Removing language barriers,
building leaders, and
cultivating community.

Removing language barriers,
building leaders, and
cultivating community.

We serve refugees in Amarillo and the surrounding regions of the Texas Panhandle by studying their languages and cultures, connecting their communities with local institutions, and fostering relationships between refugees and local residents.

The Refugee Language Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Amarillo, Texas. Launched in May 2017, it is directed by Dr. Ryan Pennington, a linguist with a decade of international non-profit experience. It is funded primarily by donations.

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Discover an exciting world of language and culture!

Volunteer, join our prayer team, or catch the recent news from the blog.

Everyone has a story to tell. Lual knows this and has been collecting stories from Dinka speakers without knowing what he was going to do with them until we met with him and his wife Diana last week. We are excited to partner with Lual, Diana and a number of other refugees in Amarillo on our heritage language storybook project. We were recently awarded a large grant through the Amarillo Area Foundation to record and translate stories from various refugee communities, producing storybooks to help preserve their cultures & histories while also promoting vital early literacy habits through printed books.

We will use Table Talk this Fall to facilitate a time for sharing these stories and providing feedback before publishing. Join us at the table on Thursday evenings, starting September 2nd, at Crossroads Church to listen and learn from a different community each week. You'll get the chance to hear a wide range of stories, experience the rich and varied cultures in our city and enjoy food from around the world while partnering with these communities in the editing process.

If you're looking for an opportunity to get involved, but aren't ready for a one-on-one mentorship, Table Talk is the perfect entry point to meeting some of your neighbors. Everyone is invited to join us as we listen each week, and we are looking for volunteers to help with childcare on those Thursday evenings as well. We'd love for you to listen one week and serve the next! Please contact mandi@refugeelanguage.org if you would like to help!

Be sure to join our email newsletter list to get all the latest information on when Table Talk is happening. Link in bio.
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We are looking for a part-time childcare coordinator to help us watch children during our exciting programs!

Specifically, we are looking for someone who can run a small childcare program during our women’s literacy class at an apartment complex on Tuesday/Thursday mornings, as well as at our Table Talk events on Thursday evenings beginning in September.

This person will need to be present at our programs, plan the activities, prepare materials, and supervise volunteer childcare teams when needed.

Hours: 5–10 total/week
Literacy Class: 10:30–12:30 on Tuesday & Thursday mornings (begin now)
Table Talk: 5:30–8:30 Thursday evenings (begin September)
Plus flexible prep time

Call or email us if you're interested!
(806) 553-5160
contact@refugeelanguage.org
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Have you seen our announcements about The PLACE? We are collaborating with two other local organizations (We Find in Love and Square Mile) to develop the multi-cultural community center we've been dreaming about! It stands for The Place for Language, Art, Culture, and Economic Growth. Would you like to hear more about this new big thing?

Tomorrow, July 14, we'll be sharing more about the vision at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church's summer fundraiser. We'll share at 5:30 PM, followed by food trucks and music in the courtyard. Come hang out and hear more!
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We're grateful this sweet girl lives in our city. ...

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A Karen dance at the Panhandle Refugee Celebration. ...

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July 2021: Panhandle Refugee Celebration // Check out the pics from last weekend's Panhandle Refugee Celebration. Then read about Ryan's unplanned speech to the Karen community about walking on stilts! ...

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The Panhandle Refugee Celebration was a great chance to honor the refugee communities who make this city so much better! ...

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Serges Hakizimana is important to us. He's a leader that we respect so much. Yesterday, he dropped by our office just to encourage Ryan and pray for him! We're helping him grow his interpreting business, Karibu Services, to equip him to meet the refugee communication needs of this city. We've also enjoyed getting to know his wife, Diana, in our mentorship program.

If you pray, please pray for Serges! In fact, we have a specific prayer request for him and his wonderful family. Join our prayer team to learn about how you can pray for Serges. Email emily@refugeelanguage.org for more information!
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Discussions about how to lead well with Christar, founder of Karen Community of Amarillo.

Together, we are asking the question, How can we change the citizenship process so that it's smoother? In particular, how can we waive certain language requirements for traumatized adults who never learned to read and write in their home countries? It's such a high bar, that many will never be able to pass the test from Texas.

Did you know that TONS of refugees move out of Amarillo to other states every year in order to become citizens? These are people who love Amarillo, who have stable jobs, who have started businesses, who have children in our school system. We've invested in these families for 5 years, only for them to leave for something we COULD provide.

They sacrifice their homes in Amarillo and move to Ohio or Minnesota or elsewhere just to become citizens, just to belong to the country that has welcomed them.

Later, some return, but most never do.
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Get ready Amarillo for something REALLY BIG!!!

The PLACE is coming soon to our dear city. It will be THE Place for Language, Art, Culture & Economic Growth.

We're so pumped to collaborate with @wefindinlove and @squaremilecommunity !!
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June Special Edition: Two Special Opportunities // Two special opportunities this month only! Trauma training this Thursday, and the Panhandle Refugee Celebration on June 27. Link in profile. ...

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As Chloe meets Thaw the artist, our friend Moses looks on. His sushi business closed in Arizona during the pandemic, causing him to relocate to Amarillo. We've welcomed Moses into our Face to Face program. He doesn't know many people here, but we have someone visiting him every week to develop his writing skills so he can pass his citizenship exam. ...

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June 2021: Get Involved This Summer // Now that we're settled into our office, we're enrolling refugees at a pace we've never seen! Would you consider getting involved in some way over the summer? Check out this month's newsletter to learn more, to see pictures from our Open House last month, and to read about our LAST CHANCE for our trauma healing training next week! ...

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Meeting with Samuel is always a delight! This time, we dreamed together about his unique ability to impact the world. We want him to identify the unique intersection of his talents, passions, and how these can impact the world around him in meaningful ways. In order to have the time to say Yes to the right things though, we often have to say No to many other things. Pray for wisdom for Samuel!

We loaned Samuel this book to help him brainstorm about what God has uniquely prepared him to do. If you see him around town, tell him Hi! You'll be seeing much more of Samuel in the near future!
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Our Open House was an incredible blessing! Over 100 people came to celebrate with us and dedicate our office before the Lord. Thanks to everyone who brought gifts, including plants and donations. We'll spend the rest of this week showing some pics from the event, and giving you a virtual tour of the office.

In the meantime, check out this beautiful charcoal piece given to us by our beloved friend and artist Thaw Klaw. This captivating picture is hanging proudly in our office! Thank you Thaw!
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You're invited to drop by our new office today between 5 and 7 PM. Say hello, grab a cookie and some coffee or lemonade, and have a chat if you'd like. We'll have a short time of prayer and dedication at 6:30 for everyone who's there at that time. Rain or shine, we'll be there! See you this evening, and thanks for your support.

Directions to 2001 S. Polk: From I-40 East, exit Washington and stay on the access road. Pass Crossroads Church (previously God of Wonders) and you'll see our small building tucked in the corner with our sign out front facing the highway.
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