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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‘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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