This past month the world paused to recognize World Refugee Day. We both grieved the suffering and honored the bravery of over 65 million men, women and children who have fled their homes. For those of us who have not personally embarked on that forced journey, it is hard to even imagine the courage and perseverance it must require to be reduced to a desperate search for the most basic of freedoms and the preservations of our very lives. Yet many of you have begun to understand as you have stepped out of places of comfort to walk alongside refugees coming in unprecedented numbers to Sacramento by demonstrating what a world can look like that doesn’t give into fears and stereotypes but that instead models true hospitality.

We must deepen our efforts and investments our newest neighbors from a place of receiving loving hospitality to their becoming cherished and invaluable members of our common household. World Relief Sacramento is uniquely positioned for this historic moment. Joining our 28 plus years of experience serving over 30,000 refugees with the skills and passions of the immigrant and refugee community along with churches and volunteers, we believe that a legacy will result worthy of the world’s attention and imitation. This will require an unprecedented expansion of staff and program attention on long-term integration objectives which will necessitate significant financial generosity to match our personal engagement. In the coming months we will be laying out a clear vision for these new areas of focus and how we can join together to live up to this historic moment. Some of this has already been shared with the launching of our new employment services last month.

On behalf of all of the staff, I want to thank you your selfless service and investment in this truly unique moment for our community.

Respectfully, Kirt E. Lewis – Director, World Relief Sacramento