From Crisis to Compassion: Adventist Churches Help Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Posted: July 20th, 2023
For the past few weeks, a crisis has been unfolding in the Greater Toronto Area. Refugees and asylum seekers have found themselves without shelter, forced to sleep on the streets while governments figure out funding solutions for housing. Churches in the Ontario Conference, recognizing the urgent need for assistance, stepped in to take action.
When Pastor Andrew King, director of Compassion Ministries at the Conference, received a call for assistance through his community contacts, he mobilized networks, reaching out to local churches for support. Several Adventist churches, such as Kendalwood, New Beginning Company, and Toronto East, along with numerous volunteers, came forward to provide much-needed assistance, offering food and clothing to those in need.
Supplies were delivered to Revivaltime Tabernacle ministry in North York, Toronto. The Seventh-day Adventist Church partnered with them as they have been on the front lines housing about 200 refugees. The support not only met immediate needs but also sent a message of compassion and love to those experiencing difficult times.
Jakov Bibulović, President of the Ontario Conference, recognized how Adventist churches throughout the GTA answered the call of God to help those in need. He added, "We should be reminded that, in a sense, we are all refugees as this world is not our home. So we need to take every opportunity to show the love of Jesus as he has shown us and bring hope and wholeness to our fellow human beings.”
As Canada's planned immigration numbers are set to increase, there may be more challenging times ahead. By 2025, the country is expected to welcome 500,000 immigrants annually1, which means more people might find themselves seeking shelter and support. However, the Ontario Conference remains unwavering in its commitment to lend a helping hand to those in need.
Pastor Andrew King emphasized that the current assistance provided is just the beginning. He has already reached out to ADRA Canada (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) to develop strategies not only to help the refugees presently but also to be more proactive and prepared to aid future groups in need.
If your church is interested in assisting, feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.