How To Make Sure We're Ready for the Next Crisis

What do you do when the tragedies of this world seem like they just won’t stop? What do you do when so many already-vulnerable people suffer even greater hardship?

I think I might already know what you do. Because I’ve seen you do it. And I’m hoping you might do it again. But first, a quick look back at the past few weeks...

When a Category 4 hurricane struck Haiti earlier this month, hundreds of our donors sprang into action, donating thousands of dollars, even as the initial damage reports and death tolls were still being reported.

Then, less than three weeks later, when Iraqi-led forces launched a military offensive to free the city of Mosul from ISIS,  donors once again jumped to the aid of those who were being displaced by the conflict, donating thousands of dollars even as the media was just beginning to report news of the attack.

Thank you, is an inadequate, yet a very sincere response. We are profoundly grateful that you have trusted us to extend your compassion to people in great need around the world. The only reason World Relief is able to so quickly come to the aid of the vulnerable in places like Haiti and Mosul, is because YOU make it possible.

At the same time, I know how critically important it is for World Relief to be ready for the next crisis or disaster.

I know from experience that we best stand with the vulnerable when we are prepared for disaster and crisis before it even happens.

How can you help us prepare to be ready wherever and whenever disaster strikes?

  1. Give a one-time gift to World Relief’s general fund. This allows us to earmark funds for future disasters, as well as provide health and child development programs, refugee and immigration services, economic development and peace-building initiatives to the devastated, the displaced, and the marginalized worldwide. 
     
  2. Commit to give to World Relief on a monthly basis, ensuring sustainable transformation in the areas we work. In over 20 countries, throughout Africa and Asia, we’ve built partnerships with over 5,800 local churches, allowing us to quickly deliver aid and recovery through these partnerships, just like we have over the past few weeks in both Haiti and Mosul.

Once again, thank you all you do on behalf of the vulnerable. Together, let’s commit to never give up, and do all we can to be ready to act.

Scott Arbeiter
President, World Relief

How To Actually Welcome Refugees

World Relief Atlanta Office Director Joshua Sieweke welcomes Malik, a 9-year old Syrian refugee, at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

World Relief Atlanta Office Director Joshua Sieweke welcomes Malik, a 9-year old Syrian refugee, at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

For almost 40 years, World Relief has been proud to resettle over 270,000 refugees from across the world here to the United States. On average, our offices resettle 650 refugees each month.

Next month we are projecting that World Relief’s local offices will resettle 1,350 refugees.

That means that in October, we’ll be resettling over TWICE as many refugees as normal. The challenge ahead for our local office staff and volunteers in the next month is nothing short of monumental. Which means we’re doing all we can in the next week to make sure local offices have everything they need.

Why?

We know that when we welcome refugees to the United States, the lives and futures of refugees are—quite literally—changed forever.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your help.

Donate to World Relief by September 30 to help support the work of resettling refugees in the month of October.

 
 

This week, I was invited to attend President Obama’s Leaders’ Summit on Refugees. It was an invitation I felt humbled and grateful to accept, knowing that my attendance represented the tireless work of thousands of World Relief staff and volunteers for almost 40 years. And as I sat at the UN, surrounded by dozens of leaders from over 30 different countries, I was struck by a simple thought...

Without the dedicated efforts of the thousands of staff and volunteers from World Relief and other resettlement agencies, the commitment of these world leaders to refugees would go unfulfilled.

Without our local staff and volunteers, refugees would arrive at airports—often scared and confused—with no one to greet or guide them. But instead, small groups of smiling faces welcome them onto U.S. soil.

Just last month, staff and volunteers welcomed Hashim, Mariam and their two children to Atlanta’s international airport. Having fled their home in war-torn Syria, Hashim and Mariam arrived to the United States longing for safety, stability, and the promise of brighter future for their two children, Malik (9 years old) and Muna (18 months old). As Malik reached up to shake hands with World Relief Atlanta’s Office Director Joshua Sieweke, Josh leaned down and said, “Welcome to America. We’re so glad you’re here.” (pictured above)

We believe that compassion and security are not mutually exclusive. We can honor both. We know that after being displaced from their homes, refugees are vetted by multiple agencies, including the UN and U.S. Department of State, for up to two years. So when refugee families arrive, it is our great privilege to welcome them here.

We don’t just say refugees are welcome, we make sure they actually are welcomed, and feel welcomed.

In the next seven days, you have the opportunity to help us welcome refugees during one of our busiest months to date. If for any reason you’ve been waiting to become a part of the solution, now is your moment.

Since my time at the UN, I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of attention refugees have been receiving in the news. At times I’ve felt discouraged, as voices of fear have tried to convince us that refugees should be seen only as a threat. But other times I’ve been profoundly encouraged, as voices of compassion and hope have risen up. These voices have reminded us that not only is it a moral and Scriptural imperative that we welcome refugees, but also that refugees have the potential to contribute to and enrich our country in countless ways. It’s simply unthinkable that we wouldn't welcome refugees.

Through all of the events of the past week, I’ve sensed that God is clearly at work, moving people in new ways to care for refugees.

I invite you—even as you read this email—to stop for a moment and prayerfully consider if God might be moving in you too.

If so, there’s never been a better, more effective time for you to give than there is between now and September 30.

Give today to ensure that we do all that we can to rise to the challenge of wholeheartedly welcoming refugees.  

For the sake of the refugees and the displaced,

Scott Arbeiter
President, World Relief

 

Mourning and Standing

Mourning and Standing

We began this week with heavy hearts over the unimaginable loss of life in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday. Fifty lives lost is a tragedy in and of itself. Fifty livestaken by violence is a tragedy on multiple levels. So we, like so many others, mourn on multiple levels.

First and foremost, we mourn the deaths of the victims and for their friends and family who are experiencing overwhelming loss and grief.

Jenny Yang, World Relief VP of Policy & Advocacy on Refugee Resettlement

So how does this refugee thing work, exactly? In light of the worst refugee crisis since WWII, Canon & Culture welcomes Jenny Yang, World Relief VP of Policy and Advocacy to find out. Jenny provides a thorough view of the refugee process from the point of original displacement to several months beyond initial resettlement.