For Discussion

June 4, 2010 | Feature | Number 12
Canadian Mennonite,

1. What experiences have you or your congregation had in sponsoring refugees? What have been the most challenging and rewarding parts? What motivates a congregation to sponsor a refugee family?

2. Some of the refugees, previously assisted by Mennonites, now have their own congregations (such as First Hmong Mennonite, Kitchener, Ont.). Should refugees be encouraged to attend or join their sponsoring church? What happens when the refugees are devout Muslims?

3. Refugees arrive in Canada virtually destitute. How can sponsors help them maintain their dignity? How much gratitude should sponsors expect? When refugees move to another city or community after the year of sponsorship is over, how should that be interpreted?

4. The Canadian government is presently discussing Bill C-11, which would deport more refugee claimants by refusing appeals (see May 17 issue, page 18). Does Canada have a good policy in dealing with refugees? Should we accept more refugees?

5. Chai Bouphaphanh describes how rural Saskatchewan felt like the middle of nowhere to his family. What are the advantages and disadvantages of settling refugees in a small town rather than a multicultural city? What can rural churches do to help refugees with feelings of isolation?

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