BFCRC REFUGEE SPONSORSHIP SPRING 2017 UPDATE
According to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, in 2015 there were approximately 65 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, including 21.3 million refugees. Each day, nearly 34,000 people flee their homes because of conflict and persecution…. “Hope waits in the shadows,” a poet says, “and shines brightest in the dark and broken places, in restless pursuit of the lonely and forgotten.” In May, BFCRC, along with our friends at Calvin CRC, with support from World Renew in Burlington, welcomed a lovely Sudanese couple, Abbas & Madina, under a full sponsorship agreement (with federal government assistance).
Abbas & Madina – from Sudan via Cairo. Feb. 26 marked nine months since Abbas & Madina arrived and three quarters through our one-year support commitment. Since their arrival, Abbas & Madina have been attending school and various workshops, making new friends (they enjoy social interaction with both adults and children), attending medical appointments, learning the buses, shopping and banking, crafting resumes and much more. They like Canada’s multicultural diversity and find Canadians to be nice and welcoming people, who smile a lot! Early highlights were: visiting Parliament Hill on Canada Day & appearing on Global News, attending a Global Village Festival & the Ottawa Writers Festival. They want to know more and be immersed in Canadian winter culture so more recently they enjoyed activities like going snowshoeing, attending a hockey game and a potluck supper with various members of the refugee support team. Madina enjoys music and is focusing on improving her English. Abbas is taking high school courses like English, Math and Computer to achieve his high school equivalency here in Ontario. Finding suitable employment for Abbas is a priority at this time. If anyone knows of entry-level, light-duty employment opportunities (part-time or full-time), please contact our employment coordinator Steve Jaspers-Fayer or another member of the refugee support team Nikki Terry, Allison Schenk, Julia Verbrugge or Harry Mulder. Abbas & Madina love Canada, and continuously thank us for our friendship and support, but do miss loved ones back home and are very concerned about ongoing violence in Darfur.
A number of decisions will have to be made in the next few month leading to items for prayer:
- that work will be found in the next months so that the family can become self sufficient
- that education and language training goes well
- that any medical challenges, especially for Madina, be resolved
- that guidance and discernment be abundant on housing decisions that need to be made soon