Refugee Program


To view the links at the end of this document, click here

We would like to inform you of an exciting undertaking at Maranatha CRC. About two years ago, a Refugee Committee was formed in Maranatha, in order to sponsor Christian families from around the world. Why? In response to a great and urgent need and in obedience to Jesus. Of all the solutions to war and persecution that are pursued by nations, governments and peoples prayed for by individuals, refugee sponsorship is one that the Maranatha congregation has decided to act out.

Jeremiah 22:3 This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed.

Around the world, there are many groups of people who have been forced to leave their country. These people for many different reasons, but most prominently for reasons of war and persecution, have fled their land and their homes, carrying with them very little or nothing at all. These people are Refugees. Canada is the only country that allows sponsorship capabilities by private organizations. Maranatha CRC, through church organizations, has been granted a sponsorship agreement.

The Refugee Committee has been reviewing many refugee claimants from parts of Africa, Myanmar (Burma) and Columbia. Common threads to the stories are persecution, deaths/disappearances of family members, flight across country sides, rape, torture and murder. There is continued pursuit and threats of further violence. Some are persecuted for their faith, some for protesting injustice, some for family relationships, some for false accusations and some for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, caught between warring factions. Many stories have several of these elements and others, but all refugees live in a non-permanent situation, are under threat, and live in fear.

In September 2007, Maranatha welcomed Thaw Say and her family into Canada. The family has been forced from their home in Burma and come to us from their temporary life in a refugee camp in Thailand. We rejoice with her that they have arrived safely, that they are learning to benefit for the blessings we have in Canada, and that the health of her son Yaw Eh Doh is improving under the care of Edmonton doctors. Yaw Eh Doh has a blood condition and requires regular transfusions - in Edmonton he is able to live and pray and grow up strong. The committee has also prepared an application for sponsorship of a family from Sudan that is living under threat and without citizenship in Syria. Please join us in praying for their safety as they wait possibly for another 2 years, and that they receive a fair and positive interview.

In sponsoring a refugee family, the members of the church commit to provide full support to the family for one year. During that year, language barriers may have to be overcome, social support to access necessary services will be given, and monetary support will be provide. The church members work in many different ways to welcome the family: access to education, work, healthcare, leisure and miscellaneous services, English language training, becoming a part of the community and church group. The church also provides food, housing and other expenses for living, until the family is self-supporting (up to a year). It is for this considerable financial challenge that the Refugee Committee is canvassing the congregation and their acquaintances for financial support. In order for the congregation to move forward with this mission to sponsor refugees, it is crucial that the financial support is there.

In managing the already undertaken sponsorships, and in planning for future sponsorships, the committee is very happy to have the excited support of our congregation, who have come forward to help with the many preparations. We are also grateful for the invaluable support being offered by those of the Karen community who are now a part of our church community. With the encouraging response to the need for service and hands-on help from the congregation and from the Karen people, the committee sees the opportunity to boldly extend the church's involvement in Refugee Sponsorship through increased financial aid. We are confident of strong financial support from our congregation, but seek opportunities to increase our fund in order that there may be little limitation to what we, by God's will and blessing, can do for refugees from places like Burma in Asia, many countries in Africa and Colombia in South America.

We, the members of Maranatha, are requesting of our Christian friends that they add to the support of refugee sponsorship in Maranatha through prayer, encouragement and gifts. Right now, our congregation is fully engaged in this ministry both financially and through service. We challenge you to further increase the financial support of the ministry. We in response are eager to increase in equal measure our service commitment - all so that more families may be sponsored.

Your gift of $100, $2,000 or any amount that fits in your giving budget and expresses your Christian generosity will help extend sponsorship to more refugees. You probably do not need to be reminded that charitable donations now come back in your tax return at 50% - the government basically matches your gift. Yes, we will provide receipts for income tax purposes.

Thank-you very much for your prayers and for your interest in what we are up to in Maranatha. If you have any questions, we look forward to talking more with you about refugee sponsorship - or maybe you would consider joining us in worship for a morning service (10:30am) to really see what's going on?

Ezekiel 34:27-28 They will know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them. 28 They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid.

Please click on the appropriate links for viewing the documents listed below.

Refugee Newsletter

Letter to my Christian Friends

Letter to Friends and Acquaintances

Pledge Forms

We encourage you to look into the wealth of information on the internet through Google, videos through youtube on conflict and refugee issues in these countries and others.

Here are some interesting links for you to view:


Partnersworld is a charitable organization of Christians that concentrate on bringing support and relief to the refugees and internally displaced people of Burma (Myanmar). Please click on the following link to the Partnersworld website for information on the Karen people, their history and current situation. This website is also a great resource for other facts of the human rights crisis in Burma in general.

Refugee Sponsorship [WorldRenew.net]

Guide to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program [CIC.gc.ca]

Immigration [CatholicSocialServices.ab.ca]

Refugees International [RefugeesInternational.org]

The UN Refugee Agency [UNHCR.org]


Free Burma Rangers [FreeBurmaRangers.org]

Karens of Burma [CBC.ca]


Trek to Misery by 12,000 Pawns in Sudan War [NYTimes.com]