12 Dec 2018

 

 

My time at World Relief was one for the books. I began in August, shadowing a Reception & Placement caseworker, with a focus on the communications and operations of the office. My first day, I attended the weekly tracking meeting, which is where the staff has a small Bible study, prays, then discusses our closing client cases to make sure their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs have been met. I enjoyed this first introduction to the office and soaking everything in. These are the things that stood out to me that I loved: the diversity of the staff; the variety of culture, language, and perspective (even just the history and knowledge that was contributed to our Bible study was done in a way I had never experienced before); the vulnerability and faith of the staff; the interpersonal and interdepartmental communication.

 

My first day was a little chaotic, simply because there is no definite structure in a case management role. Once I got used to it, I enjoyed the flexible nature of my job. What I did each day of my internship changed depending on the family that was in need, which appointments needed to be attended, and which orientations needed to be given. I truly got to experience a variety of responsibilities as a caseworker, while also having the space to contribute in the communication and operations department, which was truly fun!

 

My responsibilities as a caseworker looked like apartment set-ups, Walmart runs, picking up families from the airport, bus and cultural orientations, medical and other government assistance appointments. Between these standard avenues of help, I was able to simply visit with my families. One of my favorite things was getting to know my clients and advocating on their behalf. For example, one couple had recently become pregnant. I was able to befriend the melancholic mom-to-be as she was home alone  when her husband was at work. I loved looking for community resources for her to make sure she was taken care of as a mother, including her mental and physical health, and to assist them in taking care of her first baby. Another family always treated me with Ethiopian hospitality; although the couple’s English speaking ability was pretty good for newly arriving in the states, we always made sure to call the translator over to enjoy time together as a family. They served coffee and fruit, and taught me how to say “Good!” and “Thank you!” in Tigrinya.

 

Apartment Setup

Setting Up Apartments for Newly Arriving Families

 

This job also came with several difficulties, mainly that of the language barrier. I began to use Google translate to communicate with my pregnant friend (which didn’t always translate well what we wanted to say!) and use each other’s pictures to teach her English and to get to know each other more. It was difficult conducting responsibilities on my own at times, such as my second cultural orientation. I was set to give this orientation to six adults in the time span between their appointments and picking up their kids from school, which proved to be difficult. They ended up having to finish the quiz writing in Swahili rather than English. Sometimes teaching them the difference between their home culture and American culture was hard because I felt I was offending them, but they were most often understanding and simply seeking friendship.

 

Some of my favorite moments were enjoying coffee with an Ethiopian family and learning the culture of hospitality that they wanted to build in their home here. It was fun learning to enjoy food, drink, and people as they would have back home. Another favorite moment was visiting a family the day after I had picked them up from the airport. I hadn’t even learned their names yet, but 7 children came running up to me to give me a hug with the biggest smiles on their faces. Later at the social security office, I played with three of the children and taught them a hand-clapping game. They only spoke Swahili and French; I happened to know how to count to ten in French, which proved to be an efficient way to communicate and count for the game. I also enjoyed taking a girls trip to the grocery store to teach them how to use their card. Perhaps my favorite moment of all was attending a sonogram appointment with my pregnant friend, seeing the baby kick on the screen, and seeing the excitement of the mother as she found out the gender of her baby. They were all such sweet moments that I got to be a part of!

 

Girls Trip to the Local Grocery Store

From Right to Left: Marcelina, Ashley, Lalia, Furaha at Fiesta

 

Some of my other responsibilities included social media management and networking. I enjoyed going to community networking and educational events like the Refugee Symposium and Chicano Luncheons in Fort Worth, simply seeking to better engage our audience and to take care of our clients even beyond the end of the R&P program. I also boosted our Facebook and Instagram pages by creating a schedule of posts each week to cover the different areas of advocacy and service that World Relief provides. I’ve enjoyed taking a more personal approach to our social media to draw in support for the people and faces behind what we do. We want faces to be seen and stories to be heard, in hopes that relationships will be cultivated between our volunteers and immigrant families. During Thanksgiving, I took the time to design a World Relief newsletter, simply giving an update on our fiscal year and promoting some products made by refugees. It felt so good to be able to pour my talents, experience, and love from my semester at WR into one last final project.

 

This internship has truly been so growing and freeing for me, and I would suggest it to anyone that asks. The value of an investment of time and love into standing with the vulnerable is comparable to none; you are left with the treasures of new memories and friendship. Simply just volunteering a couple hours a week would be investable, and I think I might keep doing just that!

 

Photos and article provided by Ashley Boterf, a former World Relief intern

26 Nov 2018

Welcome to World Relief Fort Worth's

Holiday Gift Guide

In the spirit of the season, we desired to take radical welcome one step further and share with everyone an opportunity to empower resettled refugees in their giftings & skills. Below, you'll find beautiful selections of goods to give your loved ones this season. Read more about the work of our local office this year and featured companies in an online magazine here

 

 

Jerusalem Candle

 

Add an aroma of peace to your space with the 'Jerusalem Candle.' This candle and others are hand poured by refugees located in Dallas, TX through SEEK the Peace. SEEK the Peace advocates for the safety, peace, and flourishing of refugees and immigrants. They offer a variety of aromatic candles and jewelry. Check out their advocacy & shop here.

 

Bourbon Pecan Granola

For the foodies (or anyone who likes quality food!), give a bag of tasty 'Bourbon Pecan Granola,' made by refugees in Providence, RI. Beautiful Day provides economic employment to refugees who make spend their time making granola that's good for the soul. You can even sign up to give a granola subscription for the "crunchy" friends in your life! Check out their selection here.
 

Pale Pink Ear Poms

Earrings fit for a pom queen! These 'Pale Pink Pom Earrings' are made by refugee women in Dallas, TX. GAIA for Women employs and trains resettled women to make their selection of brightly colored jewelry, tops, handbags, and accessories. They have been featured in D Magazine, The Oprah Magazine, and even on J.Crew's Unicorn List!  Check out their fun selection here or shop their beautiful storefront in the city.

Pug Tie

 

 

Give him a pug & a hug! The 'Steel-Blue Pug Necktie' is handmade by refugees through Knotty Tie Co. Based out of Denver, CO, Knotty Tie Co. offers neckties, bow-ties, and  pocket squares, in a wide variety of patterns to express any personality. They even offer custom designs for weddings, companies and organizations! Check out their funky shop here.

 

Safari Storyboard

 

Lions, tigers, & bears! Oh my! Zeki Learning is part of a non-profit social enterprise called Child's Cup Full, based in the United States and the West Bank. ​They hand make high quality learning materials for preschool aged children that supports cognitive development & language learning. Your kiddo could be anything from a mailman to a zookeeper! Check out their shop here.

 

African Spiced Pear Tea

 

African Spiced Pear Tea is a great gift for a quali-TEA friend. RefuTea is a social enterprise in Grand Rapids, MI that employs refugees and donates 10% of their sales each quarter to resettlement agencies in the area. Check out their online tea shop here.

 

Holiday Lounge Pants

 

Snuggle up with your loved ones in Vickery Trading Co.'s 'Holiday Lounge Pants.' Vickery Trading Co. is located in Dallas, TX. They provide vocational training and employment along with mentorship and other programs to equip refugee women for long term success. They have several collections of clothing and accessories that you can shop here

 

Charcoal Soap

 

Although they are located overseas, we could not resist telling you about Preemptive Love Coalition. Preemptive Love works overseas in war torn countries such as Syria and Iraq to empower refugees. Their employment and coalition efforts help refugee families see that they have hope for a future that doesn't to include violence. Each gift purchase empowers 3 refugee families. Check out the work they are doing overseas and shop their gifts of empowerment here

 

We hope that you will choose to empower our neighbors here in the United States and across the world this season. Purchasing even just one gift through one of these places of empowerment makes a difference.

Merry Christmas! 

Love, World Relief Fort Worth

12 Nov 2018

This morning, we have the honor of sitting in the presence of one of the bravest women I have come to know. Ara* is sharing her story of bravery in the face of terror. We invite you to grab a cup of coffee (or tea!) and join us in learning her story.

 

I grew up in a big family, and grew up with very high ideals of family. My father had a good education and served in the Afghan army. When he was younger, he came to America and studied in Kansas City, Missouri. Growing up, I wanted to finish my studies like him and take care of my mom full-time because she got sick. After graduating secondary school and my mother’s death, I started a nursing program. I was inspired by helping take care of my mother, because I had learned how to take care of the elderly.

When the situation came to Afghanistan, it was very difficult. It was very difficult being a woman or a child during the situation. Women couldn’t go to school, so I wasn’t able to get my nursing certificate. They shut off hospitals to all women and children. They only had access to private clinics. In private clinics, with poor people in a poor country, doctors would prescribe vulnerable patients all of these different and expensive medications, and people would pay for it because they thought it would heal them. People were spending everything they had and borrowing from friends and family because they believed if they did, they would be healed. I was passionate about helping young women and children. I desired to educate young women and children on how to be healthy and help them be healthy. So, in the back of my father’s home, I took a room and started providing clinical services to women and children. I would provide vaccinations, nursing services, and educating young girls about their body development. It was very difficult work because there were so many people who needed help. I was about 18 or 19 when I started this clinic. My sister is a pediatrician, and she helped me.

It was extremely dangerous work. One day, a Talib man came and knocked on the door of my father’s house. My father answered, not knowing what to expect. The man complained that every day, there were always women and children coming in and out of our house. My father answered and explained that my sister and I were running a small clinic for women and children. The man said “okay,” and let us keep working! It was a miracle from God! After several days, a woman who was married to a Taliban man came and sought to receive help from me. She didn’t come with a car or a bicycle, so she had walked for miles and miles from their camp. She had heard what we were doing and was seeking medical assistance because her husband wouldn’t let her go to a hospital. I helped her because she couldn’t go anywhere else. Soon after, women from all surrounding villages began coming to our home to seek medical help.

I came to the USA with the dream of studying in a nursing program and becoming a nurse. I want to work with the elderly, just like in the beginning when I took care of my mom. In my culture, you never disrespect the elderly. You take care of them, and let your children play with them. I want my children to know about this part of my culture. I want my children to see value in the elderly.

 

If you would like to be active in welcoming similar families to America, whether through friendship or the donation of goods and services, please contact jlong@wr.org.

 

*Name has been changed for the woman’s security.

12 Nov 2018

This morning, we have the honor of sitting in the presence of one of the bravest women I have come to know. Ara* is sharing her story of bravery in the face of terror. We invite you to grab a cup of coffee (or tea!) and join us in learning her story.

I grew up in a big family and grew up with very high ideals of family. My father had a good education and served in the Afghan army. When he was younger, he came to America and studied in Kansas City, Missouri. When I was young, I wanted to finish my studies like him and take care of my mom full-time because she got very sick. I took care of her for a long time while going to school, learning English and becoming interested in medicine. After graduating secondary school and my mother’s death, I started studying in a nursing program. I was inspired by taking care of my mother, because I had learned how to take care of the elderly.

When the situation came to Afghanistan, it was very difficult. It was especially very difficult being a woman or a child. Women couldn't go to school, so I wasn't able to get my nursing certificate. They shut off hospitals to all women and children and only gave them access to private clinics. In private clinics with poor people in a poor country, doctors would prescribe vulnerable patients all of these different and expensive medications, and patients would pay for it because they thought it would heal them. People were spending everything they had and borrowing from friends and family because they believed if they did, they would be healed. I was passionate about helping young women and children. I desired to educate young women and children on how to be healthy and to help them be healthy. So, in the back of my father’s home, I took a room and started providing clinical services to women and children. I would provide vaccinations, nursing services, and educate young girls about their body development. It was very difficult work because there were so many people who needed help. I was about 18 or 19 when I started this clinic. My sister is a pediatrician, and she helped me run it.

It was extremely dangerous work. One day, a Talib man came and knocked on the door of my father’s house. My father answered, not knowing what to expect. The man complained that every day, there were always women and children coming in and out of our house. My father answered and explained that my sister and I were running a small clinic for women and children. The man said “okay,” and let us keep working! It was a miracle from God! After several days, a woman who was married to a Taliban man came to the clinic and sought to receive help from me. She didn't come with a car or a bicycle, so she had walked for miles and miles from their camp. She had heard what we were doing and was seeking medical assistance because her husband wouldn't let her go to a hospital. I helped her because she couldn't go anywhere else. Soon after, women from all surrounding villages began coming to our home to seek medical help.

I came to America one year ago with the dream of studying in a nursing program and becoming a nurse. I want to work with the elderly, just like in the beginning when I took care of my mom. In my culture, you never disrespect the elderly. You take care of them, and let your children play with them. I want my children to know about this part of my culture. I want my children to see value in the elderly.

If you would like to be active in welcoming similar families to America, whether through friendship or the donation of goods and services, please contact jlong@wr.org.

*Name has been changed for the woman’s security.

26 Oct 2018

 

 

We sat down with Abdul and Tasneem* a newly-wed couple from Afghanistan. They shared with us about their story of coming to America, how their love came to be, and all in between. We invite you to grab a cup of tea (or coffee!) and join us in reading their story.

“I moved to America about three years ago. In Afghanistan, I worked for the US military for 6 years in a few different ways. I worked with them as a translator, in database and computers, and I made some books for them.  When you work with the US Army or foreign people, it becomes hard to live [in Afghanistan] for security purposes. It becomes very dangerous. When the US Army moved after 2015, many people were jobless and the capital was a very dangerous area.

While all of this was going on, they gave approval to help [Afghan men and women who worked with the US Army] to apply for SIVs, Special Immigration Visa. The project manager, a man from America, showed me how to apply and was a very good guide. He showed me the way. He even gave me a recommendation letter because one necessary part of the application is to have recommendation from an American citizen. I came to America in April 2015 and earlier this year, I went back to get married and bring my wife here with me.”

“I met my husband in a family way. My family and his family have a friendship. They were visiting at a party and after talking, my family decided to go to their house to talk about engagement. We have kind of both arranged marriages and a choice in marriage. The first part is arranged. The father goes there and talks with that family and send a picture of their daughter. They can talk on Skype or email, and if the man and woman accept each other, then they get engaged. It’s not actually on the family to choose.”

“Over there, the boyfriend/girlfriend system is not there, unlike America where boys and girls can talk to each other. Even schools are separated. The only way you can talk to a girl you don’t know is to send your family to her house to talk about a potential relationship. You cannot talk directly with a girl on the street or at school or at a shop about these matters.

We didn’t actually meet until I went back to Afghanistan earlier this year. After our engagement, all of our family had a party and informed the rest of our family that we got engaged because we accepted each other. We communicated by Skype and email while I was here. It was difficult, you know? When I returned earlier this year, we got married and we stayed in Afghanistan for about 6 months. Then I come back here, with her, together.”

“When I came here, I didn’t like it at first. But now I’m getting better because the weather has changed, the food has changed. I was sick for the first two or three months because of my pregnancy, but now I am doing better than before. Also, I miss my family. I have never traveled outside of my country until now, and that’s why all this pressure has come at the same time.”

If you would like to support this couple or another family expecting a baby, you can go to worldrelieffortworth.org/give or contact kbrandon@wr.org to donate gently used household or baby items. 

*Names have been changed for the couple’s security.

16 Oct 2018

In February, we were tasked with taking a mother from a Muslim culture to a food bank to get her registered and pick up food for her. When we arrived at her apartment, she very eagerly showed us the shopping list her son had written out for us. It included items such as eggs, milk, fresh produce, flour and other staples. She was so excited to fill her list.

 

We arrived at the food bank, and even though we had major communication issues with each other, we were able to fill out the necessary forms and get her approved for some boxes of food. We waited at the door we were directed to, and the workers brought out two boxes of food!! She anxiously started sorting through the boxes, only to discover they contained items like bacon, processed lunch meat, lots of cookies, chips - none of the items on her list. In fact, I imagine several of the items in the boxes would not be allowed in her home due to dietary restraints from her culture and religion. We knew she needed food for her family, so we headed off to a nearby Walmart.

 

When we entered Walmart, our friend looked like a kid in a candy store. She started filling bags with onions, mangos, vegetables, bunches of bananas, multiple bags of flour, baking supplies, spices, gallons of milk, and dozens of eggs!! Two shopping carts later we checked out, loaded her food in the car, and took her home. I'm sure she had enough food to feed her family of 5 for a month. 

 

We take so many things for granted as Americans. Going shopping at Walmart is an old hat but seeing her appreciation for the quantity and quality of food items makes us appreciate what we have. We were blessed with the chance to show the love of Christ to this woman and her family by meeting her material needs. 

 

Bruce and Cathy Ralston

07 Oct 2018

The summer of 2018 our office split open like dehydrated sidewalk cracks in the hot Texas sun. We hadn't had a family arrive since April. That’s not to say that we didn't have families to serve, only that the waiting for new arrivals was trying to seal our feet in the concrete. The weight grew exhausting, as each day we tried to muster up new initiatives to break free.

The summertime had our office in a season of waiting on the Lord. Waiting brings temptation to make ourselves kings. It’s disheartening. It’s uncomfortable. The stretch hurts, and it’s sobering to have our weaknesses revealed, but the Lord says time and time again that He knows our next step. He hems us in before and behind, and He does not forsake us or abandon us.

 

“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:

He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,

The justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;” –Psalm 37

 

Each staff member in our office has been planted here. We have come from all over the world (literally!) to be here, doing the work of resettling refugees in the year 2018. In the midst of fluid funding, unknown arrivals, and a polarized nation on welcoming refugees, our staff has been rooted here for such a time as this. Regardless of policy, funding, or public opinion, we have been called to be faithful to love and serve the people around us and to continuously call on the Lord for strength and guidance so that we may not grow weary. And He promises that if we don’t give up, in good time, we will reap a harvest.

Our call doesn't’ change in the waiting, so we’ve been dreaming and planning, coming up with new initiatives and services so that we can continue to see and actively participate in communities transforming economically, socially, and spiritually. We’re implementing ESL classes, citizenship classes, and football clubs. We’re dreaming of community development projects focused on wellness and gospel presentations presented by our church partners and big soccer fields.

And right now, that’s all we can do. We can be faithfully present, showing up to love and serve our neighbors.

Thankfully, we weren't’ alone in that this summer.

On June 30th, goodness and mercy poured down from heaven like a sweet summer rain shower and filled the tiny cracks that had us kneeling, with an overflow of abundance. 121 Community Church hosted our first International Fashion Show featuring 7 stories of refugees and immigrants from all over the world. It wasn't a traditional fashion show, but we most certainly had models of bravery, strength, and hope with us.

 

A Congolese family sharing their story

 

Several families who our agency has walked alongside, stood before a room full of strangers and shared stories from some of the most vulnerable times of their lives. Next to hearing personal accounts of trauma from war, genocide, and other horrors manifested by the human condition, I think one of the greatest lessons from the evening was learning that the vulnerability doesn't end when a refugee is resettled in a third country. Sometimes it remains that they are physically vulnerable to elements around them, but even more so, they become vulnerable to isolation, bigotry from national communities, getting taken advantage of financially or worse.

 

“She said to me ‘don’t be surprised if one day your daughter comes home and tells you that someone called her a terrorist because they [Americans] have a mindset that all Arabs or people from Iraq are terrorists.”

 

An Afghan woman sharing her family's story

 

But you all - our partners and our volunteers, the service providers who serve in a variety of programs, the teachers in the schools who don’t give up – you all challenge the narrative. You help rewrite the story.

 

A Somali girl sharing her family's story

 

I beamed with pride, trying to swallow a choke on the powerful healing that vulnerability can bring to any person’s wounds. But their strength and courage displayed on stage is not what surprised me. What surprised me was the atmosphere of the room afterwards. Native born American families approached each and every speaker to thank them and share with them the impact that the speaker’s story had on their own life. I saw with my own eyes, bridges built between polar opposite communities, false rhetoric replaced with truth, and walls torn down. They helped people who came from outside our borders know they are belong. They are welcome here.

An Iraqi woman and her World Relief case worker

 

“My dream is to be a caseworker and help with immigrant cases and also help in getting justice.”

 

An Iranian girl

 

An Afghan woman sharing her family's story

 

A Congolese woman

07 Oct 2018

We’re sitting down today with Jonathan Parsons and Renato Rossiter of World Relief to talk about a new role they both took on  this past June: Coach. The World Relief Football Club finished its first indoor season in August and started their first outdoor season on September 15th, winning their game 11-0.

 

World Relief: How long have you been working at World Relief?

Parsons: “I was kind of born into it. My mom was a refugee and my dad helped open the office in Fort Worth, so growing up I always went to events and was always hanging around staff and refugees. But I started working on staff in the spring of 2008.”

Rossiter: “[I started] volunteering with World Relief in February 2017. I’ve officially been on staff since March 20th this year.”

 

 

WR: What are common things you see among families, regardless of nationality?

P: “Heartiness, the ability to adapt to difficult things that I would be a wimp about and they very much handle it in stride as if it’s normal.”

WR: Why did you start the World Relief Football Club?

P: “I grew up playing soccer, and I knew how much it meant to me growing up, how much I anticipated games and practices - it was a draw for me. It’s really hard to play competitive soccer because of all the paperwork and the cost, and I knew that none of our boys would be able to have that opportunity. I knew the boys would love it- probably even more so than I did growing up. I’ve felt a call to [start the team] for about 3 years. When Reanto came along, I knew I couldn’t put up excuses anymore.”

R: “I wanted to be a professional soccer player growing up [in Brazil], but when I realized I wouldn’t be able to, I didn’t want anything to do with soccer. I loved watching it and I loved playing it, but I didn’t want to work with it. When I came to America, I thought that I would be working with other sports like tennis or baseball, but I felt that God was calling me to work with soccer. For me it was easy to say, ‘Lord, if you want me to, I’ll do it.’ Jonathan approached me about the idea, and for me it was an easy decision to say yes.”

 

 

WR: Who is on your team?

R: “We have 16 players on our team representing South Sudan, Congolese kids who grew up in Tanzania and Kenya, kids from Somalia, and two kids of different ethnicities from Burma, all 11-13 years old. We practice twice a week with about 20-25 boys. The remaining boys aren’t able to play games because they’re not in the right age category or weren’t able to get their registration paperwork complete in time.”

WR: What challenges, if any, do you face as a coach?

P: “The kids speak languages I don’t understand…they immediately switch to their native language if I get on to them for saying a bad word in English, which can present difficulties. Parents aren’t able to be very involved because they have to work all the time. There are some kids that can’t be on the team, due to being older or younger, who come to practice and distract our boys.”

 

 

WR: Where do you see strengths in your team?

P: “We’re strongest in a deep understanding of soccer. A lot of the really good boys on the team have this natural instinct to play. It’s ingrained in their culture. Americans that play soccer, they learn it differently. They have strict practices and go to all of these programs to learn how to get better, but these kids just have a natural instinct. They go out and play because they love it, and they don’t get burnt out so fast by the sport like American kids do. Another strength we have is that we’re different…we intimidate other teams a little bit (Parsons chuckles). We just look different and people notice, and they’re automatically intimidated by it.”

R: “[The kids’] love and passion for the game because they come from countries where soccer is the national sport. It’s a part of their blood and their heritage. They know all the players, the games, and iconic moves.”

P: “[Soccer is] what they do all the time. Sometimes I just drive by in [the apartment complex], and I just see the kids out playing soccer for fun after school. It’s rare seeing American kids do that anymore.”

WR: What’s your favorite memory from last season?

P: “Winning our first game…but even before that, some of my best memories are the kid’s reactions when they scored goals and how much they care about their success. Seeing a boy drop to his knees and point to heaven like a pro is priceless. I get such a kick out of it. Seeing their genuine excitement when they scored or won, even when they got mad at each other, they’re all just so passionate – it’s fun to see that passion and drive.”

R: “When the boys were winning their game and they knew we were going to win, they all started counting down with the clock and jumped in the air at the final buzzer. It was fun to see their excitement.”

 


 

WR: What do you hope for in the new season?

R: “I just want to continue to see them playing well as a team, having fun, and not yelling at each other.”

P: “We voted in captains for the new season, and I really want to see the captain’s character develop, growing more in maturity and leadership.”

 

 

You can find World Relief FC’s game schedule at https://bit.ly/2xv2Y6w For each child to play in the fall league, it costs approx. $100 per child. Are you interested in sponsoring one of the players? Or serving in other ways through providing rides to the games, snacks afterwards, or even helping coach? Contact jtparsons@wr.org.

 

26 Feb 2015

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!" –Isaiah 52:7

Those who are new to the United States often have difficulty finding employment. The culture is new, the language is often new, and there are certain expectations that often seem foreign. For some of these people, seemingly mundane tasks are daunting.

As part of the resettlement process through World Relief, clients are given an employment caseworker. It is the caseworker’s job to apply the client for jobs, ensure that the client is actively filling out applications, help the client with interviews and transportation, and follow up with the client to make sure that they are doing well at work.

Preparation for this journey involves a job class in which a person with World Relief visits the client and goes over some basics for job applications, interviews, and work life. During this class, the worker explains work culture in America and how it may differ. The class also outlines guidelines for accepting and keeping jobs and application/interview expectations (both from World Relief and the potential employer’s perspectives), and how to keep a job (hygiene, missing work, etc.). Finally, the worker offers motivation and encourages the clients so that they are more comfortable in starting their journey to employment.

Through the employment program, we as Christian stewards have the opportunity to communicate with clients and encourage those who may feel down. Most importantly we have the opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the clients and find out more about their spiritual journeys. It is our chance and privilege to lead those unfamiliar with Jesus and to fellowship with those who have heard and accepted the Good News. Through this program, we hope to increase the number of beautiful feet, and to provide comfort in a world that may otherwise seem intimidating.

Helping clients with employment is a great way for volunteers and local churches to meet some of our clients and to provide for their needs. For those who have read this and may have become led to join in our job class, contact Laura Myers at lboyd@wr.org. We are continuously in need of those willing and excited to share in this program as we press onward and continue to share the Good News that is Jesus Christ.