Life as a Refugee

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • flag pakistanIn our world today (2018), Pakistan is ranked by World Watch List at #5 of the top 50 nations where Christians are persecuted, ahead of Eritrea (#6) and just behind Sudan (#4).

  • 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 …

  • 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.

  • 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."

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

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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."

  • The CBC interviews former citizenship judge Aris Babikian and newly arrived Syrian refugee Shant Momjian.  What they share gives insight into challenges the Canadian Government faces both here and overseas in trying to increase the numbers of Syrian refugees brought to Canada.

    cbc refugee interview

  • Refugee Highway MapThe International Association for Refugees has designed a striking and informative poster to raise awareness about the realities of the Refugee Highway and our mandate to love the alien as we love ourselves.

    Perfect for churches, class rooms, dorm rooms and the office.

    Go to the IAFR toolbox to download file for professional printing (36" x 27")

  • canada flagVisa office interviews are conducted for the purpose of assessing the refugee's eligibility for resettlement to Canada as a permanent resident and also assess his or her admissibility to enter Canada.

    It is in the Principal Applicant's best interest for the Core Team to help them prepare for the interview. Read over the fact sheet provided by RSTP so you are aware of the process and what will be required. Once the refugee has received an interview date, they will be much better prepared if you have walked them through the process and explained their rights and responsibilities. Many refugees have been victims of abuse by authorities. Helping them understand this interview will empower them to tell their own story honestly and with the confidence of knowing  that they are safe here.

  • DRCmapI have often wondered what it would be like to be forced from my home - not just my house, but my city... my province... my country. To have to leave, not because I want to, but because there is NO. OTHER. OPTION. 

    When it comes times to flee, how does one get from Democratic Republic of Congo to Hong Kong? Is that intentional, or does it "just happen" as seemingly insignificant choices are made until eventually one finds themselves 10,000km from where they began. 

    And now, life in a new country... a new language, a new culture, new people, no family. Where does one start? To find housing? To find work? Is it even possible to work as an asylum seeker? This is not a new home; this is just a place to stop-over. Because 98% of refugee claimants are refused. So where does one begin? How does one live?

  • If you are looking for a family to sponsor, a family or person to connect with via email, Facebook or WhatsApp, or simply educating yourself about situations of people in the world today, you will find real stories of real people in this part of our website. All names and personalized information has been changed to protect anonymity, since refugee status determination or personal safety may be undermined if sensitive information is made public.

    Contact us if you need more information.

  • RHP 2018I was glad to attend the North American Refugee Highway Partnership 10th Annual Roundtable in Chicago last month. This was a 2.5 day event for specifically Christian organizations and stakeholders working on behalf of refugees, asylum seekers and forcibly displaced people around the world and in our communities. There were plenery sessions, multiple workshops with opportunity for "roundtable discussions," times of worship... and former refugees told their stories of displacement, flight, survival and eventual resettlement in the USA.