I am honored today to introduce you to the first organization that we get to support through the Some Things Wong shop. I was introduced to world relief through my sister in law, Kristin, and she is writing today to tell us more about what it is and what they do. Remember, 10% of all sales in the shop currently go towards this worthy cause.
I began working at World Relief in High Point, NC in October 2009. Our office is a refugee resettlement NGO (non-government organization). There are many ways I could attempt to explain what it is we do, but I think the best place to start is the very beginning. Not the organization’s beginning – that would be boring. I’ll share the beginnings of my friend, a refugee from Bhutan I met four years ago.
When Rupa was three years old, she and her family had to flee their homes; they were persecuted by the government in Bhutan because of their ethnicity. So, they fled for safety to a neighboring country, Nepal. And there they, and tens of thousands of others like them, stayed for the next, wait for it…
Eighteen years of waiting, with no real home, citizens of an untouchable land, aliens in the land where they resided. Huts made of straw and bamboo, rationed food, and a life in limbo.
A life in limbo…that is, until they had the opportunity to move to another country that would accept them as residents and allow them to work and build their life over again.
Welcome to the United States of America.
When I met her, she was a shy 22 year old, and only knew broken English. She was accompanied by her husband and 3 year old daughter. They had lived in Nepal for the majority of their lives, and finally, they were finding permanent residency in America.
This is where World Relief steps in. Contracted by the Department of State, we are responsible for a myriad of services such as meeting refugees as they step off the plane, setting up a new apartment for them, enrolling them in English classes, helping them navigate the confusing system of local social services, and assisting with employment placement, so that one day, these new residents can become economically self-sufficient.
More importantly, however, it is World Relief’s desire and even our established mission to “empower the local Church to serve the most vulnerable.” (And this is where YOU step in!) Our approach in serving our clients is holistic. While attaining fiscal self-sufficiency is key, we understand that each person, no matter where they are from, needs relationships to thrive. And as a faith-based organization, the ultimate relational need is with Christ. So we focus on partnerships with our local Church body to provide the tangible relationship, while also encouraging them to take opportunities to share of the life-giving relationship with our Heavenly Father.
I am proud to be a part of World Relief and the work it is doing around the nation. And I am humbled and thankful Laci gave me the platform to share their story. Thank you for supporting refugees and their new lives, whether it is by prayer, a decision to be personally involved, or an Etsy purchase of Laci’s beautiful bouquets!