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Resettlement Timeline

In the previous post, I talked about the refugee resettlement—how it’s the least-preferred of several options. Today, I outline the rough timeline refugees face during their first five years in the USA. At the end, I mention how we can help refugees through relational language exposure.   Timeline When a refugee has been assigned to…

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Resettlement: the least-preferred option

US Refugee Resettlement Journey

The refugee journey is long and winding. In the previous post, it was mentioned that 50% of refugees have been displaced from their homes for over 10 years. Refugee camps and urban centers around the world are overflowing with people who were displaced decades before. They’ve birthed their children in those tents. Then, after 3 or…

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What’s in a name? Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Immigrants

A decade ago, the name “refugee” was not a dinner table word. In fact, when refugee service workers would explain their job titles to the uninitiated, people would frequently require definitions: “What is a refugee?” was a common question. Since 2001, and especially since 2015, the word “refugee” has become a buzzword that stirs anger,…

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Fear Not

Let not fear move us away from refugees. As I look out across my city and my nation, I see fear preventing people from doing good. Fear is such a powerful enemy in this fight. Fear blinds us from applying the Bible’s central tenet of love on a personal level with those who have been…

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Refugee Highway Partnership

Last week I joined hundreds of people at a conference for the Refugee Highway Partnership of North America. RHPNA is one of five Refugee Highway groups around the world who are “helping the church seek the welfare of the world’s 65 million forcibly displaced people.” Other chapters are located in Africa, Europe, the Middle East,…

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Fundraising: Why is it needed?

If you’ve been following this journey, you might have asked yourself the following question: “If Ryan wants to help refugees, why doesn’t he just get a job and then serve in his off-time like everybody else?” It’s a good question, and one I have wrestled with for nearly a year. After all, I just spent…

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Location Location Location: Difficulties with Church-Based ESL Programs

Church-Based ESL Programs For decades, Amarillo churches have answered the call to serve incoming refugees through English and citizenship classes. The sheer number of volunteers serving the refugee community in this city is mind-boggling! At Paramount Baptist Church alone, 80 volunteers arrive every Wednesday to serve 300 refugees through their LEAF program. As I visit…

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Revised Travel Ban and Amarillo’s Refugees

The Trump Administration’s revised travel ban went into effect last night. This temporary travel restriction prevents certain foreign nationals from entering the USA if they cannot prove they have a bona fide relationship with a school or job, or with a narrowly-defined list of close relatives. The restriction applies to residents of Libya, Syria, Yemen,…

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Why the Refugee Language Project?

Why does Amarillo need the Refugee Language Project? This article answers that question. Some were blind, or couldn’t read, or had never grasped the language. When they got too old to work, they became dependent on relatives or fellow immigrants. No one wanted that fate. Learning English, as Elia knew, was not just a key…

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From One Language Project to Another

What I know for certain is that I will not end up on my deathbed regretting how I spent my time. I want my children to witness a life that is full of purposeful action, balanced with purposeful inaction. They’ll know that I am far more afraid of apathetic idleness than I am of failure.…

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