Opportunities

  • A New Twist on Refugee Sponsorship

    weddingBVORThis is not an AGC story, but it is a Canadian story. 

    In the summer of 2017, Natasha Carew and Sean Ritchie got married and decided to forgo wedding gifts and instead encouraged their guests to help raise $26,000 to sponsor a refugee family through the BVOR program, and give them a new life in Canada.

    Their story was written up in The Star after the Sudanese family they were matched with had arrived and settled in Toronto.

    Looking back on their experience, Natasha and Sean wish others their age were doing more to bring forcibly displaced families to Canada. They understand that it could just as easily be us looking for a new home to resettle in. They both work full-time, and found the time commitments to be very manageable as they worked with their team.

    The newspaper article link above and the YouTube video below are worth the watch, and worth sharing. Enjoy, and be inspired!

  • 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.

  • Blended Visa Office Referral (BVOR) Program

    ss BVOR 2019The BVOR Program is designed to resettle refugees identified by the UNHCR and submitted to Canadian Visa Offices abroad. It is only the families or individuals who are most in need of resettlement that are referred under this program. Click the image to the right to watch "Four Steps to BVOR Sponsorship" now.

  • Canadian Cities of Migration

    cities of migration toolkit 2020We know Jeremiah told the exiles to "seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." Paul too, urged Timothy "that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions..."  and that "this is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior..." 

    We can have an informed voice at the table of our municipal councils if we are so inclined. If that is you, I am happy to tell you today about a recently developed Toolkit put together by Cities of Migration.

    "Many small to medium cities across Canada face population declines and an uncertain future. Cities of Migration launches the Immigrant Futures Toolkit to help Canada's smaller cities, towns and regions address population declines through immigrant attraction and retention strategies."

  • 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).

  • Events

    Click on "Events" above to see events currently available in our communities or on-line.

  • How to Respond to Emails

    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

  • International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church 2020

    idop capture

    "Joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

    In some parts of the world, choosing to follow Christ can be dangerous, and even life-threatening. Carrying the name "Christian" can lead to physical harm, loss of livelihood, arrest or even death.

    Persecuted believers who have been forcibly displaced from their homes live with the added burden of being isolated and cut off from friends and family. Recent Covid-19 restrictions have given us a small taste of something our brothers and sisters living with persecution have endured for years - without the threat of death or arrest when we do venture out.

    Today, more than 260 million Christians are suffering and persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. 

    Our different circumstances and our geographical location can leave us feeling separated and unsure of how to help. The Canadian International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) provides a practical way stand with those who have lost so much.

    Sunday, November 1 has been identified as "IDOP Sunday" this year. A video, suggested scriptures, children's material and other resourcesare available to help congregations, groups, and individuals pray effectively for our persecuted brothers and sisters.

  • 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.

  • Introductory E-Training Course

    rstpRSTP offers an online training course called Introduction to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program two to three times a year.

  • 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.

  • JAS Profile #19-0345

    toronto nightADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Toronto, ON
    COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Iraq
    FAMILY SIZE: Two

    The family consists of a 20 year old sister and her 7 year old sister. The eldest sister is raising her younger sister and is the primary caregiver of her elderly grandmother and her brother (JAS profile #19-0346). The brother has impaired cognitive disabilities.

    The eldest sister would like to attend English language classes but is unable to do so as she is responsible for her younger sister, grandmother and brother. A sponsor would be able to assist the eldest sister with practicing English, developing her computer skills, connecting her with the local community and providing social and informal emotional support to the family.

  • JAS Profile #19-0409

    JAS 19 0836ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Hamilton, ON
    COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Somalia
    FAMILY SIZE: One

    A Somali woman, aged 26, who arrived in Canada in late 2018, is hospitalized due to a disability.

    Medical needs: She suffers from an untreatable muscle disorder which will worsen over time. She is paralyzed, unable to move her arms and is slowly losing the use of her hands. She cannot go anywhere by herself. The hospital does not offer English training.

    Sponsor assistance: A sponsor could: reduce her feelings of isolation and loneliness through social, psychological, and emotional support; introduce her to the community to allow her to expand her social connections and build positive relationships with new people; and, informally help her practice English.

  • JAS Profile #19-0591

    london ontarioADDITIONAL INFORMATION: London, ON
    COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Syria
    FAMILY SIZE: One

    A 62 year old senior newcomer widow with health issues is living alone in Canada. The newcomer is a survivor of trauma and torture and is considered to be a Woman at Risk.

    The newcomer has trouble getting to her medical appointments due to vision loss and a sponsor would be able to assist her by helping her attend her medical appointments and by helping her become more comfortable with the public transit system. The newcomer also feels isolated and a sponsor would be able to assist with overcoming this by helping her to integrate into her community by connecting her with local services, providing emotional support and practicing English with her.

  • JAS Profile #19-0836

    JAS 19 0836ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Calgary, AB
    COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Syria
    FAMILY SIZE: 4

    This single mother from Syria and her three children arrived in Calgary in late 2018. The children have adapted well to school and are learning English.

    Special needs: The mother struggles with prior trauma, and has difficulty in caring for her children while adjusting to life in Canada.

    Medical needs: Each of the children have asthma, requiring frequent medical appointments. The youngest daughter suffers from a blood disorder, which requires additional medical support. The mother suffers from back pain, which makes it difficult for her to attend resettlement programs and language classes. She feels isolated and lonely, and has difficulty sleeping.

    Sponsor assistance: With the support of a sponsor, the mother could focus on her own integration by attending language classes, counselling sessions for past trauma and employment programs. A sponsor could help her understand and navigate the health care system.

  • Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS) Opportunities

    Through the JAS program, the government and private sponsors work together to support refugees in Canada for up to 24 months, depending on the needs of teh resettled refugee. In a few cases, the private sponsor may support refugees for up to 36 months. 

    These refugees receive income support from the Government of Canada and emotional, moral and settlement support by a sponsor. Some refugees are identified overseas for the JAS program. Others are converted into JAS cases after they arrive in Canada if it becomes clear that they need more support.

    Follow this linkor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to see if there is a JAS case in your community.

  • Lovely Pain

    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.

  • Matching Funds in Manitoba

    naomi house refugee transitional housingThrough our connections with the Baptist General Conference, our Manitoba churches have a unique opportunity to partner with a Constituent Group in Winnipeg to sponsor Pakistani refugees who are stranded in Thailand. The group in Winnipeg is known by both Lorne Meisner, and Tim & Susan Davis.

  • Prayer and a Refugee

    roadOlivia is part of a group at Park Avenue Bible Church in Melfort, SK that has connected with a family overseas. She was asked if she would write something about that experience to share with our AGC churches. Thank-you, Olivia, for your submission.

    "So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary." Galatians 6:9-10

    I sat down to write up a piece about how we got to this place of praying for the persecuted church and about our heart for the plight of our brothers and sisters that are being persecuted for the sake of the gospel. As time moved along, my own heart was drawn toward refugees and the possibility of sponsoring someone. Yet as I put these thoughts down, I ended up with something entirely different.

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