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  Bishop Charlie writes about the Syrian refugee crisis ... pdf version

18 September 2015

Dear friends,
The world’s attention has been drawn to the plight of Syrian refugees. Now you can help and have your gift matched by the Canadian government.

The Anglican Relief and Development Fund Canada has launched an appeal specifically for Syrian refugees. Funds will be sent go to reputable aid agencies working in Europe and the Middle East to support Syrian refugees. You can learn more on the ARDFC website. Gifts given through the ARDFC Syrian refugee fund will be matched by the Canadian government. You can learn give to ARDFC online, if you choose, or through your church.

My request
I am asking ANiC churches to set aside September 27 as a day of special prayer for refugees and to take up a collection for the ARDFC Syrian refugee appeal.

While we are particularly focused on refugees from Syria, we also want to remember in prayer the tens of millions refugees – often Christians or people from other minority religions – who have had to flee their homes in other countries including Eretria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Central African Republic, the Congo, Myanmar, Columbia and elsewhere. We are told there are nearly 60-million forcibly displaced people around the world.

Refugee sponsorship
ANiC is also working on providing resources for churches interested in sponsoring (or co-sponsoring) a refugee family. The Rev Rich Roberts (a deacon at Church of the Ascension, Langley, BC) has kindly agreed to coordinate and provide advice to ANiC churches interested in sponsorship. Rich returns at the end of September from Uganda where he is currently working. So watch for more information on this option in the weeks ahead.

Heavenly Father, we bring before you today the many refugees in various parts of the world. We know that you care for those who are fleeing persecution and war, who are homeless, orphaned and destitute. We are asking you to be their defender and help in their time of need. Walk with them in their suffering and loss, and give them strength to face the days ahead. Protect those who undertake risky journeys by water and land and through areas frequented by terrorists, thieves and human traffickers. We pray for governments to act with wisdom and compassion and for officials to provide care for these who cannot care for themselves. And we pray for ourselves; turn our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh which extend your generous mercy and grace to all those who are in desperate need. We pray this in the strong name Jesus our Saviour and Lord.

Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. Deut 10: 19

A fellow pilgrim and sojourner with you awaiting our heavenly home,

+ Charlie

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