It feels like ages ago that we were preparing for the arrival of Tariq, Maes and their two children. Last winter, we were given a few days’ notice that they would be arriving on February 8th. Then two days before we were planning to pick them up at the airport, we were told that they wouldn’t be on that plane after all. But we were assured they would come eventually.
We didn’t hear anything more about their arrival for months, but we did get contact information for Tariq and Maes and have been able to connect with them through instant message and phone calls/video. They are eager to make their home in Winnipeg.
Then last month, we got a message from The Canadian Refugee Sponsorship Agreement Holders Association saying that we were one of 30 groups whose families have been delayed because they were made available for sponsorship before their eligibility had been finalized. They were included in the government’s push to take in 25,000 refugees, but they still needed to go through medical and security clearance before they could actually come to Canada.
We were offered a replacement family, but have decided to wait it out with hopes that Tariq and Maes will be approved.
We didn’t feel we could abandon this family after building a relationship with them over the last few months. Many people from the saint benedict’s community have been preparing to welcome this family. We already have a stack of personalized cards and gifts that people have put together. We want to see this through.
If for some reason, they do not pass their medical or security clearance, we will discuss next steps. In the meantime please continue to pray for Tariq, Maes, and their children.
When we last talked to Tariq, he said he hadn’t heard anything about the sponsorship since March. One of his biggest concerns is his 70-year-old father who lives with them. He asked if we would be willing to help bring him over to Canada as well. We agreed to start some paperwork to see about sponsoring him too.
You can read more about these delayed cases in this CBC article from August 29.