As Canadians, we have had the privilege as citizens and permanent residents since 1979 to sponsor refugees, to make a way for those who have been forced from their homes to start a new life in Canada.
Refugee sponsorship is a time, financial and relational investment in which sponsors work together as a team to help displaced persons resettle into a local Canadian community. Listening to the stories of those who have sponsored a family in the past confirms the fact that the blessing of sponsorship goes both ways. Lives are expanded, communities are enriched, the perspective of Canadians is broadened as we engage with a new culture, language and history while making new friends.
As people who love Jesus, we are compelled to welcome strangers, to feed the hungry, to loose the cords of injustice, to clothe the naked, and provide the poor wanderer with shelter (Isaiah 58). God has made clear that He is above all a compassionate God (Deut 4:31) showing compassion and mercy to His children every day. In Proverbs, Solomon reminds God's people that "It's criminal to ignore a neighbor in need, but compassion for the poor - what a blessing!"
To be alive in these days, to be God's people in these days, we have an opportunity to display His splendor as we make personal sacrifices of time or money to make a way for those who have lost so much to simply live in freedom and peace - to be able to work, go to school, to have friends, to visit family - everyday activities that we take for granted, simply because we are Canadians.
These are significant days to be alive. Let's make the most of the opportunities at hand. Our churches will be healthier, our faith will be stronger, and we will see God at work among us as we follow Him in the pursuit of justice for those who have been forced to leave everything behind.
This is what the LORD says:
"Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.
- Jeremiah 9:23-24