Today, we’re sharing five inspirational stories of hope that show what a gift to World Relief can do this season.
We know you want to be the hands and feet of Jesus, meeting tangible needs in your community and around the world. But in the face of complex crises, you may wonder if change is really possible. Can you really make a difference?
At World Relief, our answer is a bold yes!
We believe the same healing and transformation that Jesus brought to the world as Emmanuel, “God with us,” is still at work today through the church and through people just like you!
We hope these stories inspire you and remind you that it takes all of us to create lasting change.
In Malawi, Boniface Sings and Inspires
Boniface had always faced the world with a song in his heart. Despite being born with a disability that robbed him of his sight, he found solace in the melodies that danced through his mind. Music was his constant companion, a beacon of light in the darkness that had surrounded him for as long as he could remember. But Boniface’s journey was far from harmonious.
Like many people with disabilities, Boniface dealt with discrimination his whole life. He was marginalized in school, and as an adult, his farm was vandalized. A gifted singer who longed to lead worship, he was even relegated to the sidelines in church life.
But when World Relief implemented disability-inclusive development through local churches in his village, it changed how the community perceived him and others with disabilities — no longer were they relegated to the fringes. Instead, they were invited to actively participate in community activities. They were even welcomed to take leading roles in church services, including preaching, praying and, most importantly to Boniface, singing.
Today, Boniface is a leader in his community and has formed a support group for others with disabilities. Once a lonely melody, his song is now an inspiring chorus, reminding us that with God’s help, we can bring transformation to our communities.
In California, Rosalina Finds Hope
Driven by economic hardships and the opportunity to work and support her mother in Mexico, Rosalina came to the U.S. in her mid-twenties. Since then, her story has been marked by both determination and struggle – many of those with lawyers who took advantage of her.
World Relief’s legal team in Southern California was the first to effectively fight for her rights and provide her with the opportunity to legally work through a specific visa application others had overlooked.
“There was a glimmer of hope when I got the call that my work permit had arrived,” Rosalina said. “I was jumping with joy and thanking God. I felt like God was telling me, ‘I was always there. I never left you.”’ The road ahead is long, but Rosalina now has a foundation to stand upon while pursuing long-term status in the U.S.
In Rwanda, Epiphanie and Jeremy Grow a Garden
Epiphanie and Jeremy are a farming couple in Rwanda. For years they faced shrinking and contaminated water sources that made traditional farming unsustainable. As a result, their youngest child, Aphrodis, suffered from malnutrition.
Through World Relief’s church-based agricultural program, they learned better food and gardening practices, including how to conserve and repurpose the water they used for handwashing. Within months, their garden flourished. Today, they grow enough vegetables to provide their family with essential nutrients.
Their story represents the struggles that many farming families face due to climate change. In the face of such a crisis, people like you can help families like Epiphanie, Jeremy and Aphrodis find hope and a new way forward.
In Kenya, Alele Gets a New Home
Turkana, Kenya, is another place where ongoing drought threatens the lives of people like Alele, a mother of four young children. In the midst of ongoing drought, Alele’s home tragically caught fire and burned down while she was away one day. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but Alele reeled from the shock of loss. She and her children had nowhere to go.
Thankfully, a neighbor saw her need and reached out to several local churches that partner with World Relief. The church leaders consulted with the village chief, and together, they pooled their resources to construct a new home for Alele and her children. They also purchased new household supplies for the family.
In place of ashes, Alele has a home built by the care and labor of local churches. For now, she and her children can smile again.
In South Carolina, Malian Recieves Divine Care
Malian faced terror in his home country of Burma, where millions have been displaced due to ethnic and politically-driven violence. He lived in Malaysia for 15 years and raised a family in the country’s underground economy as they weren’t allowed to work legally.
They were accepted for resettlement and came to the U.S. as refugees. World Relief staff and partner churches in North Carolina welcomed them and helped Malian find work as a barista — a career he feels passionate about. Now, he dreams about his children’s education and future.
“I have seen a lot of God’s favor,” Malian said. “So I can say now that God arranged for me to meet World Relief. God sent us here, and God sent them to us.”
In the face of injustice, displacement, food insecurity and more, these stories remind us that together, we can make a difference and create change that lasts. When you partner with World Relief, you help us write more inspirational stories of hope in communities across the globe.
Will you make a difference by giving to World Relief today?
Jacob Mau has worked with displaced people since 2006 and currently serves as a content developer and digital storyteller for World Relief Chicagoland. He also collaborated with the Refugee Highway Partnership to produce Beyond Soundbites, a podcast that shares the voices of people navigating displacement in the U.S., Turkey and Central America.