Since 1979, World Renew has been working with churches and the Canadian public to sponsor and help resettle refugees. Through World Renew's Refugee Office, Christian Reformed Churches and other church partners in Canada have had the opportunity to welcome refugees and assist them as they resettle. This is a great privilege.
In recent years, World Renew’s Refugee Office has been flooded with inquiries and requests to sponsor refugees. 2016 was the busiest year for the office in recent memory. A total of 155 applications—representing a total of 403 refugees—were submitted to World Renew’s Refugee Office. The needs were overwhelming, but God continued to equip people to step out in faith. For this generous work, World Renew gives thanks.
Church luncheon with families and support teams.In the midst of a growing refugee crisis, World Renew’s refugee sponsorship ministry continues to give refugees, their sponsoring churches, and people around the world new opportunities to see God’s goodness at work. Will you join World Renew in celebrating and giving thanks for these signs of hope?
Hope Fellowship CRC in Courtice, Ontario is just one of the many churches experiencing God’s goodness through World Renew’s refugee sponsorship ministry. Through their “Hope Without Borders” sponsorship ministry, they worked with World Renew’s Refugee Office to sponsor two families from Syria. In November 2016, the first family arrived—a husband, wife, and their two-year-old son. In December 2016, the church welcomed another Syrian refugee family—this time a family of seven. First to arrive was Reem, a mother who came with her three daughters. They were soon followed by Reem’s mother and two of her grandchildren. Both of these refugee families were blessed by the support they received by the Hope Fellowship CRC community as they navigated their new life in Canada.
“The entire refugee sponsorship experience has been a picture unfolding—like a puzzle,” said Janette from Hope CRC. “The way people have shown up time and time again to help these refugee families through moves, groceries, doctors appointments, etc. It is amazing how God could see this picture before we even had the pieces in our hands and how beautifully it has all come together. God was there. God is there. God will continue to be there.”
For both refugees and their church sponsors, the resettlement experience is a chance to learn from each other and understand each other with greater empathy. Janette, for example, is deeply grateful for the way this experience has expanded her worldview and enriched her faith.
Arriving at their permanent home in Canada.“The most recent highlight was seeing Ghada (Reem’s mother) overwhelmed with tears of joy on Saturday when we were moving them into their new home,” recalled Janette. “I stood there, gave her a hug and thought quietly to myself ‘what if it was me, moving to Syria, not knowing how to say a word of Arabic, seeing a group of Muslims come together to find items to furnish my home and help move them into my new home—a beautiful new home—free from the war that I know is raging on back in Canada.”
April 23 is Refugee Sunday in Canada. Join World Renew in celebrating God’s goodness and His providence in supporting refugees in need by planning a Refugee Sunday service in your church. Your prayers and gifts on Refugee Sunday will enable World Renew’s Refugee Office to continue to respond to many refugee families in urgent need of protection.
World Renew has new Refugee Sunday resources available to guide your church as you plan your service. These resources include a slideshow presentation to accompany your offering for World Renew’s Refugee Office as well as a litany of celebration
You can download these resources below.
Thank you for demonstrating God’s love by walking alongside those displaced by persecution and war. As you remember and pray for refugee families on Refugee Sunday, please consider how your church can get involved.
Click here for more information about Refugee Sponsorship. You can also contact World Renew’s Refugee Office at 1-800-730-3490.