by Marc and Kim Wyatt
1 in 122 persons on earth is a refugee. Today we celebrated strangers becoming neighbors and refugees being welcomed here.
Inspiring event today as 130 community stakeholders celebrated with word and song the opening of Welcome House Raleigh. WHR is the third temporary housing initiative of its kind in NC; Hope House Durham (Hope Valley Baptist Church) and Welcome House Wilmington (Winter Park BC) round out the growing Network. Each is a collaborative of local refugee agencies, churches and community stakeholders invested in social capital and hospitality efforts toward arriving sponsored refugee families.
Despite the threat of rain host church, Crabtree Valley Baptist Church welcomed volunteers and supporters from 15 churches and organizations who celebrated their good work. The first guests of WHR were also in attendance. The family of four from Iraq thanked everyone for welcoming them to the US.
Words of encouragement were shared by Pastor Charles Allard, Crabtree Valley BC, Dr Scott Phillips, Director of US Committed for Refugees and Immigrants NC Field Office, Dr Linda Jones, Mission Coordinator for Cooperative Baptist Fellowship NC, Bill Baxley, Entrepreneur and WH Project Coordinator, Marc and Kim Wyatt, Welcome House Coordinators and Dr Roger Nix, Executive Director Raleigh Baptist Association.
Plans for the fourth Welcome House are under discussion with CBFNC and eight Winston Salem Churches.