|Zaatari Refugee Camp, Jordan|
The C&MA's response. What have we been doing?
- We have been a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) with Citizenship and Immigration Canada since February 2012, encouraging Alliance churches to engage in refugee sponsorship.
- We have supported Syrian refugee relief in Lebanon, Jordan, and with the Alliance church in Damascus over the last 2 ½ years.
- Joanne Beach traveled to Lebanon and Jordan in December 2013 to visit refugees both in and outside the camps that local Alliance churches have been ministering to. Read Blog Post
- As a SAH, we are part of the Canadian SAH Association and have been working through this network to advocate on behalf of refugees.
- We partnered with Lorna Dueck’s Context show last fall on the "Terror in Iraq and Syria" episode. The C&MA was the contact organization for viewers to call who were interested in refugee sponsorship. View the episode.
- Dave Hearn traveled to Iraq in October 2014 and subsequently made a video to encourage churches to respond with radical hospitality to the displaced impacted by the crises in the Middle East. View the Video. (His challenge comes at the 2:50 point in the video.)
- In May 2015, Dave Hearn participated with other denominational presidents, who are part of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC), in a meeting with Citizenship and Immigration in Ottawa to encourage the Government of Canada to accept more Syrian refugees. They also committed to assist their local churches with sponsorship.
- As a result of the EFC initiative, we will be serving as the umbrella SAH for three other denominations in order that their local churches can engage in sponsorship immediately while they go through the application process of becoming a SAH. (Associated Gospel Church of Canada, Evangelical Missionary Church Of Canada, and Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Canada.)
- We have added the Refugee Sponsorship section on the new C&MA website.
- We have established a Refugee Fund so people can donate to a sponsorship resettlement. This fund is a safety reserve for sponsoring groups to apply for unexpected financial emergencies outside of the resettlement budget.
- We have promoted refugee sponsorship through a variety of the Alliance Justice and Compassion social media sites.
Okay, My Church Wants to Respond.
What can I do?
- Pray for the millions of refugees, for relief efforts of churches and aid agencies in the Middle East and Europe, and for churches in Canada assisting refugees in resettlement.
- Provide funds to the C&MA Syria Emergency Relief Fund Donations to this fund will be used to provide relief for refugees in the Middle East and Europe.
- Provide funds to the C&MA Refugee Fund. Donations to this fund will be used to assist churches in Canada that are sponsoring refugees.
- Learn how your church can Participate in refugee sponsorship.
- Partner with a church in your area that is sponsoring a refugee family.