Journey is a group of people from Elevation who are interested and engaged in walking with refugees—sometimes literally and sometimes figuratively. We build relationships with people who have been forced to leave their country and have either come to Canada or are hoping to find a new home here.


There are 90 million forcibly displaced people in the world, 27.1 million are refugees.


A refugee is very different from an immigrant in that immigrants move by choice while refugees are forced to flee their homes and countries due to well-founded fear of persecution.


Recognizing that in different circumstances any of us could be refugees, our approach is one of walking alongside refugees on their journey to finding a safe home. We’ve walked with refugees from Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Iraq, Bangladesh, and Rohingya from Burma.

For more information about journeying with refugees, please contact Courtney Janssen-Grieve.

2023 Update

This year we have finally seen two different family sponsorships come to Canada. This was a very long process and we’re so glad these families have been reunited. We also continued the Refugee Scholarship program and three scholarships were awarded for a total of $7,500.

Having as many sponsorships on the go as we do at the moment is challenging. We definitely have a need for more people who are willing to dedicate their time (especially day time) in helping newcomers settle into life in Canada.

We’re looking at revamping the Journey team to ensure that there is enough support and we can continue the programs we currently have and assess whether we have capacity for more.

2022 Update

Check out the 2022 Update from Courtney in the video below:

2021 Update

Check out the 2021 Update from Courtney in the video below:

2020 Update

Check out the 2020 Update from Courtney in the video below:

2019 Update

This is our fourth year offering financial support to post-secondary students who have come to Canada as refugees. Did you know that only 3% of refugees (worldwide) are able to attend post-secondary schools compared to 37% of the rest of the global population?

In 2018 we provided support to 4 students in Kitchener-Waterloo. They studied towards degrees/diplomas in Mechanical Engineering, a PhD in Education, Payroll Administration, and Mechanical Engineering Technology.

“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household.”

Ephesians 2:19

Our Priorities

There are four priorities in our journey with refugees:


We believe in supporting the voices of refugees in our local communities, across Canada and globally. We also want to use our voice to speak up for the human rights of refugees and to enact positive change in attitudes and policies impacting refugees.


    We have committed to ongoing sponsorships of refugees from around the globe. This is done largely through connections of local family members in K-W and is not dependent on race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.


      Refugees often arrive in Canada with only a few suitcases. One of our priorities is making sure their immediate needs can be provided, whether by finding resources for them or matching them up with local organizations that provide assistance. The following are examples of common settlement needs:
      – housing 
       household goods
       healthcare and mental health support 
      – English classes and conversation groups
       identification/government documents


      Refugees become valued members of their new communities. We are committed to developing long-term relationships with the refugees we sponsor or help settle as they wish. We recognize the value of newcomers to their communities as they have so much to offer. 
      To this end, we walk with refugees in a number of ways, helping them find meaningful long-term employment and education opportunities (including our post-secondary scholarship program), supporting them as they negotiate financial planning or purchasing a home, and simply building deeper friendships.

        Refugee Sponsorship Fund


        Elevation accepts donations for refugee sponsorship. All contributions to the Fund go directly to a sponsored family on a monthly basis once they arrive in Canada. Donors are entitled to a charitable receipt through Elevation.

        Donations can be made in three ways:


        1. By Cheque to: Elevation Waterloo
          Include in Memo: ‘Refugee Sponsorship Fund’ (and name of sponsorship team if applicable)
          Use donation envelopes on Sunday morning as directed below or mail it to:
          Elevation Waterloo, 22 Willow Street, Waterloo, ON Canada, N2J 1V6
        2. By Debit on a Sunday morning at the Welcome Table
          Complete a debit donation as normal and then write ‘Refugee Sponsorship Fund’ on the back of the debit receipt (and name of sponsorship team if applicable).
          Fill out the donation envelope with your name and address. Circle ‘Refugee Sponsorship Fund’ and write in the dollar amount.
        3. Online
          Or you can donate online to Elevation. Choose ‘Refugee’ from the dropdown menu.
        4. Monthly Giving
          If you wish to give monthly to Refugee Sponsorship, you can make arrangements for direct deposit through contacting