hey were once lost, but now they are found.
More than 27 million refugees are forced to flee from their home countries each year as a result of persecution or conflict. Nonprofit, World Relief Atlanta, resettles 10 percent out of the 70,000 refugees that seek to settle in the United States yearly, according to World Relief Atlanta statistics.
World Relief Atlanta gave birth from nonprofit, World Relief, in 1979. World Relief, originally called, “The War Commission,” was formed by couple Grady and Evelyn Magham, during World War Two in an effort to ask local churches to sponsor and adopt refugee families into the United States. “The War Commission,” became World Relief after World War Two.
“The churches needed a platform,” director of World Relief Atlanta, Joshua Sieweke told Atlanta Christian Voice. “We believe strongly when God reaches out to us that He wants us to help the immigrants to become equal participants in our society.”
The mission of World Relief Atlanta is to empower the church to serve the most vulnerable. World Relief Atlanta strives to be a sustainable, holistic ministry of compassion and practical support for refugees in the Greater Atlanta area, according to the World Relief Atlanta website.
Since World Relief Atlanta began as a ministry, it first served Vietnamese refugees fleeing from Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Some of the Vietnamese refugees became known as the Vietnamese Boat People, a term coined for Vietnamese refugees who fled Vietnam by boat after the Vietnam War.
After the Vietnam War, World Relief Atlanta conducted outreach to churches in the United States outside of Vietnamese refugees. The refugees that World Relief Atlanta serves come from Syria, Bosnia, Ethiopia, Southern Russia and many refugees from more than 50 countries, according to the World Relief Atlanta website.
“The service of our mission takes place in the context of relationship,” Sieweke told Atlanta Christian Voice. “We are preparing the church to be friends with refugees when they arrive.”
“We are preparing the church to be friends with refugees when they arrive,” Sieweke told Atlanta Christian Voice.
World Relief Atlanta provides three types of outreach: refugee resettlement services, employment services and immigrant legal services.
The refugee resettlement services that World Relief Atlanta provides supports for the basic needs of refugees, such as food, clothing, learning how to use public transportation and many other needs. The employment services that World Relief Atlanta provides empowers refugees with the job resources that they need to obtain employment in the Greater Atlanta area.
Immigrant legal services assist refugees through the legal process to gain residency and citizenship in the United States.
“We want to truly help people make America their home,” Sieweke told Atlanta Christian Voice. “They need to know how to meet their basic needs and to meet them quickly.”
World Relief Atlanta hopes to grow in breadth, depth and location as the nonprofit equips the local church to meet the needs of refugees in the Atlanta area.
“We want to position ourselves to serve all immigrants,” Sieweke told Atlanta Christian Voice. “We want for our services to become deeper and become more integrated. Our mission is focused on the presence of God’s church.”
“ Our mission is focused on the presence of God’s church,” Sieweke told Atlanta Christian Voice.
To find out more about World Relief Atlanta, visit https://worldreliefatlanta.org/.