With a strong and active history of refugee sponsorships and resettlement tracing back to 1980 and before, Faith Lutheran Church welcomed a South Sudanese family of five on March 10, 2016. This family had been refugees in Lebanon for over 10 years. Our financial commitment and resettlement support concluded a year ago, but many of our members remain strongly connected to the family as they continue to settle in their life in Canada and the city of Brantford, and those relationships will undoubtedly last for many years to come.

Most recently, the people of Faith pledged financial support to assist St. John’s Lutheran in Hamilton with its sponsorship of a refugee family. Preparations are being made to welcome this family soon.

As Christians, we act in love and compassion, reflecting God’s love for us. Refugees are people who have been forced to leave their homelands and cannot voluntarily return. They have been persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, social group, or political opinion. Aid to refugees is intended for all people in need, regardless of their religion or other personal factors.

Making application through the Canadian Lutheran World Relief (create link), Faith Church has been guided by CLWR’s experience in providing logistical support throughout the application and sponsorship process. The Canadian government helps a set number of refugees come to Canada each year. Canadians increase this number by privately sponsoring refugees through Sponsorship Agreement Holders like CLWR.

The resettlement process involves setting up accommodations (apartment or house), assistance with applications for OHIP, SIN, and Child Tax Benefits, seeking doctor, dental and optometric care, registering adults in ESL classes and children in school, setting up bank accounts, help in using public transit, providing transportation to appointments, and finding employment – generally, any assistance that helps the family adjust to life in Canada.