World Relief: A Look Back at 2017
World Relief is an organization we are proud to serve alongside. Their commitment to compassionately serving those that need it most while sticking to the foundation of the gospel is inspiring. 2017 was a year of ups and downs, not to mention it was a year of treading new waters. Read their update to get a glimpse into their world and find ways to pray for them as they lead the way for us to serve the community arm in arm.
“As some of you might know, the fiscal year for resettlement runs from Oct. 1-September 30, so we are just starting the “New Year” for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18). We are so thankful to be closing the door on what was a very challenging and unpredictable last year. However, we are so thankful for God’s incredible faithfulness and the provision he showed us through our trials! Fiscal year 2017 (FY17) brought many unexpected changes to World Relief as a whole, and to our local Akron office, but ultimately it was a time of patience and setting the stage for growth.
Before giving you a glimpse of what this next year has in store for us, I first want to give you a quick recap of this past year for World Relief Akron.
In the last year….
- Our Akron office remained open amongst office closures & reduced refugee arrival numbers due to the 60,000 person cut in the US Refugee Admissions Program. We resettled 30% less refugees than originally planned, 48 individuals who were scheduled to arrive in FY17 did not enter the US because of the reduction.
- We navigated the tension of the 4-month refugee ban. In the midst of zero families arriving, we took the opportunity to create an in-home ESL program, start a housing strategy, seek out opportunities to educate the community & church and advocate on behalf of refugees, present at NUMEROUS speaking events, begin the groundwork for a refugee employment program, cultivate deeper relationships with previously resettled refugees and… much more!
- Our office has experienced staff transition – We lost Grace and Peter, two of our wonderful case workers. We hired a new Case Worker, Matt Scott, and added an Office Coordinator, Heather Lawrence.
- In July, we hosted a visit from World Relief’s CEO – Tim Breene, VP of US Ministries – Emily Gray, and several other staff members from our Corporate Office. They chose 3 of our US offices to visit in effort to see what’s happening from a variety of viewpoints – beneficiaries, staff, church partners, volunteers and locals from the community. It was a great honor to have our Akron office chosen as one of the 3, and it was even more of an honor when we received a great deal of positive feedback from our Executive Team after their visit. Your engagement with us in Akron has set an example for all of our World Relief offices.
In short, it has been an eventful year! And we want to say thank you so much for the support you have been to our ministry and for the grace you have shown us by your flexibility!
Thank you for being a part of our Ministry!
Kara, Christian, Samuel, Matt and Heather
World Relief Akron Team”