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British Columbia Churches Help Refugees


Two Christian Reformed churches in British Columbia have found ways to bring aid and comfort to people who find themselves far from their homelands, whether they are in B.C., or in refugee camps on the other side of the globe.

A team of 12 members of Nelson Avenue Community CRC in Burnaby recently raised nearly $3,500 for a local Christian charity called Journey Home in the North America-wide Ride for Refuge.

“Riding with a team is a great way to build community, enjoy nature, get some exercise, and raise funds for a worthy cause,” said team member Grace Kuipery.

Journey Home supports refugee families with transitional housing and resettlement assistance, as well as the relational support they need, to adjust to their new home. Andy Braacx of Nelson Avenue explained that the church’s deacons have been working with Journey Home and coming alongside refugee claimants for the last two years as part of their focus on social justice.

In Langley, the children of Willoughby CRC have been collecting funds for several months to purchase school supplies for children in refugee camps.

“It usually takes about three months of children’s church offerings to buy all the supplies,” explained Liz Tolkamp, Willoughby’s children’s pastor. About 40 kits were assembled by the children; another 30 were donated by other church members.

The kits are distributed all around the world through a program of the Mennonite Central Committee, going to places like Jordan and Syria as well as Haiti and Honduras. School kits, which include notebooks, pencils, and colored pencils, are meant to help bring normalcy to children experiencing disaster or oppression in their lives.

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