A “Sponsorship Shower” for a Refugee Family

An invitation to the "sponsorship shower" at North Bramalea United Church.

An invitation to a “sponsorship shower” at North Bramalea United Church.

The refugee sponsorship team of  North Bramalea United Church (NBUC) in Brampton, ON knew they wanted to sponsor a Syrian refugee family, but hadn’t anticipated a family of seven!

In January 2016, The United Church of Canada’s Refugee Program asked NBUC to consider sponsoring a particular family. The family has relatives living in Brampton, and specifically requested resettlement there. The family includes a mother, father, and five children ranging in age from 2 to 16. Both parents have backgrounds in the health care field.

Gifts from NBUC's Sponsorship Shower.

Gifts donated at NBUC’s sponsorship shower.

The team shared a flurry of e-mails discerning if they would be able to support a family of a larger size than they had originally anticipated. As you may have guessed… NBUC said “YES!” to this family. “We know in our hearts that we’ll find a way to make things work,” said Marina MacPherson of NBUC’s refugee sponsorship team.

The fabric panels will become a quilt to welcome the family

The fabric panels will become a quilt to welcome the family.

Their application to sponsor has been approved by the United Church of Canada and the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program. They’re now waiting for approval from the Government of Canada.

In the interim, the sponsorship team is busy preparing a new home for the family. Through a network of NBUC friends and neighbours they have been able to find a three-bedroom rental property within walking distance of the church. Folks have been at work cleaning, repairing, painting, and coordinating generous donations of furniture and household goods.

Most excitingly, the NBUC sponsorship team hosted a “Sponsorship Shower” on February 6 at the church. It was a wonderful way to stock the household with the everyday things a family needs–towels, dishcloths, laundry detergent, colanders, flashlights, the list goes on and on!

Marina adds, “While there are still many hurdles to cross before the family arrives, I think we can safely say that we’re incredibly amazed by how God can move mountains, and hearts, and people!”

Are you or your congregation looking into sponsoring a refugee? See the United Church’s Guidelines and Processes for Refugee Sponsorship.

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