life. It started a ripple effect of many adventures that followed. It was a mixed bag of experiences, all of which have played a significant part in my life.

It is in this journey that I discovered songs of hope as I learned to walk with God through the ebbs and flows of faith and as I learned to trust Him, as His beloved.

As a young immigrant in a new country without a strong support system and limited life skills at the time, navigating these new waters was very difficult. It was unlike anything I had ever done in my life. I had abandoned my safety net and chosen a life where I had to establish myself in a new country.

Without realizing it, I had chosen to live on audacious faith. However, I knew I could always return to my country of origin. I was raised in a beautiful part of the south of Trinidad—a place called Mount Stewart—tucked away in between a city and a town.

In Trinidad, I had a large family and many friends, and a certain degree of predictability and stability. Here in this new land, Canada, it was quite different, but the possibilities seemed endless.

And even though, life would come to be challenging at times, hope would always steer me towards staying the course. I would keep on walking, with hope and passion for a life that I wanted to create for myself—a place I can call my home.

My experience, although vastly different, stirred my humanity and compassion for people in difficult parts of the world, whose fate has been determined by the geographical location in which they were born.

Children playing near a field kitchen in Sahnaya, Syria. Source: JRS MENA/Middle East.

These include people in refugee camps who have been through many atrocities, such as women in war-torn countries who are unable to feed their children, and who do not have a voice.

My experience with migration leads me to be moved by immigrants arriving in a new country, facing the challenges of integrating into a new culture while being restricted by language barriers.

I wonder what it is like for those who have lost everyone they knew and everything they owned, and who, unlike me, did not have any choice nor a safe place to return. Are they filled with hope?

What I do know is that God is in their midst. This I don’t just believe—some things we move past believing into knowing.

Isaiah 2:2 reminds me of hope: “In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it”.

I am convinced that many who are suffering have already caught a glimpse of God’s mountain of hope and we are privileged to be journeying with them to that glorious mountain.

And when we stand on the mountain of the Lord, our perspectives change. It is on this exalted mountain, that we become aware of the fact that, together, we can overcome many of the challenges that plague our world today.

We see from God’s perspective, that we are created to be mountain movers – the way He intended it to be.

Here at Canadian Jesuits International (CJI), I am inspired to join Jesuit partners and friends, marginalized people in the Global South, and all our supporters, in this great caravan heading towards the mountain of the Lord.

It is in this journey that my own unhealed wounds are being tended and true to the words of this song by the Cashmans, I too am finally home, no matter where I am:

“The earth is fading. I am a pilgrim passing through. The kingdom, eternal. Forever I am home with you. This home is unchanging. This home is strong and it’s secure. This home is unbroken. Built on your love that will endure. There’s no place in this world I’d rather be. Then with you, I know where I belong. With you, I finally am found. In you, I’m loved and I am known. In the shelter of your presence – I am home”

As music has always been one of the avenues of worship for me, I would like to invite you to our benefit concert on Dec 12, for an Advent evening of heartwarming stories and songs with Steve Bell.

Source: Signpost Music.

Together, in solidarity, we can bring hope as we stand with vulnerable people who CJI supports in some of the most conflicted and hard to reach places in our world.

Together we can be a part of establishing the mountain of the Lord that will be exalted above all mountains – with all nations streaming into it… Let’s go!

For info on CJI’s benefit concert with Steve Bell, please visit:

Tickets also available at CJI`s office and Our Lady of Lourdes


Lena Balkaran is the Donor Relations Coordinator at CJI and is passionate about effecting change in our world…


Lena Balkaran is the Donor Relations Coordinator at CJI and is passionate about effecting change in our world...

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 01:19h, 02 December Reply

    Thank you Lena!

  • Philip Shano
    Posted at 16:18h, 02 December Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing your story Lena. I look forward to meeting you at CJI.

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