If you couldn’t read or write…

My pad of paper was blank. Pen in hand, ready to write… but no words to put down. I was listening to problems I had no solutions for. Listening to challenges I could not fix. I sat there, eager to jot down a million notes and ways that we could step into the mix and

Soap Night

I was in my happy place as I stopped to look around the Artisan Center one Thursday night. The room was full of teenagers from Afghanistan, Eritrea, and Myanmar; MU students and CPS teachers who came to mentor and provide homework assistance at Youth Impact Night also crowded downstairs. Many of our City of Refuge teens

A Day in the Life…

Here’s a day in the life of our Director of Refugee Care. These are real stories in a real day… and why were are so thankful for the countless individuals who support what we do every single day.  An hour or so into the day… I helped a refugee lady emotionally process her recent car accident.

We have the heart to help…

13 of us sat in the circle, discussing the ways that this time together could truly be most beneficial. We represented Burma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Eritrea, a Thailand refugee camp, South Africa, America.  Our Refugee Advisory Council was gathered again – a group of identified leaders within tribes and communities that now

Stories, Smiles & Toys

There are few things better in this world than little-kid giggles. You know the kind. They range from quiet chuckles to full on belly laughs.They’re so funny and infectious. Spend a few minutes inside City Preschool, and you’ll hear all the sounds of childhood, in about five different languages.  When I started as City of

Hope Restored

I’ve joked with our staff lately about our “Great Transition”. It’s been a whirlwind month of navigating weather, school closings, staff changes (including some new hires!), funding requirements, a preschool launching, and new families arriving all.the.time.  Suffice it to say: we haven’t been bored. But as we look ahead to what 2024 holds, we eagerly

No one wants to be a Refugee

“One refugee without hope is one too many.” These are the words offered to me as I sat in a living room across from Rehema when I asked him what he would like Americans to know about the refugee process. I had done something unusual. I had reached out to ask Rehema to see if

A Nexus for Community

Hear below from Aaron Finkel, a long-time volunteer who launched our City Strings program and has recently taken over coordinating our English Buddy program:  The most meaningful thing I’ve seen is how City of Refuge creates a nexus for community to happen in so many different ways. Volunteers can meet each other and share experiences.

A Farewell of Sorts

I remember the first gift I made to City of Refuge. It was September 2018, and the organization’s building at the time needed to be outfitted. They shared an Amazon gift list in a social media post, and I bought them a set of window blinds. It was my first step forward–my first investment, modest

From Boyfriends to Childbirth

Our community, working together, truly makes Columbia a city of refuge. We see our organization as a catalyst for connecting people to people, a place where relationships can form, a place where friendships can flourish. Read below to see the impact our volunteers have in our refugee friends’ lives.  Mariea is one of our fabulous artisan volunteers;