Welcome House, Welcoming Home


By Blake Tommey

As the sun set over the Democratic Republic of Congo, Elias Isaiah Erick and his family settled into a customary evening at home. Suddenly, militia fighters burst in, attacked Erick and kidnapped his wife and children. Alone, and with no knowledge of his family’s whereabouts, Erick fled the swelling violence as the deadline on President Joseph Kabila’s two-term limit came and went without an election.

_N2A3153 CBF field personnel Kim Wyatt leads English language classes with refugee women from the Middle East.

After arriving at a displacement camp in Kenya, Erick was miraculously reunited with his family. The International Organization for Migration then arranged for them to emigrate to North Carolina. Following extensive interviews and vetting, representatives of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) received the family in Raleigh and arranged for transitional housing — 7,000 miles away from their home in Africa. And at the end…

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