Ontario

  • "When I first came to Canada [I had] a lot of stress because I changed my city, my country. But now I feel very comfortable, especially when I came to this church."” - Lodi Ghossen, recently arrived in Ottawa.

    elias ghusin lodi ghossen syrian refugees volunteers food bank1

    As seen in CBC news posted: Dec 01, 2017

    Every year at this time, the Ottawa Mennonite Church holds a fair trade Christmas market, with proceeds going to the Ottawa Food Bank. Volunteers make it all happen.

    This year, one group of volunteers has a special reason for wanting to give back.

  • 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.

  • grace churchOn April 7, 2018 I had the pleasure of chatting with Andrea Bowman of Grace Church, Newmarket about their church's refugee sponsorship experience. Grace Church worked with Mennonite Central Committee as their SAH to bring a family of 8 from Syria via Beirut, Lebanon, to Newmarket. Unfortunately, just before the family was about to travel, their youngest child died and understandably, their departure from Lebanon was delayed. In October 2017, the family of 7 touched down at YYZ and their journey to resettle in Canada began.

    RSI: How did this particular sponsorship journey begin for Grace?

  • wilderness flowerA poem by Pastor Farshid Fathi

    Born in 1979, Farshid has been working in ministry since 1997. In the years 2001 – 2005, he was instrumental in planting 48 underground house churches in his native Iran.

    On 25 December 2010, Farshid was arrested along with a number of other church leaders. He was kept 361 days in solitary confinement in Evin Prison, often enduring severe interrogation. In March 2011 Farshid was sentenced to six years in prison for acting against national security through evangelism and promoting Christianity. In 2014 prison guards broke Farshid’s foot and thumb during a prison search. Farshid was later transferred to Rajaei Shahr Prison and released on 21 December 2015. While Farshid was in prison, his wife took their two children to Canada, where they have applied for citizenship. 

    Today, he remains in Turkey registered as an asylum seeker, but still not recognised as a refugee. Toronto area churches, this is an opportunity for you!


    My wilderness is painful, but lovely.
    Some parts of my wilderness are covered with thorns and hurt my feet,
    but I love it, and that's why I call it 'lovely pain'.

    My wilderness is so hot that my tears disappear before falling on the ground,
    but it is cool under Your shadows.

  • RHP 2019The Refugee Highway Partnership is a network of Christians, churches and organizations who have found common cause in the call of Jesus to “welcome the stranger” and extend hospitality to those in need.

    The Roundtable is where we gather - the table is Round because we’re in this together and need one another’s voices. It’s a place of inspiration, learning, sharing, and equipping. It is a space where diverse ministries, services, and individuals find one another in order to bring about action that would please the heart of Jesus, as He sees us welcoming the stranger in our midst and showing the mercy that He first offered us.

    This year's theme is "PLACE" looking into thoughts from Exodus 33:21:

    “Then the LORD said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock.”

    Location: The Peoples Church | 374 Sheppard Ave E | Toronto, ON
    Date & Time: Wed, Oct 23, 2019 @ 9:00am - Friday, Oct 25, 2019 @ 2;30pm

    Register on-line here.

  • canada flagThe following questions can be addressed to candidates in the upcoming federal election to seek out their views on what they would do to ensure that the PSR Program is a robust, responsive and effective program that offers timely protection and adequate settlement and financial support for privately sponsored refugees.

    The 2019 Global Trends Report from the UNHCR states that the number of refugees and internally displaced people continued to grow in 2018 - 70.8 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide, the largest number in the organization's history. Children make up almost half of the world's refugees.

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