Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. Matthew 25:40
Ever since the start of the crisis in Syria, many Armenian families have fled to Lebanon and other countries to avoid the atrocities of the ongoing war. Several of these families have applied for immigration to Canada. The First Armenian Evangelical Church of Montreal is collaborating with the “Hay Doun” organization in conjunction with the Canadian Government to obtain immigration rights for Syrian refugees. To date, 800 such families have arrived in Montreal, and another 800 is expected to arrive in the coming months at an approximate rate of 150 families per month.
In most cases, these families have spent most of their finances for their travel to Lebanon and other countries, and by the time they have arrived in Montreal they are left almost with hardly any financial resources. Some refugees have relatives in Canada that greet them, provide for them and ultimately help them to integrate. The First Armenian Evangelical Church of Montreal has been helping those families which have no local relatives. The Church welcomes them; offers moral, spiritual and psychological support; provides temporary housing in the Church complex or at homes of families within the Church and the Armenian community at large; pays for hotel rooms; orients the families to integrate in the city life, such as administrative support, transportation, schooling, learning the language, finding jobs, helps them to find affordable housing and in some cases provides the rent of initial months; and provides all kinds of basic furnishing and warm clothing.
The garage and some of the other rooms of the Church have been converted to storage rooms for food, clothing and furniture. Many local families have been contributing financially, providing material goods or volunteering their time to help their Syrian kin. The Armenian Missionary Association of America is also assisting the Church financially to continue this ministry.
The Church needs our prayers and continued support for this ministry in order to continue touching the lives of these refugees, not only to meet their physical needs, but uplift their spirits through the light of the Gospel.