An incredible story of the joy in serving the vulnerable and why working at World Relief was an easy choice for this Resettlement Specialist.
By: Katie Chandler, Resettlement Specialist at World Relief Spokane
Why World Relief?
As I worked my way through the application process for this job, this was a question I encountered a lot. And it took a lot of time to answer. Not because I couldn’t think of a reason to take an official role in the organization, but because it was such an easy answer. Coming up with a list of reasons meant turning passion and ambition into a bulleted list. For me, it was simple. Working here makes sense.
I came to the job several weeks after an internship (that I had already stretched out two months beyond what I had originally planned because I just couldn’t leave) in the Reception & Placement (R&P) department, the same department I work in now. This internship wasn’t always glamorous. I spent many hours sitting in waiting rooms, at bus stops, and in social service lobbies. A busy week involved a stack of paperwork and a larger stack of shredding.
But I also got to hear people’s stories.
I encountered the joys and hardships of the clients I worked with every single day. I had the opportunity to advocate for clients when they couldn’t do so themselves. I had tea with parents and played games with their kids. I sat with them as they told me about their families back home, who they haven’t seen in years. I listened as they explained what was different about America and what scared or excited them. I prayed with my coworkers and asked them hundreds of questions. I giggled with clients when they tried to teach me their language and I just couldn’t get it. For five months, I was part of an amazing organization serving the vulnerable in Spokane.
When my internship came to a close, the only consolation was an opportunity to join the World Relief team again, as full-time staff. I ran at the opportunity with everything I had. Coming back meant coming back to friendships with staff and with clients. It meant watching as clients succeed and celebrating those victories with them. It meant diving deeper into the work that I already loved, experiencing the exhaustion and joys unique to case management, and empowering others to find passion in serving the people I love serving so much. It is work that Christ calls me to and that I thrive in. And now, hours and hours of prayer and hopeful thinking later, I get to do it.
Being a case manager – in title, a resettlement specialist – is one of the most amazing opportunities that has ever been presented to me. I am so excited to continue to learn from my coworkers and those that I serve. I’ve already been to a birthday party for a one-year-old Iraqi girl and experienced the frustration in struggling to meet client’s expectations. Both of these things have fulfilled me, though in different ways, and have allowed me to pour out the love of Christ in the best way I know how.
Paperwork will continue to be a drag, and there will be days that are so difficult I will seriously consider quitting. But to me, it will be more than worth it. I am joining an organization that is home to an amazing group of staff and one that helps create a home for those who have lived so long without one. There is nothing else I would rather be doing.