‘A Little Bit of Heaven’

‘A Little Bit of Heaven’
World Renew has helped many churches to sponsor refugees for resettlement to Canada and help them adjust to life in a new context.

World Renew, whose ministry is to “relieve the suffering of the needy of the world,” has continued its tradition of offering refugee families help, hope, and a homeland in partnership with the Canadian government and Christian Reformed churches.

One congregation joining World Renew’s mission and welcoming at-risk families to Canada is Hope CRC in Port Perry, Ont.

Three years ago, church members here helped four Syrian refugee families integrate successfully into life in Canada.

As they built relationships with each other, the sponsoring families from Hope CRC were touched by the immigrating families’ longing to get their relatives out of harm’s way and resettled in Canada. One woman, Sara, had not seen her younger brother, Abdula, in more than a decade after they were separated in a refugee camp in Lebanon.

While they were apart, Abdula had grown up, married, and had a son named Hamid, who is now a 3-year-old. When Hope CRC members learned about Sara’s desire to reunite with her brother, they agreed with little hesitation to apply for sponsorship through World Renew for Abdula, his wife, Miriam, and Hamid.

“I wish everyone could have been at the airport to witness the joy on Sara’s face when she fell into her brother’s arms—the tears and laughter mingled with hugs and kisses,” one team member said. “Then our team, church members, and the reunited families shared a joyous meal together. It was a little bit of heaven.”

Over time, Abdula and his family are integrating into life in Canada, and having Sara’s family in the community already makes their adjustment easier. The Hope CRC team said World Renew walked alongside them, offering help and support through the application process.

“This sponsorship has been and continues to be an enriching and rewarding experience for everyone involved,” one volunteer said. “It’s a blessing to bring salt and light to newcomers, especially in uncertain times.”

About the Author

Beth DeGraff is the U.S. media and justice contact with the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee. CRWRC works in 30 of the world’s poorest countries with small-scale farmers and rural communities affected by inequities in international trade.
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