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Change That Lasts Through Mutual Transformation

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…

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Falling Into God’s Plan

Barb & Bern Olker

An Interview with an English Language Volunteer Below is an interview with Barb Olker, a long-time volunteer with our English Language Learning program. How long have you been volunteering with World Relief Chicagoland, and specifically with English Language Learning classes? My husband and I have been doing this since the 90’s. It’s been a long…

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How You Can Lead from Where You Are

You Can be a Leader

Leadership reflection from World Relief Chicagoland Executive Director Susan Sperry. At World Relief, we regularly say that we want to create communities of love and welcome. I believe that this is an important vision. In fact, it’s a guiding idea that has motivated much of my own decision-making and sense of calling in my life…

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Beautiful Things Follow Prayer

In tumultuous times it can be tempting to feel helpless. What can one person do against an onslaught of existential circumstances and fears? Sometimes, it simply requires asking God for direction and purpose. His plans may not be clear initially, but with a leap of faith, beautiful things can happen. This is true for our…

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Rodney: Responding to the Call to Love and Serve (Part 1)

 Being willing to change our perspectives and opinions is never easy, even when a person wants to be open to discerning God’s will. Human nature pushes against His pulling, yet it is possible for the callousness of our hearts to regain their softly supple state, showering others in compassion and love. In anticipation of Volunteer Appreciation…

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Rodney: Responding to the Call to Love and Serve (Part 2)

This is the second of a two-part installment. Read Part One of Rodney’s story HERE. Freshly immersed in Café English, Rodney quickly fostered friendships with our English as a Second Language (ESL) students. Shortly after this routine was established, he was approached by Mobilization Director Karen Spencer to potentially fill the need of Roadrunner: volunteer drivers who…

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Beautiful Surprise

“What is friendship to you?” Tigi looks at me for a moment while she thinks about the answer. She seems anxious that she may not be able to express herself fully in English, but she finds the right words. “Friendship means helping each other when it is good news or bad news. [It means] sharing…

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