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Divine Direction: Go Far, Go Together in the U.S.

From the very beginning, World Relief has been serving those displaced by global crises and conflicts. In the 1970’s, when Vietnamese refugees sought safety in the U.S., we were there to welcome them into communities across the nation. Now, during the current unprecedented displacement crises, we are still there. 

Alongside people like you, we’ve held fast to a vision where our refugee and immigrant neighbors can access the community, care and resources they need to rebuild their lives in the U.S.

We believe the church has always been God’s chosen instrument to respond to these pressing needs. That’s why we are still committed to expanding our reach by opening new U.S. offices to serve even more displaced men, women and children. In FY23, we continued that mission by opening five new locations across the U.S. in Austin, TX, Dallas, TX, Davenport, IA, San Diego, CA and Olympia, WA. 

The Power of Prayer in Austin, TX

For John Monger, one thing is certain — nothing is impossible with God. In 1992, he left his home country of Bhutan out of fear of persecution for his Christian faith and in 2009, he landed in Austin, TX. There, he immediately began serving other refugees from all over the world but he quickly realized more help was needed.

Then, John heard about World Relief. At that moment he began to pray. Every day since 2009, John has prayed for the Lord to make a way for World Relief to come to Austin, TX. 

Thirteen years after Pastor John began praying, World Relief was invited to apply with the federal government to serve as a resettlement agency in the city. Local pastors, leaders and city residents gathered every month to pray that the application would be accepted. On September 21st, 2023, World Relief Austin officially opened!

By the end of FY23, our Austin office had already resettled 2 families.

Stronger Communities in Dallas, TX 

In another part of the state, Fort Worth, World Relief Texas has been operating for over 40 years. Yet, in neighboring Dallas County, existing resources for refugees couldn’t keep up with the high need and increasing arrivals. 

In response, World Relief Texas expanded to a new location in Dallas County on March 1st. This new location builds upon the resettlement services provided by its longstanding sister location in Fort Worth, helping newly arrived refugees and other vulnerable immigrants secure housing, find employment and integrate into the Dallas community.
In the first six weeks of opening our Dallas location, we resettled 45 refugees. By the end of FY23, that number had risen to 91.

Better Together in Scott County, IA

When World Relief Moline first opened in 1999, they were eager to serve the local community. As the scale and scope of the needs dramatically increased over the next two decades, the office changed its name to World Relief Quad Cities, hoping to serve the larger area of Iowa. 

But that still wasn’t enough. World Relief submitted a proposal with the federal government to open a new location in Scott County, and in April 2023, the application was approved. Before the office even had an official space, 46 individuals were resettled from Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo! 

Community partners, local churches, private businesses and affiliates were eager to help. So much so that when an office space was chosen, local businesses donated cubicles and conference tables to jump start the new location. After the collaboration, staff from those businesses were so impressed with World Relief’s work that they began to financially support the expansion effort. 

A Legacy of Welcome in San Diego 

During the Covid pandemic in 2020, churches in Southern California were looking for help with an influx of Syrian refugees. The need was so great and World Relief’s absence was felt. 

Local churches and affiliate partners rallied together to bring World Relief to San Diego through fundraising and building relationships. Once the decision was made to expand, they immediately informed World Relief of a space available in a local small business CoOp. The space was perfect, and World Relief SoCal officially moved in on March 1st. 

“There has been a deep legacy of welcome in San Diego that started with local churches and we have continued to see this with each new wave of immigrants. We are humbled and honored to join this movement.” said San Diego Program Director, Jane Register. 

The new location allows for hosting community events, expanding border immersions and resettlement efforts. In FY23, the office was so successful that they quickly outgrew the space and had to expand more. 

Making Dreams a Reality in Thurston County, WA

For the staff at the World Relief offices in Seattle, FY23 meant lots of movement and dependency on their already existing strong partnerships. 

“It has been a long time dream of ours to expand from just World Relief Seattle to World Relief Western Washington. It has always been part of our vision to grow in the region.” said Medard Ngueita, the Executive Director of World Relief Western Washington. 

As soon as a local church partner, New Bridge Community Church, caught wind of the possibility for World Relief to open another office, they immediately mobilized to support this dream. Generously, they offered space in their church building that they had freshly painted for World Relief. In March of 2023, the official grand opening was held with great enthusiasm and support from the whole community! 

The last fiscal year has brought so much excitement over World Relief’s response to the growing need in the United States. Because of you, we have been able to step up to the call with the support of local officials, community leaders and above all, the local church. All of these stories are a testament to our mission, that with God, we can continue to go further, together. 

None of this work is possible without our trusted and devoted partners, like you! Join us in this life-changing work. Give to World Relief today!

Jessica Galván is a Content Writer at World Relief. She is passionate about storytelling and amplifying diverse voices to reveal the beauty of God’s creation. She is also the Editorial Director for Chasing Justice and prior to World Relief, she was a freelance writer and editor for a variety of clients in publishing, most recently Penguin Random House. When she isn’t wordsmithing for the pursuit of faith and justice, she is spending time with her husband and their 3 children in the Houston, TX area.

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