When I was a student at Fuller Theological Seminary, one of my professors, Bryant Myers, taught me that “broken relationships are at the heart of poverty.”
Years later, that teaching would shape the way I see the world and the way I lead in World Relief.
Myers taught that before the Fall, God established five foundational relationships that each person was created to live in: relationship with God, self, others, community, and creation.
When these relationships function properly, they pave the way for human flourishing. But when one or more of them are broken, they cause all kinds of poverty in our lives and in the lives of others:
- Broken relationships with others can lead to conflict.
- Broken relationships with creation deprive us of God’s life-giving purpose on earth – everyone’s access to beauty and sustainable food, water and resources.
- Broken relationships with ourselves destroy our ability to see the potential for change and transformation.
- And broken relationships with God prevent us from experiencing grace and restoration.
Current crises, broken relationships
Over the past year, we’ve talked at length about how COVID, conflict and climate change have converged to create the worst humanitarian crisis we’ve seen in decades.
In these crises, we see evidence of broken relationships. War displaces families from their homes. Communities are suffering the effects of natural disasters. Women and girls face increased violence and discrimination. Our own brokenness often leaves us feeling hopeless and unable to engage, while pride and division prevent us from seeking collaborative solutions to these complex issues.
It is clear that the old models of providing humanitarian aid are not enough. If we are to move forward, we must adopt a new perspective. We need to remember that the emerging world is a connected world and it takes all of us to create change.
At World Relief, we have long been committed to addressing our world’s problems holistically, empowering people and communities to restore relationships and thrive. For nearly 80 years, we’ve been moving with local churches and community leaders as we create lasting change, and many of you have moved with us.
As we settle into the new year, the issues we face in 2022 are not far behind. But thanks to the generosity of people like you, World Relief is ready to meet the emerging needs of our world. Together, we will Go farther, go deeper And go together In 2023And I’m excited to tell you how.
go away: Ukraine, Chad and Ethiopia
From February 2022, World Relief is partnering with local churches and Christian agencies UkraineResponding to a devastating war that continues to unfold. This summer, it became clear that a long-term presence in Ukraine is necessary to meet the immense needs that will expand in the coming years.
World Relief has decades of experience working in current and post-conflict settings. Our team in Ukraine builds on our technical experience to increase the capacity of local churches to meet the physical and spiritual needs of those affected by war.
in ChadWe find an opportunity to strengthen local churches to meet the needs of the most vulnerable.
The southern part of Chad is a Christian-majority region where population density is high and humanitarian actors are few. Existing local, faith-based NGOs need capacity-building support from an international Christian NGO like World Relief to scale and expand impact.
We expect the Chad office to open in early 2023 and we are moving forward with plans to open the office Ethiopia And.
Go deeper: Mental health counseling and disability inclusion
While others may focus on one area of intervention or offer only immediate assistance, we are committed to responding to needs holistically with proven solutions.
For refugees and other migrants, it means addressing the deep physical and psychological trauma many feel when forced to leave their homes and rebuild their lives in an entirely new culture.
Provided by World Relief offices in Chicagoland and North Carolina Mental health counseling for refugees for over 20 years. In 2023, we are expanding this service line to more offices to better serve the needs of those experiencing displacement.
Our commitment to developing societies is reflected in the depth of our disability-inclusive programming.. People with disabilities represent some of the most marginalized 20% of the world’s poor In developing countries.
World Relief Malawi piloted disability-inclusive programming in 2019, reaching more than 400 people through church-led initiatives in the first two years. Since then, we have expanded disability-inclusive programming to church networks in Burundi and Rwanda, and are making plans to train churches in six more countries around the world.
Go Together: Creating Lasting Change
At the heart of our commitment to go further and deeper is our commitment to go together, equipping individual and collective expressions of the Church to live out their call to serve in both word and deed.
Our newly formed Church and Community Engagement team is working hard to engage more people and more congregations in creating welcoming communities for immigrants in the US.
Globally, our Outreach Group Initiative continues to mobilize volunteers to meet the spiritual and physical needs of their neighbors, while Savings Groups are bringing people together, providing support and friendship as communities transform economically.
And then there’s you – as you move forward in this new year, it’s my prayer that you see yourself as part of a global movement creating change around the world. I pray that you find ways to strengthen relational connections in your own life so that the ripple effects of lasting change can continue to expand.
The challenges we face are huge. But, by the power of Jesus, there is greater hope when we go forward together.
Do you want to be a part of this global movement? You can make a difference in 2023 by joining World Relief. Learn more and donate today.
Mile Green There is a deep desire to see churches worldwide equipped, empowered and engaged in meeting the needs of vulnerable families in their communities. In 2021, he became President and CEO after serving the organization for fourteen years. While living in Rwanda for eight years, he developed World Relief’s innovative church-based programming model, which is currently being used in nine countries. He spent six years in leadership roles in the International Programs department. He has previous experience working with the US government. He holds a BS in Finance from Lehigh University and an MA from Fuller Theological Seminary in Global Leadership. He and his wife Sharon have three children.