By Marc Wyatt
According to World Relief, “Over 65.6 million of the world’s population has been forcibly displaced. Families have been forced to flee their homes, communities, and the worlds they know. Nearly a third of these people are formally classified by the United Nations as refugees, and all need our help. The refugee crisis is the greatest, most complex humanitarian crises of our generation. But making a difference in the lives of refugees in the U.S. and around the world doesn’t have to be complex.”
Monday, April 9, representatives of the newly established collaborative of local CBF of North Carolina congregations called Welcome House Winston met with World Relief leaders to lay the ground work for a new North Carolina Partnership.
Representing Welcome House were Cathy Kiser of United Baptist Church; Kellan Wilson-Withers of First Baptist Mt. Airy; Joseph Jones of First Baptist Winston-Salem; Linda Jones, Mission Coordinator for CBFNC; and Kim and Marc Wyatt, Global Missions field personnel and Advocates for Internationals. Welcome House Winston is the most recent refugee housing and hospitality ministry to join the North Carolina movement that includes similar efforts in Raleigh, Durham and Wilmington.
The new partnership will strengthen the efforts of Welcome House by guiding the new ministry to form itself into a World Relief Good Neighbor Team.
Welcome House Winston began its ministry in November 2017. The ministry provides full support to two mothers and their babies while they progress through the asylum immigration process. The WHW Good Neighbor Team is made up of volunteers from multiple local churches who responded to an emergency request from Heather Scavone, Director of the Elon Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic in Greensboro to provide aid to two Congolese Asylum Seeker moms last summer. The Winston-based refugee ministry formed while the two mothers and their babies were under the ministry care of Welcome House Wilmington, the refugee housing ministry of Winter Park Baptist Church.
While these families have significant needs and face the incredible challenges of the immigration process and adjustment in the U.S., this new partnership will offer practical ways to help them move toward self-sufficiency while facilitating reciprocal relationships with vetted volunteers from local churches. The partnership also provides training and support from experienced World Relief staff to the Welcome House Winston Team.
Welcome House Winston joins other good work of local Good Neighbor Teams in the Triad including that of Knollwood Baptist and Ardmore Baptist Churches nearby.