Mehmood and one of his sons ran a successful tailor business in a predominantly Muslim area in Lahore, Pakistan. An escalating series of physical attacks and threats on their lives by local Muslims forced the whole family to flee their home in 2013, leaving behind all their precious possessions and finances. With the help of others they managed to arrive in Malaysia where they are seeking asylum and praying for sponsorship to Canada.
Profile: An extended Pakistani family of 8
Risk: Death or imprisonment if they return to Pakistan
Advantages: Relatives in Kitchener, Ontario willing to help with some funds and
some settlement support; adults have transferable skills
Seeking: A church willing to sponsor this family, providing the needed financial and settlement support
Hazeem’s* life passion was Christian ministry, leading two youth Bible studies a week, training up youth to share the Gospel with unbelievers and organizing youth seminars. His wife, Anaya had a ministry to women in the church. While sharing the gospel one day, Hazeem was physically attacked and threatened with death by local Muslims. The young family fled their Pakistani home in the middle of the night, eventually arriving in Malaysia where they live as refugees with their daughter. A US church has raised all the funds for their support. All they need is a church willing to provide a settlement team and manage the funds.
Profile: A Pakistani refugee family living in Malaysia
Risks: Death if they return to home country of Pakistan; no opportunity to work, and high risk of arrest in country of asylum
Advantages: All funds for sponsorship already raised, experience working in youth and women’s ministries.
Seeking: A church willing to provide the settlement team and hold funds in trust
Samir,* from a country known for its high incidence of Christian persecution, has sought asylum in Asia. Very aware of the danger, he and his friend started carefully approaching members of their nationality and the Arab community to share the gospel. Late last year, someone exposed them and they have both been threatened with death by a radical group for being apostates and trying to convert people away from Islam. They’ve been reported to the authorities who work with their Embassy. If they are caught, as he says, the best case scenario is that they be deported back "home" where they will be sure to receive capital punishment. But Samir is familiar with Canada!
Another note by Alex, telling us a little about himself:
‘’ Am writing this letter from exile in hope of getting a sponsor in Canada for my resettlement.’’
War, political violence and persecution led me to flee my home country, Burundi leaving behind my family and everything I knew to save my life.
I was just like any normal teenager of my age (19) out of high school waiting to enrol for college. I had a job in a local bookstore working part time(4 hours in the morning). Most of my evenings were spent volunteering with the Red Cross and if not there, I'd head to the basketball court as basketball is my second best hobby after Chess. (I am a huge fan of the Toronto Raptors by the way.) A few months later, the school break was over and I went for college.
It was there at college when I was a volunteer in a humanitarian organization in 2015 that demonstrations against the 3rd mandate of President Nkurunziza were getting violent. I decided to step in and help vulnerable ones in need of medical attention.