Our volunteers make our work possible. Read how Genesis participates in loving his immigrant and refugee neighbors.
Genesis believes that “the best thing you can do in life is impact another person’s life,” which is why he started volunteering as a Friendship Partner for World Relief North Texas. In his 3 months serving as a Friendship Partner, he has been able to walk alongside a newly arrived family by simply entering into a friendship. He has assisted his new friends with many things, such as learning how to set up phone plans, finding resources to learn English, and so much more. Genesis has loved his time volunteering with World Relief North Texas because he loves volunteering with an organization that holds Christian values of loving your immigrant and refugee neighbors. He understands deeply the Christian call to love your neighbor, no matter who they are. “It is about helping people where they are.”
Overflow of the Heart
For Genesis, volunteering is also deeply personal. Originally from Cameroon, West Africa, Genesis was a pastor and leader of a non-profit. The non-profit he founded helped schools access technology for education and teaching digital literacy. The U.S. embassy in Cameroon saw their work and began to partner with them. To continue training for this work and to attend Dallas Theological Seminary, Genesis came to the U.S. in 2016. Genesis’ plan was to return to Cameroon after he completed his degree, however war broke out in Cameroon in 2016.
“Schools were closed down and violence broke out everywhere.” Once the war began, he knew his wife and children were in imminent danger. His wife and children fled their home, and stateside he started the legal process to get them to the U.S. Thankfully, they were able to reunite with him a year later in 2017. “I’m so happy that God took us out of that war.” The impact of this war caused the displacement of thousands, and the work he used to do in Cameroon was destroyed. “Once war breaks out everything comes to a stand still.” However, he hopes to one day return to Cameroon and continue the work he had started.
Being himself an immigrant to the U.S. Genesis knows the challenges and loneliness it can bring. When he heard about World Relief North Texas, he knew due to his own personal understanding that he wanted to walk alongside someone going through a similar experience. He also shared that he desires to help others because “God is the greatest helper. He helps us, so why would we not help people as best as we can.”
Entering Into Friendship
Because Genesis understands how hard it is to uproot your life, he loves serving his Friendship Partner family. They have grown to become very special to him. Genesis and his family’s first visit was to bring them food, and they immediately hit it off. The father is from the DR Congo, and he met his wife in a refugee camp in Kenya. They were able to start building a relationship, and communicated to the family that they are available and there to help with anything they need.
Genesis expressed that the biggest challenge serving them is that they do not know English. He shared how excited the family was when he showed them google translate and they realized they would be able to communicate so much easier. Genesis loves being able to show them small tools such as this to help them.
Genesis has also learned that serving is a group effort. Along the journey there have been several times the family had a significant need, and Genesis turned to his small group at church for help. Through relying on others in his church, they were able to get a bed to the family and living room furniture. Friends from his small group were able to give the father of the family a laptop which can help him with job applications, the family to learn English online, and so much more. He has not been doing this alone, but rather with the help of a community behind him. This has truly been a way to equip the whole church to serve the most vulnerable in their community. Genesis has been an advocate for this family to his small group, and they have stepped in to meet needs for a family they have never even met. It simply happened organically from Christ moving in their hearts.
Blessings Upon Blessings
Genesis shared with us that some of the biggest blessings he has received from serving this family is the opportunity to be patient. He has been given “an opportunity to learn to be patient. Learning patience with people has been a blessing to me.” He has also learned how to love others better, from the family’s kindness and hospitality towards him. This experience has not only impacted Genesis, but his family, and his church. Everyone has been blessed by this opportunity.
World Relief North Texas is so thankful for volunteers like Genesis, who step into a beautiful picture of how Christ loved others. Thank you Genesis, and thank you volunteers.