FB DAUPHIN: Don’t wait. Find out who sponsors refugees in your area and get in on it. This is the Kingdom of God in action.
SCBC: The most important thing is to educate the congregation, and give the church plenty of time to ask questions, and then address their concerns before the family arrives. While we were in the application stage, we heard a lot of concerns about security screening, and we assured them that the family has been fully screened. Now that we have started spending time with the family, our church couldn’t be more welcoming.
If you have any reservations about sponsor- ship, please take the time to visit refugee families already in Canada, and don’t be afraid of the lan- guage and cultural barriers… the language of love is universal. God will always show a way when we love our neighbours.
RIVERCROSS: Once these folks arrive in Canada, they are no longer refugees. They are now Canadians. Syrian Canadians. We have had to catch ourselves talking about “the refugee family”, when in reality that is not a fair way to keep referring to them. No one wants to be solely identified with the worst experience of their life.
As the Church, we need to open our hearts and minds to the world around us. We must
not only see the pain and despair from afar, but we must do something about it in our own part of the world. The opportunity to welcome and work with refugees offers lifetime benefits and friendships and witness. We are able to see into their world, learn from them, enjoy their culture, and help them embrace their new culture they are finding themselves part of. The Church has a responsibility, but also an opportunity, to rediscover its mission and rekindle the kind of love that Jesus would have us show to our neighbours.