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evening and modular
apartment for them, and just
spending time with them, becoming friends.
Some families are easier than
others. A year ago the small refugee
committee I belong to decided we
were ready to bring another family
to Canada. We chose a young husband and wife, along with their
three-year-old daughter, living in
Kuala Lumpur. The parents were of
two different persecuted minorities
in Burma, met in Malaysia, and
were screened by a Canadian visa
We submitted our undertaking to
sponsor in November, and the
family arrived in the middle of
December – just in time for Christ-
mas. They spoke next to no English
then, but today they are thriving.
The little one loves junior kinder-
garten, the parents are becoming
quite good at English, and are more
independent each week. They are a
joy to be with. (Not all families are
as easy as this, and understandably
so. They have fled war and persecu-
tion, have sometimes been tortured
and have serious medical and
Apart from the satisfaction of
knowing you have helped save a
family, the relationships and friendships you make can last a lifetime.
I’m still very close to a Congolese
widow who came with five children
11 years ago. I can’t imagine my life
There are many more detailed
resources available. Check the EFC
website (above) for several faith-based guides to sponsorship. /FT
Debra Fieguth is a senior writer for Faith
Today, and refugee co-ordinator for the
Anglican Diocese of Ontario.
now, I have been involved in cases
where the wait was up to five years.
Determine how large a
family you can handle.
If you are just starting out, you
might want to begin this work
with a smaller family.
A lot of people worry about the
money, but that is often one of the
easier pieces of sponsorship (along
with gathering clothing and furniture). People are moved – they
want to help and so they give.
The real work begins once the
family has landed. Your responsibilities range from welcoming them at
the airport to getting them into
English classes, registering the
children in school, finding a doctor,
taking them shopping, showing
them the community, setting up an
A lot of people
but that is
often one of
… The real