Join the conversation! Learn more about refugees and the difference we can make in their lives today.

people talkingThere is room for every one of our AGC churches to be involved to some degree in both local Compassion ministries and working in some capacity either locally or globally to bring hope to refugees.

Figures at a Glance:

79.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes.
26 million have been granted refugee status
4.2 million asylum seekers
3.6 million Venezuelans displaced abroad
2 million new claims for refugee status in 2019
40% of the world's displaced people are children
107,800 refugees were resettled in a new country in 2019

Over and over in our scriptures we see God's heart for the victim, for the marginalized, for the oppressed. God's people have always been His solution to the suffering of the world's vulnerable. In fact, as recipients of grace, it is through the pursuit of justice that we find our way to deep intimacy with a God who loves us and calls us into His work not only for the good of others, but for our own good as well. The work of justice therefore is as much about discipleship as it is about mission.1

So, how can your church get involved? The options below are generally listed from simplest to more complex possibilities. Read through the sliders, then email to let me know which one(s) will be best for your congregation today.

Together, we can make a real difference in the world!

{slider title="Become Informed / Inform Others" open="false"}

Make information available to your people via brochures, bulletin inserts, PowerPoint slides, church website, mailings, etc. to update and educate about the situation and articulate ways God's people can get involved.


{slider title="Pray Generally" open="false"}

Pray regularly, publicly, and generally for refugees, asylum seekers and those who have been forcibly displaced.


{slider title="Pray Specifically" open="false"}

Pray regularly, publicly, and specifically for a named refugee family. This could be one family, or it could be a different family every week. Contact us for names and stories of families who would covet your prayers.


{slider title="Volunteer with the AGC!" open="false"}

Your AGC Compassion and Justice office is looking for a team of people working remotely to create videos, PowerPoint and paper resources, answer emails, review monitoring reports, post to social media, translate a "refugee" language, and much more. If you have time, a heart for the vulnerable, or some tech or language skills, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. your AGC Compassion and Justice office today to see how you can help.


{slider title="Compassion and Justice Liaison" open="false"}

Identify someone within the congregation to become a “Compassion and Justice Liaison.” This person would work with me to give updates and provide information to their church.


{slider title="Raise Money" open="false"}

Raise money to help another AGC church sponsor a refugee family.


{slider title="Connect With a Refugee Family" open="false"}

Connect with a vetted refugee family via Facebook Messenger or email for mutual encouragement, prayer and moral support. Personally, I do this regularly with several refugee families and it is both humbling and a blessing.


{slider title="Connect With and Support a Refugee Family" open="false"}

Connect with a vetted refugee family and provide monthly financial support – not church financial support, but rather individuals within the church personally sharing with a family overseas. Refugees are not allowed to work in their country of asylum and so any work they can get is tenuous at best. By providing a vetted refugee family some of the funds they need to survive each month, we are giving directly where the money is needed, allowing them to buy food, provide housing, or pay for medical bills. 


{slider title="Help Someone in Your Community to Sponsor" open="false"}

I regularly receive requests from Canadians or non-AGC churches who want to bring a refugee family to their community. If that happens to be your community as well, then a co-sponsorship could begin. Sometimes these individuals or churches can provide all the finances and a team of people. All they need is a Sponsorship Agreement Holder to apply through. That means that all I need is an AGC church to sign the paperwork as “sponsor” making a way for the AGC to work with someone in your community to sponsor their loved one. In this arrangement, no money or people are needed from the AGC church.


If your church is able to put together a team of at least 5 people who can help a refugee family resettle in your community, but raising the full financial support required is prohibitive, there are 4 options available for your church to sponsor a refugee family:

{slider title="Become a JAS Sponsor" open="false"}

If your church is in a major city, you may have the opportunity to connect with a recently arrived newcomer family that needs extra support to settle in. To help “the most vulnerable,” the government will sometimes open the way for a family to resettle in Canada as a Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS). Special needs may include:

  • trauma from violence or torture,
  • medical disabilities,
  • the effects of systemic discrimination, or
  • a large number of family members.

These sponsorships require a 24- or 36-month commitment from sponsors, but no money. Refugees are identified by the government or UNHCR, and all settlement costs are covered by the government. A sponsor team of not less than 5 individuals from a church would befriend and walk alongside the family to help them adjust to life in Canada while providing emotional support.

{slider title="Collaborate with Another Organization" open="false"}

I regularly receive requests from American churches that can raise the money to sponsor a refugee family they know, but with no means to bring the family to North America they are stuck. The Private Sponsorship of Refugees program does not exist in the USA. In this situation, the refugee family is usually identified by the American church because they have somehow connected to a specific family they want to help. This is a great way to collaborate with our non-Canadian brothers and sisters in Christ.

Similarly, there are Canadian organizations that want to help a family who has been forced to flee their home come to Canada, for example Refugees 4 Refugees or Ads-Up. These organizations sometimes have all or some of the financial requirements, but they need a team of people to help with settlement responsibilities.

{slider title="Co-Sponsor a Refugee with Someone in Your Community" open="false"}

I also regularly receive requests from Canadians who want to bring a refugee family member to their community but they need the assistance of a local church to help with both financial and non-financial settlement support. If that happens to be your community, then a co-sponsorship could begin in which the AGC church shares some or all of the financial and non-financial settlement support. 

{slider title="BVOR Sponsorship" open="false"}

The Blended Visa Officer Referral program is a collaboration between the government of Canada and sponsors. A team of not less than 5 individuals at a church would provide 12 months of non-financial settlement support, all start-up costs, and 6 months of financial help to a family that has been identified and pre-approved by IRCC. The government provides the other 6 months of financial help thereby significantly reducing the funds needed to be raised.

These refugees are identified by the Canadian government, so sponsors choose the family composition they would like from a list of pre-approved, travel ready individuals/families.


If your church is able to put together a team of at least 5 people who can help a refugee family resettle in your community and raise the full financial support required for an individual or a family, then your church is in a position to sponsor a single refugee or a refugee family.

{slider title="Sponsor a Refugee or a Refugee Family" open="false"}

You will find all the responsibilities and obligations described on this website under the "Refugee Sponsorship" tab. In this scenario, you identify a specific family. We have many names on file now and would be happy to recommend a family to you. The cost of the sponsorship depends on the province you live in and the composition of the family . Generally speaking, there will be two years or more between application and arrival.


1 from The Just Church, by Jim Martin (c) 2012 Tyndale House Publishers


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