Charlie Lake Community Church looks into ways to sponsor refugees

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While many are debating what Canada’s appropriate course of action is regarding thousands of refugees fleeing danger halfway across the world, the Charlie Lake Community Church is looking into the possibility of finding families that would be willing to sponsor refugees.

Pastor Alfred Reschke says they are currently advertising the opportunity within the Church, to see if anyone is interested, as they are provided with a list of refugees who have already been screened and can be sponsored.

“We want to explore the possibilities, see if there is enough interest here and follow it further,” he said. “The bible clearly talks about caring for the widowed, the orphaned, the homeless, people less fortunate. But at the same time, I think there is a concern that there is a proper screening process.”

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For Reschke, the opportunity to be involved in refugee sponsorship is part of an issue close to him. He is a first-generation Canadian, born to German parents who fled Russia to Canada around the time of World War II — when fear of Nazi and Communist infiltration was very much alive.

He said the reason that he is born Canadian is because of churches here that chose to sponsor his parents in that time.

According to Lifeline Syria, the costs of sponsoring a family of four is at least $20,000 a year, and $7,000 more can be added to that for what they call ‘start-up items’ refugees may not have, such as household items and warm winter clothing.

Refugees settling in Canada are responsible for paying for their overseas medical examination, travel documents and transportation costs to get here.

They may receive a repayable loan from the government to cover these costs, but Sponsoring Groups are not responsible for any debt that the refugee may incur in Canada, unless they have co-signed loans.

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