A committed group of 16 members has been meeting regularly since October, 2015. Duncan Garrow, a member of the group, summed up the journey in an article he wrote for the Lent 2016 issue of Redeemer's newsletter, The Gathering.
This new ministry area was officially launched at the annual vestry meeting on Monday, February 8, 2016. As a background to the motion that was to be proposed, the parish was updated on the exciting news that approximately $120,000 has already been received in cash and pledges. Given that the guideline for supporting one family for a year is $40,000, we do have enough support to settle more than one family. We have decided, however, to start with one in order to fine-tune our processes before making a decision about next steps.
At the annual vestry meeting on February 8, 2016, it was moved and seconded that vestry authorize the Refugee Settlement Committee, as recommended by and with the support of the Board of Management and Advisory Board to:
The motion was approved.
As our ministry continues, look for updates on this page, in Sunday bulletins, in eNews, on Facebook and in The Gathering.
Update September 24, 2016
We are happy to report that Ibrahim, our sponsored refugee from Gambia, is doing well and is thrilled to be starting up school again. We are very excited to announce that Redeemer will be sponsoring a second refugee profile! We have agreed to sponsor a family of six Karen people from Myanmar (Burma). The Karen are an ethnic minority that is brutally persecuted by the military of Myanmar. We are gearing up for their arrival sometime this November and we need your help. As a church, Redeemer been extremely generous with pledges of financial support; now's the time to make good on those pledges. Please stay tuned for other ways to pitch in as the arrival day approaches. Thanks again for your support!
Update June 22, 2016
As June 20 marked World Refugee Day, the Refugee Settlement Team felt it was a fitting time to provide an update on the first refugee, Ibrahim and to thank all who had joined them on the journey of welcoming refugees from around the world. The text of their letter is here.
Update - May 3, 2016
Spring is in the air, and what could be a better way to celebrate the budding flowers than by announcing that our first guest with our Refugee Settlement Ministry will be arriving Friday, May 6 at Pearson Airport. His Name is Ibrahim, he is 19 years old and comes to us from The Gambia in West Africa. When he arrives, there will be much to learn and adjust to, both for him and for us. But, through it all, he will know that he is being supported by an entire community. Your generous financial donations, offerings of furniture, clothing, and assistance getting adjusted, as well as your many prayers and good wishes, have made all the difference in the world. We are off to a great start with this new ministry, and we are very excited, and admittedly a little bit nervous, about the weeks and months to come. We could not have come this far without your help, and we will certainly need it going forward, but together we can move mountains. So welcome back Spring, and welcome to your new home Ibrahim.
Update - March 8, 2016
Such a long journey. Those words can apply to refugees embarking on a new life and those waiting to receive them with love and support. Our personal journey is now one giant step closer with the announcement that we will be welcoming a young man from The Gambia in West Africa. We expect our match to arrive in Toronto sometime in mid April. We will keep you posted on how you can support the Refugee Settlement Committee as the arrival day approaches.
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