The news is full of stories of refugees. As of January 24, more than 13,500 refugees have arrived in Canada, and our country is setting an example of welcome and hospitality. The church is a huge part of that movement, and there is no one better able to do the job. In the face of fear and suspicion, the church has a unique opportunity to offer a different way forward, to advocate for compassionate and wise aid for refugees in a way that blesses both them and their new community.
How can you be involved?
- Sponsorship: Your church can welcome a family through sponsorship (www.baptist.ca/refugees). This is a one year commitment. For churches who have intentionally built close relationships with refugees, there can still be a support system to help care for them and walk with them through their transition beyond the first year.
- Financial Support: You and/or your church can donate to Canadian Baptist Ministries. Until February 29, the Federal Government will match any funds donated.
- Matthew House: Matthew Houses in Toronto, Ottawa, Fort Erie and Windsor welcome refugee claimants from all over the world. Once their stay at Matthew House ends, they need support to get settled in the community. You and your church could help that happen more smoothly
- Partner with a Government-Assisted Refugee (GAR) family: The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and other groups are advocating for an organized means for groups to partner with GARs. In the coming days, we will be hearing more about this. In the meantime, you can contact settlement agencies in your community.
- Volunteer: The opportunities are endless!
- Assist other churches in your community who are sponsoring
- Look up settlement agencies in your community and offer your help
- For church who are welcoming refugees
- For Matthew House as they welcome refugees
- For refugees as they settle in to new communities
- For refugees who are in hotels and other temporary housing
- For greater peace in war torn regions
- For settlement agencies and workers who are overwhelmed
- For aid workers in refugee camps
One thought on “More than One Way to Help”
First Yarmouth Plains Baptist Church is working with YWCA in St. Thomas to soon help integrate a 6-person family into St. Thomas. Our Team Aljouma (family name) consisting of church and community volunteers will provide the hands-on daily support until the Aljouma family is confident to make their own plans. YWCA Staff provides settlement support to the team and family with the MCC being the SAH. It is a partnership that is working well and a new one between church and community.