our stories are important to tell

stories convey heart truths

We tell stories for a variety of reasons – to pass family history from one generation to the next, to engage the listener at a deeper level than is possible through a treatise on a subject, and because it allows us to describe the complexities of life.

Humans have been telling stories for millenia. Some cultures today still use storytelling as the primary way of communicating things of significance. Listen carefully to the stories of refugees and those around them…

More stories (from Minnesota):
The Refugee’s Story
The Volunteer’s Story
The Church’s Story
World Relief Minnesota’s Story
Our Collective Story

This video, produced by the World Relief, tells some of the story of refugees coming to America.

You can find more photos at World Relief Minnesota’s flickr page.


These refugees are in Mae La Camp in Thailand waiting outside the International Organization of Migration (IOM) for their health screenings and cultural orientation classes. Before a refugee can enter the United States, he or she must pass an intense screening process by the Overseas Processing Entity (OPE) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), receive medical clearance, and participate in an orientation about life and culture in the U.S.

When refugees arrive in Minnesota, they receive support and services from a resettlement agency. As one of the five resettlement agencies in the Twin Cities, World Relief Minnesota (WRM) works closely with each newly arrived refugee family to ensure that their basic needs are met within the first 30-90 days of arrival. WRM also provides refugee cash assistance services, employment services, immigration services, and refugee social services. In the picture above, WRM volunteers are tutoring refugees preparing to take their citizenship exam.

The goal of World Relief Minnesota’s programs is to lead refugee families to self-sufficiency and integration into their new community. Support from both American neighbors and ethnic community members helps new refugees start to feel at home here. In this photo, a refugee family shares a meal and their culture with some new American friends.