by Judy and Mike Palm //
At World Relief SoCal, we often talk about mutual transformation as a central goal for relationships within our community: among churches, between volunteers and newcomers, between staff and neighbors. But what does it take to build the kind of authentic friendships that would lead to mutual transformation?
We interviewed the Palm family about their experience hosting several of our clients over the years.
We are so grateful that you have chosen to open your home not once, but many times. We hope that in sharing a bit about you, others will be motivated to do the same. So, why have you chosen to host multiple times?
We are blessed with both security and resources and want to do something to help Ukrainians who have been displaced by war and devastation. Our first host experience brought us a young couple who have since become good friends. During their stay we learned a lot about programs and services that are available and wanted to share that knowledge with other newcomers to our country. We have enjoyed three host experiences. Each host experience has been different, rewarding and eye-opening.
Tell us about a special memory while hosting for World Relief SoCal
One special time was shared with both of our first and second set of guests. Their first Easter in America was shared with our extended family, eating traditional food and playing ping pong. Natalie, one of our guests, draws beautifully. She created a lovely Easter greeting that was cut into jigsaw puzzle pieces, then placed in plastic eggs for an adult egg hunt. When all the eggs were opened, everyone pitched in to put the puzzle back together.
Is there anything you’d like the community to know about hosting? Anything you’ve learned along the way.
Here are some things we have learned about hosting. Each guest will have a different background, different skills and different needs. They may not fit your idea of what a refugee is. There is a lot of help available, through World Relief and government agencies. It’s a good idea to include families and friends in your hosting journey. And you don’t need to do everything for your guests. You have only signed up to house them.
Many thanks to our incredible volunteers that have embodied the love of Jesus and joined World Relief in creating a community of welcome in Southern California by opening their hearts and homes to create safety and belonging. If you are interested in becoming a Host Home please click here.
Walk with us and find ways to build friendship, grow community, and pursue mutual transformation together.
Alison Cuevas is the Marketing Communications Coordinator for World Relief SoCal.