canada logoThe Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) Annual Dashboard is produced by IRCC. The report provides a snapshot of what was achieved in the program in the preceding year. Highlights from the 2019 edition are below.

sunset sittingI hear a lot of talk among the church people I talk to about looking forward to when this time of Covid-19 is over and wondering what church may look like when that day comes.

Recently, I find myself much more interested in what churches are doing now – today – in the midst of a pandemic in which we have been asked to remain physically distant from one another.

What is right here, right now, that we can be about? What are the “good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" for today?

pray womanEven before the days of Covid-19, refugees, asylum seekers and those who have been forcibly displaced from their homes needed our prayers. Today they need them more than ever. 

Isolation and physical distancing is strange for us in North America. Yet today, many of us are isolated in our homes that are plenty big enough for us. Our fridges are full or at least easily filled; our medications can be refilled with a phone call. Some of us have the blessing of a yard - we can putter in the snow or the soil as the case may be. And our country has passed an Emergency Measures Bill that means many of us will be paid while we stay home.

hourglassCovid-19 has been a game changer on so many different levels:

  • how we "do" church has changed,
  • how we socialize has changed,
  • how we connect with our families, has changed,
  • how we work has changed.

We and people in our communities face uncertainty about a myriad of questions:

man africanThere are currently 70.8 million forcibly displaced people worldwide of which 25.9 million are refugees and 3.5 million are asylum seekers (February 2020). Unfortunately, as more countries experience unrest, those numbers continue to rise as seen from recent events in Venezuela. Some of these "millions" are single adults or children, many are parents with young families, several have fled with older parents. Each one is looking for a place to call home. Any place to call home.

As the refugee crisis continues, we can expect these numbers to rise. The Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative and the Global Compact on Refugees are working with global partners looking for ways to ease the pressure on host countries and beyond traditional means of finding a place for those have been forcibly displaced

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