Update from the Refugee Sponsorship Committee - May 20, 2021

Mission Accomplished!!

 This report outlines the achievements and successes of sponsoring two claimant refugee families during the past 5 ½ years. We are grateful to our congregation who have responded to every need of our sponsored families with abundant love and generosity.  As a church, this is truly a moment to celebrate God’s goodness and provision; and a job well done!!  This report covers 3 time periods, the past, the present, and the future. 

The Past
September 2015

 In September 2015, God called WVBC to sponsor a refugee family who wished to settle in our community.  While we thought it was a Syrian family of 4 we would be helping God had other plans.

We give all Praise and Glory to God for his love and provision over the years which has enabled us to sponsor 2 families, from two different countries, consisting of 9 individuals. This could not have been achieved without the excellent support of church leadership over the years, we are grateful for the support of the Council, church staff, and Pastor Axel. 

The Refugee Committee has been simply amazing.  We give thanks for their commitment, discernment, encouragement, love, and prayer. 

The Present
Refugees need our help

There are more refugees on planet earth now than at any time in history.  Refugees need our help to escape persecution, harm, and even death.  Claimant Refugees are courageous, determined, and resolute and deserve our admiration. For example, there is a claimant refugee couple who both suffer from polio, who struggle to walk with crutches, who made the journey from Central America to Canada with two toddlers.  It’s hard to imagine how difficult and challenging this journey must have been. 

Refugees typically arrive in Canada with no resources or familiarity with our culture.  They come to make a better life for their children, to live in safety and freedom which we can often take for granted.  Refugees are typically hard-working, self-supporting, and bring added skills to our community.

Our first family is thriving: We have had to protect their identity to keep family members safe.  The father is working and climbing the corporate ladder within TransLink, the mother is determined to learn English and their three girls are flourishing in school.  This family of the Muslim faith arrived in Vancouver with nothing; they have experienced the deep love of Jesus and they are grateful for this love.  This family is incredibly grateful for the support of WVBC.  The father recently volunteered to help us move furniture for our second family and he is assisting them to settle in their new community.  We have built a loving friendship with this family, and we continue to stay connected which is certainly a gift from God.  

We have been incredibly blessed to sponsor a second family and are close friends with Juan, Maria, Luis, and Lucy.  We provided them with initial shelter in Lynn Valley when they had no place to go.  We recently moved them into the New Hope building in Surrey which they absolutely love.  They are enjoying the Christian Community at New Hope, each family member has made new friends, especially Luis and Lucy.  Juan is working in Construction Monday – Friday, and Maria is working weekends in a warehouse where she is learning to drive a forklift!  Luis loves his new school, everyone is healthy and happy.  We quote Maria, “we are so grateful and so happy”! We are blessed to have a wonderful friendship with this family. We give all Praise and Glory to God. 

What we have learned
The Future
Refugees need our help more than ever

It is exciting that West Vancouver Baptist Church is partnering with CBWC; to “privately” sponsor relatives of a member of our Congregation; this process could take a long time. Their family in Canada will be responsible for the settlement and financial needs of this couple, so no fundraising will be required.

As a result of COVID and the closed border, it is anticipated that once borders open more refugee claimants will seek asylum in Canada.  This is truly the definition of “essential travel”.

We pray that West Vancouver Baptist Church will continue to support Refugee Claimants in the future.

  • that someone in our church community will hear God calling to lead a Refugee Committee in the future.
  • All our refugee goals have been exceeded, all Praise to God.  There is a SURPLUS of funds in the Refugee Sponsorship Fund of approximately $4,200 that the Council will deal with.
  • Journey Home has been an indispensable Christian partner in our journey.  Their love of God and refugees is truly inspiring; we are grateful for their partnership.