Resolutions and Refugees


New Year’s Eve is punctuated with fireworks.

New Year’s Eve is for reflection on a year ending.

New Year’s Eve is filled with resolutions for the days ahead.

The task of welcoming refugees and newcomers that we get to do here at World Relief Seattle doesn’t stop at midnight.  2015 saw the worst refugee crisis since WWII, and according to the UNHCR’s latest figures, it is getting worse.

As World Relief International responds to the crisis on the ground in countries throughout the Middle East, we in Seattle welcomed one of the first of what will be many families to arrive to Western Washington from Syria.  Listen to their arrival story here from KUOW.

As governors across the country attempted to close their states to vulnerable families seeking refuge in 2015, our governor stated that “Washington will continue to be a state that welcomes those seeking refuge from persecution, regardless of where they come from or the religion they practice…” just as it has for tens of thousands of Vietnamese, Ukrainians and Somalis over the previous decades.

Looking forward into 2016, we are hopeful for the families who are waiting to come to Seattle right now.  We are expecting nearly 800 people to arrive this coming year.  We know that some of those individuals who will arrive are people who put their lives on the line to support U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.  We know that some children who will arrive were born and raised in refugee camps.  They will be able to attend area schools where they will flourish as Bulldogs, Raiders, and Royals.

Several families welcomed new additions in the month of December alone.  Our volunteers and caseworker are looking forward to Midnight texts with pictures of newborns in the year to come.  The work we do, the work that we invite local churches, businesses, and the whole community into is about seeing lives transformed.

Will you advocate for refugees?
Will you give to refugees?
Will your company hire refugees?
Will you welcome refugees?

These things we hope for in the new year will take more than a moment.  They will take hard work and commitment.  They will take patience and perseverance on behalf or our staff, volunteers and participants.  We invite you to join us in this transformational work in 2016.


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