Wondering how Canadian Baptists across the country have been involved with refugee sponsorship since 2015? Here are some updated stats, coming from the Canadian Baptists of Ontario & Quebec (CBOQ), as well as the Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada (CBAC). So much to celebrate!
Carol Gouveia shares: CBOQ churches have sponsored 17 blended visa-office referred (BVOR) cases – that’s 79 people. 9 families have arrived, and 7 families are still being awaited to arrive. CBOQ churches have submitted 14 private sponsorships (12 from one church!!) – that’s 32 people. Each year, Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAH) are allotted only so many sponsorship spaces. 1 space = 1 person. That creates a challenge. We sponsor as many as we are allowed each year. We submitted 6 applications in 2015. For 2016, we were allotted 6 spaces. We have already used 5 and we have applications pending for 10 more.
Please pray for these pending applications, as well as for good relationships between sponsors and their families; that they would settle well and that the light and love of Jesus would be very clear. Also pray for those families who are stalled waiting for travel, to arrive quickly.
We have two families and their sponsoring churches who have been waiting since early January to receive their families, that we expected would arrive before the end of Feb. CBOQ is a small SAH, but there are many SAHs across the country who are waiting for families.
Pray also for the Church in Lebanon, that may be small but is serving exponentially beyond their number. Pray for those who are coming to faith, that roots would go deep.
Paul Carline & Jacqueline Derrah shares: The CBAC is currently working with some 125 churches, of which probably 85-90% are CBAC churches. We have 79 active sponsorships at different places in their journey, with 30 families who arrived in the last year. As it relates to the latest refugee crisis, our first families arrived last August and we have a number of pending applications for families yet to arrive. We have new applications continuing to be submitted every month.
Before this crisis, we would have averaged 1-2 applications per year through full private sponsorship. We only did our first BVOR sponsorship in 2015. Further to this, we have a significant number of our churches that are serving as volunteers with local settlement agencies working with government assisted refugees.