Life as a Refugee

  • Adding Dependents Post-Submission & Updating Applications

    RSTP webinarDate: Friday, April 17, 2020
    Time: 1:00 - 3:00pm EDT

    This webinar delivered by RSTP for new and experienced sponsors will provide an in-depth look at:

    • how to submit a refugee sponsorship application under the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program to the Resettlement Operations Centre – Ottawa (ROC-O) via email and
    • when and how to update an application after submission

    Toregister for this webinar, click here.

  • ADS-Up

    refugees 2Australian Diaspora Steps Up

    Ads-Up Canada is a group of Australians and Canadians working to sponsor Manus and Nauru refugees who have been detained indefinitely by the Australian government.  They are looking for partners in Canada after refugee resettlement was cut so drastically by the USA.

    I first heard about Manus Island after receiving an email several months ago from a refugee who had been stranded there. It was a disturbing note as he described living conditions on what was essentially a prison island. I had never heard of such a place, and it didn't sound like something the Australian government would allow, so I went looking to see what I could learn. The facts are more painful than I could have imagined.

  • Aerial Shot of Lifejackets

    The garbage dump in Lesbos contains a powerful symbol of the number of refugees risking their lives by sea.

  • Ahmad was a soul, and he became a number.

    Syrian refugees are not only fleeing ISIS.

    Human Rights Watch has investigated some of the stories of leaked photos of detainees killed while in custody of the Syrian government and produced this video.

    *** contains mature content ***

  • Antecessor Refugee Crisis Response

    Our thanks to Antecessor Rapid Response (www.antecessor.org/) for allowing us to share this video which shows how the church is reaching out and caring for refugees passing through the the Balkans: an example of love for churches everywhere to emulate in their local response to the worldwide refugee crisis.

    This is the Gospel sharing love for others that Jesus has called His church to live out in their communities and around the world.

  • Asylum Seekers Flee to Quebec

    Haitian refugees at Quebec borderIn recent weeks, the number of new asylum seekers, mainly from Haiti, crossing the US border into Quebec has risen dramatically. On Friday, August 11, as many as 1,200 people were waiting to file refugee claims in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec.

    UNHCR Representative Jean-Nicolas Beuze was interviewed on CTV News to address the situation. Watch the 4 minute video below to find out: why so many asylum seekers are heading to Quebec, why they are leaving the US, if there is any substance to the fear that the province of Quebec will be overloaded by the sheer number of refugees, and what determines if an asylum seeker can stay in Canada.

  • Bible Studies, Books and Media Links

    bibleFor those who want to inform and position themselves to be a voice for truth in refugee crisis conversations, there are Bible studies, books and documentaries available.

    This listing will be updated as new material is discovered. If you are aware of something that may be useful to others, please let us know and we will add it to the site.

    Bible Studies

    Refugee Highway Partnership has made available a 3-lesson Bible study by Marike Blok simply called "Refugees" available for downloadby anyone who would like to use it. A guide for facilitators is available here.

  • Connect with Pakistani Believers

    flag pakistanIn our world today (2019), Pakistan is ranked by World Watch List at #5 of the top 50 nations where "it is most dangerous to follow Jesus," ahead of Sudan (#6), Eritrea (#7), and Yemen (#8).

  • Conversations

    computer mouseOne of the blessings and the challenges in this work are the conversations with people who have been forcibly displaced. Most of those ‘conversations’ happen by way of email, but having been at this for 3 years now, there are more happening via Skype, Facebook Messenger and phone.

    I would like to share 2 of those conversations with you here. English is not their first language. In order to protect their identity I have changed their names, but I have preserved their words, their message to us …

  • Drone footage shows total devastation in Homs, Syria

    This aerial footage shows the total devastation of the city of Homs, once Syria's third largest city and a major industrial hub.  Close to 1 million people no longer live here; those not killed are seeking refuge somewhere.

  • Embracing a New Life in Canada

    hany unhcrAs we get further and further along in this humanitarian crisis of displacement and people forced to flee for their lives, more and more have come to Canada and are resettling into a new life here.

    This month, we would like to high-light the story of 22-year-old Hany Al Moulia who fled Homs, Syria a year after his youngest brother was born in March of 2011. After graduating high school he knew "he would be conscripted into the army. And then his cousins were murdered in their homes. It was time to get out."

  • Europe's Refugees Wash Ashore in Greece

    A Samaritan's Purse video showing some Syrian refugees arriving on the shores of Greece.

  • Fair Havens Community Church

    silhouette 3Written by Ann Sparrow

    In October 2016 Fahad* contacted us - he said he found our name on a site of sponsoring churches. We were surprised because we didn't even realize that our names were on any list, so it was something definitely not on our radar at that time.

    We checked his story out through some missionaries to make sure that his story was true. Having found that out and feeling that this was perhaps a direction God was leading us in, we brought it to the church. There was full support from the board, and many of our church folk immediately showed a lot of interest.

  • Faith Community Church

    Faith Community Church begins a sponsorship of a refugee family.At this point, it is still a waiting game but way more so for Ruth and Joseph* and their three children.

    We first began the process of sharing the vision for this with the congregation of Faith Community Church in January 2017. It was formally agreed to by the congregation in February.

    We worked closely with our SAH (the Alliance Church) and their representative Hannatu as she helped us work through the thorough template they have crafted for sponsorship. That process took us about two months as we emailed back and forth with Ruth & Joseph getting them to fill in their documentation even as we did ours. After the initial review of all our paperwork, our SAH then sent the file on to Immigration Canada. This was an invaluable time saver as it virtually eliminated all the mistakes we might have made and saved the time of resending.

  • Four Minutes Experiment

    Psychologist Arthur Aron said that four minutes of eye contact brings people closer to each other better than everything else. In this video Amnesty International experiments with that idea by pairing up Europeans and refugees who have never met before.

  • How a Refugee Camp Became a City

    dadaab camp kenyaDadaab, Kenya, is an area of 5 refugee camps that was home to 329,811 people as of October 2015. Laura Secorun Palet has written an excellent article on this refugee camp that has become a city - a reminder to us all that the worldwide refugee crisis extends far beyond the current Syrian conflict.  

    You can read her article here.

  • Introduction to the Refugee Highway 2019

    What is the Refugee Highway? Where is it? Who travels this Highway?

    This 6 minute video will answer these questions and describe how the church is particularly equipped to respond with the compassion, grace and love of Jesus to those who find themselves on it. 

    We encourage every congregation to watch and then pray to understand how they should respond to the ongoing global crisis.

  • Israelis Lend a Helping Hand to Syrian Refugees in Greece

    When the unlikeliest of people are helping others it's an opportunity for self-reflection by those who should be the likeliest. Regardless of your politics and prejudice, "none of that matters here on the beach."

  • JAS Profile #19-0080

    calgaryADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Calgary, AB
    COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Iraq
    FAMILY SIZE: One

    The 37 year old newcomer arrived in Canada in March 2018 with her mother, sister-in-law and two nephews (JAS profile #19-0081).

    The newcomer is a survivor of trauma and torture and has suffered from tremendous psychological stress and mental health issues.

    She is responsible for taking care of her elderly mother, who also suffers from mental health issues and has physical health problems, along with her two younger nephews and shares the responsibility of running the household with her sister-in-law.

    A sponsor would be able to provide the necessary emotional and social support to reduce the newcomer’s feelings of isolation and help her access community resources, increasing her confidence and independence which could relieve some of the pressure of caring for her mother.

  • JAS Profile #19-0335

    JAS 19 0836ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Winnipeg, MB
    COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Syria
    FAMILY SIZE: Nine

    A Syrian man, aged 42, accompanied by his spouse and their seven children, has completed six years of education and has worked as a plumber and pipe fitter. He is fluent in Arabic and has some English language training.

    His spouse is a homemaker. The family has received settlement support. Six of the couple’s children are registered for school, and one is fully dependent on his parents.

    Medical needs: The father has withdrawn from English language training due to the ongoing medical needs of their youngest child. This has prevented the family from engaging in other settlement services and accessing various community resources.

    Sponsor assistance: A sponsor could: give the family a support system to help with their daily challenges; allow them to dedicate the time necessary to develop their English language skills; help them to fully connect and integrate within their local community; provide informal English practice; and, assist with managing the child’s ongoing medical appointments.

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