I have been presenting a seminar on "how to sponsor a refugee family--a step by step guide". Due to demand, I have compressed it into a 17 minute video. Usually when I make this presentation I take questions, go off on rabbit trails, adapt to the audience, and usually take 60-75 minutes to present the material.
Take a look at the video, feel free to share it with friends. I hope it helps. If you want to contact me personally, shoot me an email and we can get in touch.
My email is Jamey@newhopecs.org
Some of us remember the name Evel Knievel. He was a "stunt man" who became famous for his efforts. His major ability was to ride a motorcycle very fast and then propel himself off a ramp launching he and his motor cycle a great distance through the air (hopefully) landing safely on the other side. Between 1965 and 1980 he performed 100's of these stunts. Some of the jumps were "little", he just jumped over a car on his Harley. Other's were more intricate--some asked him to cross rows of cars, dozens of people lined up beneath him, natural barriers (like a creek or river), and eventually even the "Grand Canyon". (It was an attempt to cross the Grand Canyon but it was in a narrow spot, not at the middle).
Not all his jumps were successful. Let's give him credit--most were, but not all. His score card reads things like--"broken ankle", "knocked unconscious", "compression fracture in back", "concussion", "29 day stay in hospital". But he was trying. He was never trying to fail. But, there were times when even Evel Knievel bit off more than he could chew.
I don't mean to understate the present reality of Refugees into Canada, and I don't want to undersupport our Prime Minister's efforts in helping a very needy situation, but I wonder if we are trying to do more in bringing Refugees into Canada than we really CAN do? We have a stated objective of 25,000 into Canada this year. We need to be clearing 500 people a day for entry. It's mathematically possible, but is it realistically do-able?
The logistics of gaining proper credentialling for refugees is gargantuan. On the ground immigration workers are doubling up their efforts, Canadians here are pressing themselves to do more, the system is heating up trying to absorb the energy. But I really do wonder, can we even logistically do the paper work? And beyond that, can we absorb the infusion of newcomers into our midst? Is the infrastructure in place? Does the Canadian society have 25000 extra spaces to be filled, quickly? I know Canadians are kind hearted, but you can't squeeze a size 11 foot into a size 8 shoe and say "there, that looks good". It doesn't look good, and it doesn't feel good.
And on an even deeper level, do we have the emotional reservoirs to absorb this? I know we shouldn't let our emotions dictate our behaviours. One historic Prime Minister (whose son became Prime Minister) used to say "reason above passion" and he had a point, let's not get too dramatic, let's think this through. The emotions of Canada have always had a twitch. We worry about security and stability, and public confidence. The events of Paris last week leave us heightened in our worries. And for good reason. Things can happen. We do our best to avoid these things but haste can lead to overlooking key things.
I say all this to say--Mr. Prime Minister, don't be an Evel Knievel for sake of pulling off something you said you could do. I know you want us to be compassionate and resilient. But we don't like crash endings. We love the thrill of accomplishment but not at the expense of limb or life.
So, could we slow down the process? Let's still keep the goal but could we look at the length of the jump? Could we break it up into stages and get it all done, eventually? I think most Canadians would love to land safely rather than crash and burn.
One man's opinion.
...as much as it lies within you, live at peace with all" Romans 12:18
From: Jamey McDonald, New Hope Community Services Society Exec Director
To: Pastors, supporters, friends, new friends who might want to help in the Refugee Crisis
Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Re: housing for incoming refugees
According to my sources the Prime Minister was to have made an announcement today about bringing 25,000 refugees to Canada before year end. I was wrong, he made the announcement yesterday. Though it’s hard to believe that it is logistically possible, there is going to be good effort to bring this many to Canada. Sources suggest that the Lower Mainland will be asked to absorb 5,000 people. Wow, that’s a lot to be absorbed quickly.
New Hope is committed to providing housing but our facility will only be ready in January. Even if things went well we could accommodate perhaps 3 to 4 dozen at a time—a drop in the bucket.
Here is my ask—do you or do people you know, have rooms/suites/rental accommodations that might be available for sake of housing? Would you be interested in this journey? Contact me if you do: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are presently recruiting churches and volunteers to serve as guides in the resettlement process. Would you like to take some training? We will provide it and provide ongoing support to church groups, individual groups, and community groups. It’s what we do. We will come to you to provide it if that would be helpful, though we will be doing regular training sessions in Surrey.
Operating costs are huge. If you wish to make a donation to our ministry, please visit us at www.newhopecs.org. There is a donate button there.
A huge ask. We are purchasing a building designed to hold up to a dozen families. Right now we are aggressively fund raising. We are several hundred thousand short between our funds and the asking price. Would you or others in your network be willing to donate in a very generous way? If you wish to invest with a larger gift and do it through social investing, we would be willing to look at securing your investment as part of the long term appreciation of the property we will own. Contact me if you are interested. You will invest the gift with us and participate in the appreciation when the property is sold in the next 15 years. It is a long term investment, but it is in real estate and helps people right now while you realize your gain later.
Since we started in 2004, over 350 refugees have been settled into Canada. The vast majority are living productive, Christian lives following Jesus in a real way. We thought we could just sustain the pace of 35-40 individuals per year over the next while. It looks like we were wrong again. We need to pick up the pace.
Thank you so much
New Hope Community Services
Would you like to download this letter as a PDF? If so, click here
The changeover of our Canadian government from the Stephen Harper led Conservative Party of Canada to the Justin Trudeau led Liberal Party of Canada affects the refugee question. Mr. Trudeau campaigned on doing more than Mr. Harper and I have no doubt he will.
Expect a dramatic announcement at a news conference scheduled for this Tuesday, November 10. At that time he will let us know exactly how the refugee landscape into Canada will change, and by how much.
Present news says we will see 5,000 Syrians into Canada by the end of the year. This will challenge us, but I think will be doable. I estimate that the Lower Mainland of British Columbia will be asked to absorb up to 1500 of that number.
We at New Hope are working diligently to establish a multi door facility in Surrey. We had targeted a January 1 opening date and it's becoming increasingly difficult to meet that date, but let's keep pressing forward.
We are in the process of assembling staff and volunteers as we re-launch our full ministry in 2016. After a year of "being dark", it feels good to be back into the market place offering homes for those that are most needy. If we do our job well, people come to us and in due time, with love and care and attention, they move from paralysis to productivity.
On August 1 I took up the challenge of providing leadership to the New Hope Community Services Society. The board invited me to serve as their Executive Director as they carry out the mission to provide safe, secure housing to refugees arriving into the Lower Mainland. I won't lie to you--3 months into the new job and I have mixed emotions.
If you or someone you know would be interested in volunteering with New Hope, check out our Take Action page, call us at 778-394-1191, or email us at
New Hope Community Services Society
13478 Hilton Road
Surrey, BC V3R 5J4