Good news for a North Vancouver church that has been working hard to bring over one family from Syria.
In September, Simi spoke with Pastor Steve Moore of Canyon Heights Church about his church’s quest to bring over a family of five that fled Syria to Cairo. It all started when Hisham Wattar wandered into the Pentecostal church’s coffee shop, which is part of Canyon Heights’ outreach ministry. Wattar is a Vancouver restaurant owner, and has lived in B.C. for almost 30 years.
Pastor Steve Moore spoke with Wattar and heard his concerns about his family in Syria. Wattar told Moore that his five family members, who are all Muslim, fled Syria because of the civil war. His sister, two nieces, and the two children of one of his nieces, have been living in Cairo, Egypt.
After hearing about Wattar’s worries regarding his family, Pastor Moore decided to help. That’s when The Canyon Heights Church in North Vancouver and the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada decided to begin fundraising for the $50,000 it would cost to bring over a family of five that fled to Cairo.
When Simi last spoke with Pastor Moore in September, he was not optimistic about how long it would take:
“We received a letter from the federal govt in August telling us that we can stop requesting updates on the refugees and assured us that we are in the queue, and our file is on schedule and will be completed in 48 months. We are not able to get help in speeding up the process because of security fears in Cairo and because our MP is no longer available, since he will need to be re-elected and parliament has been suspended. We are part of the Sponsor Agreement Holder process with the PAOC and it still takes this long. I don’t know how the other families are handling the wait with the slower processes.”
Shortly after that interview in September, the church was informed that the family’s refugee application interview would be sooner, only two months away. That interview has now happened, and if all goes well they may be here by Christmas.