Opportunities

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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).

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

  • Attend a webinar for an introduction to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees programThis is one of the webinars that is required training by your SAH. The Team Lead and one or two others from the Core Team must take this webinar.

    Date: Friday, Aug 2, 2019
    Time: 1:00 - 2:30 PM EST

    This webinar will cover:

    • the history & launch of PSR program
    • Program evolvement over the years
    • PSR as part of global resettlement efforts

    To register for this webinar, click here.

    If that time is not convenient, the RSTP Video Library has a copy of the webinar available here.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Sponsor refugees identified as being most in need of resettlement by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR)!

    After the success of last year's initiative, the University of Ottawa Refugee Hub, the Shapiro Foundation and G. Barrie Landry have launched a new fund to encourage BVOR sponsorship.

    Watch this video to learn more about the BVOR initiative.

    This new fund will fully cover the sponsor's portion of each BVOR settlement costs.  Groups will remain responsible for collecting in-kind donations and funding to cover start-up costs such as furniture, kitchen items and clothing.

    Applications must be received in our office by August 15, 2019 to allow time for processing and submission in time for the August 31 deadline.

    For the first time, qualifying SAHs will be able to apply for substantial funds to help with the administrative costs associated with supporting increased BVOR sponsorships.

    Refugees sponsored with the support of this fund will arrive in Canada before December 31, 2019.

  • 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.

  • Attend a webinar for an introduction to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees programThis is one of the webinars that is required training by our SAH. Every member of the Core Team must take this webinar.

    Date: Wednesday, Aug 28, 2019
    Time: 1:00 - 2:30pm EDT

    This webinar will cover:

    • when should sponsors start preparing for the end of sponsorship
    • what to consider when preparing newcomers for the post-sponsorship period
    • services available for sponsored newcomers after the sponsorship period
    • evaluating the sponsorship experience. and
    • the post-sponsorship relationship

    To register for this webinar, click here.

    If this timing is not convenient, the RSTP Video Library has a copy of the webinar available here.

  • webinar2

    This is one of the webinars that is required training by your SAH. The Team Lead must take this webinar, and then communicate the applicable content to the refugee before the Visa Office interview.

    Date: TBD 
    Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM EST

    The interview with the Canadian visa offices (VO) abroad is the stepping stone towards granting permanent residence status for your sponsored refugees and bringing them to safety in Canada.

  • 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 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.

  • protecting refugees equals stronger communitiesRefugee Rights Day is celebrated each year in Canada on April 4th. It is an opportunity to bring attention to the advances made in the protection of refugee rights in Canada as a result of the Singh Decision. Refugee Rights Day is also a time to learn about the threats to those rights.

    You can get more information about the Supreme Court's 1985 Singh decision, and the importance of that decision today, along with other practical resources to assist you in promoting Refugee Rights Day in your community.

  • Churches and community organizations in Port Hope and Cobourg, Ontario, have welcomed several refugee families as newcomers to their community.

    This 3-minute video introduces us to come of those families and speaks of the call that God's children have to "be a neighbour" to those who are in need of a home today.

     

  • silhouette 3b 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!

  • pray womanIn light of the on-going refugee crisis, people will need to pray for refugees, asylum seekers and those who have been forcibly displaced from their homes for many years to come. If you need a few ideas of specific issues, then this list may be helpful.

    Many of these items have been taken directly from a document put together by the International Association for Refugees. We have added a few of our own requests that have come from individuals we have been in contact with who have unexpectedly found themselves to be refugees.

  • The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) and other settlement agencies host several workshops and webinars throughout the year. Check back here frequently to see what is available.

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