‘Love to Love:’ Bushra and Ahmed’s message to the world

By Rachel French Guest Writer and Gonzaga University Senior “What was life like in Iraq? Can you describe what your daily life looked like?” Bushra looked at her husband, Ahmed, as if to search for some sort of response. Maybe it was the language barrier that prevented them from understanding the question, or maybe it was…

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Local ministry creates home for refugees

Five years ago, Don Comi was working with a refugee that sparked his interest in investing more in the refugee community. The man that he was working with was shocked when he found out that Don was helping him for free.  “No one has ever done anything like this for me before,” he said, “Why…

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For former refugees, hard work pays off

Yesterday afternoon, “Pomp and Circumstance” played as students from Lewis and Clark High School walked out of Spokane Veterans Arena. The new alumni posed for photos with family and friends, smiled, and celebrated. Among those many students are a cadre of recent additions to the Spokane community: former refugees. Moses and Rebecca are two students…

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Spokane dance teacher discovers family photos in small-town Slovenia

By Katherine BellCommunications Coordinator The stories of our forefathers can be powerful, identity-shaping narratives—especially as Americans. It’s the reason why more than 26 million people mail cotton swabs full of DNA to commercial databases, join heritage societies and pass down family recipes. For local dance teacher Judy Mandeville, a recent trip to Europe brought her lineage to life in an extraordinary…

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Love Your Neighbor

I crossed the southern border into Mexico last month and I met Jesus. Here was the surprise: he wasn’t anything like I expected. He had brown skin, sad eyes, a lanky build, and he spoke softly a language I didn’t understand. He even pronounced his name differently than I’ve been saying it all my life: “Yesus.”

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Who is my neighbor? Reflections from the U.S.-Mexico border

by Terry McGonigal This reflection was originally posted on ‘Third Way’ from the Whitworth Office of Church Engagement. The debate about federal immigration goes on endlessly. These discussions are laced with feverish passion and tend to focus on public policy and politics, as if the only options are an “open border” vs. “build the wall.” These…

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Snapshots from the Border

Click on the photo caption to launch a full-screen gallery.

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Against All Odds: Hamsa’s Journey

By Meghan Long Communications Fellow Hamsa redefines the meaning of hard work, perseverance, and independence. When she first arrived in Spokane in January of 2013, she was highly qualified in many areas; she possessed a degree in English from the University of Baghdad, had a thriving marriage, and had just had her first daughter, Lina.…

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Friendship knows no borders: Sarah and Samire

By Meghan Long Communications Fellow Meeting Sarah and Samire, you would think they were sisters. Their contagious laughter and love for one another exudes true friendship. This unique and unbreakable bond would not have been formed if the girls hadn’t met in Spokane after resettling as refugees. Sarah is from Iraq and Samire is from…

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Threads of Hope: Shamsa’s Story

By Meghan Long Communications Fellow The new sewing center started by World Relief has had a profound impact on 22-year-old Shamsa, who moved to Spokane three years ago. Not only has the center shown her how to practically care for her family, but through the six-week sewing class WEAVE (Women Empowered to Achieve Vocational Enrichment),…

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“Jesus Chose Us for Each Other”: Oliva and Arooj

By Elyse Herrera Digital Communications Intern When Arooj stepped into Spokane a little over two years ago, her life was “a blank page, completely.” She had so many fears about entering this new “white world.” Shortly after arriving, there came an opportunity for friendship, something Arooj embraced head-on in her relationship with a World Relief…

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Raheem and Thomas: An Unexpected Brotherhood

By Elyse Herrera Digital Communications Intern When Thomas Steiner and Raheem Abbas met two years ago, neither could have anticipated the profound impact they would have on each other’s lives today. Thomas was assigned to be Raheem’s volunteer by World Relief shortly after Raheem arrived from Iraq, and what started as a refugee/volunteer relationship quickly…

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“If God Gave Me This Opportunity, I’m Going to Use It:” Jeanine’s Story

by Elyse Herrera Digital Communications Intern The work of gratitude is powerful, and within the context of Jeanine Kayitesi’s Congo-to-Spokane story, the impact of immense gratefulness and opportunity is impossible to ignore. Jeanine, in her bright, fun, intelligent, and peaceful presence holds all of these characteristics and more. Alongside being a student, a nursing assistant,…

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