Welcome to Naomi House
a story of resettlement,
a story of hope.
Naomi House’s Refugee Sponsorship Program
n the spring of 2020, City Church became a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) with the Canadian government. A SAH is an incorporated organization that has signed a sponsorship agreement with the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
This sponsorship agreement allows City Church to sponsor a certain number of refugees each year for resettlement to Canada through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program. Currently, there are approximately 120 SAHs throughout Canada.
In the summer of 2021, we administratively merged Naomi House and the SAH. Legally, the SAH is under the City Church name, but it is carried out operationally by Naomi House (also a City Church ministry). This alignment of Naomi House and the SAH was done to serve refugees better.
In 2020 and 2021, we submitted sponsorship applications for refugees from the following countries:
Ivory Coast, 4
Family reunification accounted for 47 of those spaces. Thirty were Christians that were persecuted either in their home country or their present country of residence. Nine were what we call “Sponsor the Stranger,” where they had no direct contact with anyone in Manitoba.
The arrival of these individuals are expected to be between now and 2024. Brenda Wiebe, the Settlement Coordinator and Worker for Naomi House, and a host of volunteers will oversee the settlement work.
In addition to the above sponsorships, Naomi House has assisted in sponsoring 66 refugees via Group of Five (G5). This assistance is primarily through the offering of help in filling out the paperwork and then submitting these applications to the government.
Expression of Interest
Over 170 refugees are currently on our Expression of Interest waitlist. We can only meet these needs as financial support is given to the sponsorship fund, and allocations from the Canadian government are received. Would you please pray that funds will come in and that God opens the door for us to assist these situations? We will most likely know our next allocation of spaces in February of 2022. It will be a miracle if enough allocations are granted to meet the high demand.
Naomi House Highlights
Currently, Naomi House has three residents from Somalia, Burundi and Pakistan respectively. We try to build relationships with each of them. One of the residents is working and waiting for his son to arrive in the new year; one is a student, and one just arrived and is settling in, also waiting for his wife to join him in seven to eight months. As COVID lifts and countries re-open, we expect to fill all of our rooms. In the meantime, things are happening here! Each week Naomi House offers a sewing class, a Ladies’ Bible Study, occasional House Meetings with residents in our Chapel/Multi-Purpose Room. A Christmas dinner with our residents was planned for December 8th. . Would you please pray for each of our residents as they learn English and culture and settle into their new life in Winnipeg? Please also pray that we can fill our empty rooms with the people that the Lord would have us care for.
We have rented 14-14 Alloway as an extra place for people to quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Canada. We are thankful to a church north of Winnipeg, which supplied most of the furniture.
Staff and Volunteers Update
This year has been a year of strengthening the foundations of Naomi House.
Paula Chisco, from Colombia, has brought cheer and organizational skills to the Office. Brenda Wiebe, the former teacher of the Transitional Class Room, associated with City Connexions, is now on part-time staff as the Settlement Coordinator for Naomi House. Please pray for Brenda and Paula as they bring warmth, support, and organization to Naomi House and City Church.
Candace Loewen continues to direct the Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) program at Naomi House. Candace and her husband, Brett, are ministry workers with Ministry to Africans in Canada (MAC). MAC is a division of Africa Inland Mission. She, along with Lemlem, originally from Eritrea and Godwin, from Nigeria, are each doing a fantastic job. They would appreciate prayer for themselves and the 86 refugees sponsored in 2020 and 2021.
Edda Neumann, this year’s Mennonite Voluntary Service (MVS) worker from Germany, is helping, one day a week, submitting applications. She is an asset to the staff at Naomi House.
Shaharzad Mohamed with International Association For Refugees Canada is a Refugee Support Worker. Her primary focus at Naomi House is trauma counseling. Her ministry to former refugees helps bring healing through listening, sharing God’s Word, and prayer.
Bernie Bilecki volunteers as our facility maintenance man. He has blessed Naomi House in many ways, including driving the Naomi House van.
Akmal Erastus and his wife, Sarah, are ministry workers with InterAct Ministries, in Canada. Akmal assists with sponsorship selection and cross-cultural communication.
Tim and Sue Nielsen are ministry workers with MSC Canada. Tim provides general oversight and vision to the ministry of Naomi House and the SAH. Sue assists in many of the programs of Naomi House.
In addition to the above staff and key volunteers, others assist Naomi House in sewing programs, ESL, and other essential aspects of ministry. We are grateful for the team that God has assembled!
Update on Naomi House Finances
The year 2021 was a challenging year for Naomi House. Covid restrictions kept us from holding our annual Naomi House Dessert Night, and we chose not to participate in the Ride for Refuge. Additionally, due to the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement, Naomi House has seen a dramatic drop in refugee claimants coming to Manitoba, therefore fewer claimants coming to Naomi House resulting in fewer rent subsidies.
We believe that 2022 will be a better year for us both in the ministry we hope to carry out and in our financial position.
Unfortunately, as of the end of November, our general fund is in a deficit position of $1,832. We can draw from cash reserves, but we would like to end the year in the black. Audited financial statements will be available in early spring, and should you want to see our statements sooner; we can provide unaudited statements. Please note that the general fund is separate from sponsorship funds.
Would you please give prayerful consideration to supporting Naomi House and helping us finish in the black?
Donate to the General Fund of Naomi House
Donations may be made by clicking the button below or mailing them to Naomi House at 700 Ellice Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3G 0B1. Tax receipts will be issued for all donations. Naomi House is a ministry of the City Church of Winnipeg. When making a donation to Naomi House please be sure to indicate that your gift is for Naomi House.