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Called to Refugees & Immigrants

The context today is very challenging for those who know and serve refugees and immigrants. It is among the greatest geopolitical issues of our time. Global refugee numbers are higher than ever.

The call of God to the church is clear. His particular concern for the foreigner is seen throughout the scriptures. The family of Jesus himself were refugees, as were many of the leading figures in the Bible.

It is meaningful ministry for people in our churches to befriend and help refugees. Life-long friendships are formed. We better understand complex global issues through the stories of our refugee friends. We are witnesses of the love of Christ to some who may not have known Christians before. And, we give practical help to grateful, vulnerable people who really need it.

Refugees and immigrants are family-oriented, hard-working people. We all prosper, culturally and economically, when they integrate among us. But, integration is not assured. The church can be the bridge to help diverse people embrace each other in ways that build a strong community.

This track is facilitated by World Relief Spokane. We are the agency that works with the U.S. State Department to resettle refugees in the region – more than 10,000 in the last 25 years. Our staff has considerable expertise in the many technical details related to resettling refugees, but the needs are vast and we can’t do this work alone. Our mission is to empower the church to serve the vulnerable. We have many examples of local churches using their unique strengths to do creative refugee ministry.

It is not easy work. The issues are complex. This track is where you find help. Our track provides:

  • Quarterly training experiences where churches come together and learn from World Relief staff and each other;
  • Educational updates on local and national issues related to refugees and immigrants;
  • Matching volunteers from your church to refugees;
  • Opportunities to participate in advocacy for just policies for refugees and immigrants;
  • Support and training for modifying or launching ministries for refugees through your local church.

To learn more, contact Bob Savage, bsavage@wr.org.

Bob Savage, Community Engagement, World Relief Spokane

Bob worked in international ministry for 30 years before joining the staff of World Relief. His work is to help our church and community welcome refugees and immigrants and see them thrive in our cities. Bob holds an M. Div. in cross-cultural studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. His wife, Martha, is a professor at Gonzaga University where her students earn MA/TESL degrees to teach English to speakers of other languages. They have two married daughters and five lively grandchildren.