Advocate for Refugees

CANADIAN ACTION ALERT AND WORKSHOP RESOURCES

Should sponsored refugees have to pay a travel loan?

We all want refugees to settle well in Canada—to learn one of our official languages, find jobs, become integrated into communities.

Did you know that government and privately sponsored refugees who come to Canada have to pay back the money the government spends to help them travel to Canada?

Having to repay these “travel loans” can make it difficult for newly resettled refugees to afford necessities and push refugees to find jobs before they’ve completed their language training. The government knows this—which is why it just stopped charging interest on the loans.

But for just 40 cents per Canadian, we could stop asking refugees to repay these loans entirely.

World Renew - in partnership with the Christian Reformed Centre for Public DialogueCitizens for Public Justice, and Mennonite Central Committee - encourages you to take action!

  • Click here to take action by sending an e-mail to your local MP through the Centre for Public Dialogue’s Action Centre

  • Click here to take action by downloading and circulating a petition in your church and your community

  • Click here for a backgrounder that provides more information about the travel loan petition

  • Click here to read, “Help Refugees Flourish in their new homes,” an article on the CRCNA’s Do Justice blog which gives more context about the impact that travel loans have on sponsored refugees
     

Journey With Me Workshop

When we think of refugees we often hear of the Biblical call to ‘welcome the stranger.’ And welcoming the stranger is a good first step. But in this increasingly interconnected world, these strangers are our neighbours and we need each other. When one part of a community struggles, the entire community is incomplete. Our hope is that the Journey With Me workshop will help Christian citizens to work with their refugee neighbours for justice.

Our partner in Canada for refugee advocacy is:

U.S. ACTION ALERT AND WORKSHOP RESOURCES

Learn

For over a half a century the Christian Reformed Church has worked with and ministered among refugees.

Read stories of CRC congregations and members welcoming, helping to resettle, and being blessed by refugees in our Welcoming Refugees project here.

We remember that just like the child Jesus and his parents, millions of men, women and children around the world must flee because of violence, racial tension, religious bigotry and natural disasters. And we remember that God has much to say about welcoming in the stranger.

With this understanding, we engage in the hands-on work of resettling and befriending refugees in Canada and United States, but we also know that we must speak up on behalf of refugees to work for just policies.

Church Between Borders Workshop

Church Between Borders is a three part interactive workshop that sparks thought and discussion for groups interested in engaging immigration from a Biblical perspective. Participants will reflect on the Biblical mandate to welcome the stranger and consider what that means in our current context. Church Between Borders has been done in various settings throughout the country: adult-education classes in congregations, youth groups, schools, colleges, community organizations, and more. 

And don't forget to...

Our partner in the U.S. for refugee advocacy is:

PRAY

If you’re struggling to know what to say, and how to say it, when addressing the plight of refugees during Sunday worship, or in personal prayer, consider using this prayer:
 

O God, our help in ages past,
it was you who led the Israelites through the wilderness,
a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day.
We pray that you will guide the vulnerable and desperate migrants
who today search out new hope and new life.
As they search for a way out,
as they board ships and trucks and cross fences,
as they carry children and walk for miles,
protect them, Lord.

Our hope for years to come,
you created all people to flourish
to live in safety, to find meaning, to experience love, to seek after you.
We pray for those who have lost hope, safety, love, and faith.
We pray for parents whose children have been lost or have died.
We pray for children who are going without food, water, and safety.
We pray for communities abandoned and for communities overwhelmed.
Oh God, bring miraculous and life-giving hope.

Our shelter from the stormy blast,
you are the one who brings peace.
You are our mother hen, protecting us under your wings.
We pray for an end to the tyranny of ISIS and to the violence in Syria.
Protect those who haven’t yet found a way to leave.
We pray for the hearts of those who are intent to kill.
We pray for the eyes of the world to turn toward this war.
Give wisdom to the leaders who must choose how to facilitate peace.

Our eternal home,
in you we find life and providence,
for this life and for the next.
For those who have lost everything, we pray you will rebuild their lives.
For those desperate for a new home, open the doors to safer places.
For those longing for the basic necessities of life, restore their material goods.
For those whose communities and families have been ripped apart, strengthen new bonds of friendship.
And for the church, near and far, which worships in safety today -- inspire us to welcome the stranger.
Help us to discern how to reach out to refugees in acts of mercy and how to help them seek justice for long-term hope.

Amen.