Finally HomeJuly 3rd, 2015 | in Alliance News | 1
In Fall 2014, President David Hearn put out a call for churches to sponsor refugees:
“I want to call you to a spirit of radical hospitality….Right now, we have a profound opportunity to open our churches and sponsor refugees. We [C&MA] are a Canadian Refugee Sponsorship Agreement Holder; therefore, we’ve got a clear pathway that’s available to our churched. And I want to urge you in Jesus’ name to get involved!"
On June 25, 2015, the first refugees sponsored through the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada arrived in British Columbia. The following is written by Glenda Friesen, who inaugurated her church’s effort to support a refugee family.
In October 2014, I heard about a refugee program on Context with Lorna Dueck. I contacted the refugee sponsorship coordinator at the C&MA’s National Ministry Centre and learned that we needed to form a committee. Once a committee was formed, we met a few times to discuss how the sponsorship would be financed, and who would be responsible for each item in the settlement plan.
We then brought this opportunity to the church’s attention, and everyone unanimously agreed to bring a refugee family to Canada; that was on March 3. On April 20, we chose to sponsor Solomon and Kidusan, siblings from Eritrea, a country in the horn of Africa. Within two weeks of submitting our settlement plan, we were approved to sponsor them.
Being a rural community, we wondered how we would communicate with them because they only spoke Tigrinya. We soon met with a local pastor who came from Ethiopia, and to our delight, he also spoke Tigrinya!
Our list of needs was quickly filled, as God provided in perfect time to arrange this sponsorship;
• A couple from our church donated a car.
• A trailer became available on June 1, and they arrived June 25.
• I was given a box of free kitchen supplies at a garage sale.
• Money was donated from the settlement of a will.
To prepare for their arrival, our young people studied Eritrea in their Sunday school class and presented the information to the church to help us know more about the country and its history and customs. We also had a leader welcome us in Tigrinya for a few Sundays.
The siblings arrived safely less than four months after we made this commitment. They are very happy to be here and are adjusting to living in the countryside. We welcomed them with a Sunday school picnic with food, games, and soccer.
They have also connected with a group of people who are from Ethiopia; it is great that Solomon and Kidusan can have friends that speak their own language, and they both have started English lessons. They are a wonderful pair of siblings who have suffered much and can now have a new start.
The C&MA in Canada
We're made of people in churches who send people to share love, truth and hope with people around the world, people who may never have heard the name "Jesus" before.
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