As you know, we have been anxiously waiting for the arrival of the two Syrian refugee families we are sponsoring. Here’s the latest update:
News About Both Families
The good news is that all of the paperwork for the family of 9, currently in Jordan, is complete, including background checks and medical exams. The next step is for one last Canadian immigration officer to sign off on the file. This should happen within the next four weeks (“inshallah," as they say). If approval is given, the family moves on to the next step, which is for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to arrange for exit visas and transportation to Canada.
We recently spoke with the family via Internet. They are trying their best to keep their spirits up. The children showed us a beautiful plaque they have made for the church, which they are anxious to deliver. The whole family sends their deepest gratitude to everyone for all we are doing.
The family of four in Beirut has had its medical exams and is waiting for the background check process to be complete. We are hopeful that this will be done soon. The family also sends its gratitude and have been in constant contact over the summer, learning what they can about their potential future in Quebec. Both families are keeping up with church news via Facebook and our website. It’s quite touching how much they know about us already.
We don’t foresee any problems for either family (again, inshallah!), except for the time it takes to get through the queue. Representatives in the government here tell us that they are confident that we will see both families by December. We’ve been told that the plan is to bring in 17,800 Syrian refugees to be settled by the end of 2016. They have tripled the number of applications they are accepting and have 65 specialists working in Amman, Beirut and Ankara.
Donations and Gifts-in-Kind - No More Furniture Needed
Thank you to all who have made financial donations as well as gifts of furniture and housewares. We now have plenty of goods in storage, enough to get the families started. We are no longer taking donations of furniture. If we find that more is needed, we’ll let you know. Thank you again for your generosity. Of course, financial gifts to the UCM Refugee Fund through Canada Helps / CanadaDon (en français) continue to be welcome.
Thank you for your patience, your involvement, your gifts and your continued commitment to both these families. I have great faith that we will meet them someday soon.
Rev. Diane Rollert