When I was a student at Fuller Theological Seminary, one of my professors, Bryant Myers, taught me, “At the heart of poverty are broken relationships.”
Years later, this reading would shape my view of the world and my leadership of World Relief.
Before the Fall, Myers taught that God created five basic relationships that each person was created to live within: relationships with God, self, others, community, and creation.
When these relationships work properly, they allow for human flourishing. But when one or more of them are broken, they create all kinds of poverty in our lives and in the lives of others:
- Disruption of relationships with others can cause conflicts.
- A broken relationship with nature separates us from God’s life-giving purpose for the earth—everyone has access to beauty and sustainable food, water, and resources.
- Our broken relationship with ourselves destroys our ability to see the possibility of change and reconstruction.
- And a broken relationship with God keeps us from grace and restoration.
Current crises, broken relationships
Last year, we talked extensively about how COVID, conflict and climate change have combined to create the worst humanitarian crisis in decades.
In these crises, we see the breakdown of relationships. War drives families from their homes. Communities suffer the consequences of natural disasters. Women and girls face violence and discrimination. Our own brokenness often leaves us feeling hopeless and disengaged, and pride and division prevent us from finding collaborative solutions to these complex problems.
It is clear that the old paradigms of humanitarian aid are insufficient. If we want to move forward, we must adopt a new perspective. We must remember that a thriving world is a connected world, and it will take all of us to create lasting change.
At World Relief, we have long been committed to providing comprehensive solutions to the world’s problems, restoring relationships and prosperity to people and communities. For nearly 80 years, we have moved with local churches and community leaders as they create lasting change, and many of you have moved with us.
Stepping into the new year, the problems facing us in 2022 are not far behind. But thanks to the generosity of people like you, World Relief is sustainable and ready to meet the emerging needs of our world. we’ll be together go far, go deep and the go together in 2023and I’m ready to tell you how.
Distance travel: Ukraine, Chad and Ethiopia
From February 2022, World Relief will cooperate with local churches and Christian agencies Ukraineresponding to the ongoing devastating war. This summer, it became clear that a long-term stay in Ukraine is necessary to meet the enormous needs that will last for years to come.
World Relief has decades of experience working in contemporary and post-conflict settings. Our team in Ukraine draws on our technical expertise to build the capacity of local churches to meet the physical and spiritual needs of war victims.
In Chadwe also found opportunities to strengthen local churches to meet the needs of vulnerable populations.
The southern part of Chad is predominantly Christian, with high population density and few humanitarian actors. Existing local, faith-based NGOs need the capacity building of an international Christian NGO such as World Relief to expand and expand their impact.
We expect the Chad office to open in early 2023, and we are moving forward with plans to open the office. Ethiopia as well as.
Deep: Mental Health Counseling and Disability Inclusion
While others may focus on one area of intervention or provide immediate assistance, we strive to fully respond to needs with sustainable, proven solutions.
For refugees and other immigrants, this means overcoming a lot of physical and psychological trauma when they are forced to leave their homes and rebuild their lives in an entirely new culture.
World Aid’s offices in Chicagoland and North Carolina are helping Over 20 years of mental health counseling for refugees. In 2023, we are expanding this service line to more offices to meet the needs of those experiencing displacement.
Our commitment to thriving communities is reflected in the depth of our disability inclusion program.. People with disabilities are some of the most marginalized 20% of the world’s poorest in developing countries.
World Relief Malawi piloted a disability-inclusive program 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 plan to train churches in six more countries around the world.
Walk Together: Creating Sustainable Change
At the heart of our desire to go further and deeper is our commitment to go together, to equip the individual and collective visions of the Church to fulfill the call to serve both in word and deed.
Our newly formed Church and Community Engagement team is working tirelessly to engage more people and more congregations in creating welcoming communities for immigrants in the US.
Globally, our Outreach Group Initiative continues to equip volunteers to meet the spiritual and physical needs of their neighbors, while savings groups connect people and provide support and friendship as communities transition economically.
And here you are – as you move forward into this new year, it is my prayer that you will see yourself as part of a global movement that is creating change around the world. I pray that you find ways to strengthen the relationships in your life so that the ripple effects of lasting change continue to expand.
The challenges before us are great. But, through the power of Jesus, there is more 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.
Myal Greene wants to see churches around the world equipped, empowered and involved in meeting the needs of vulnerable families in their communities. In 2021, he became president and CEO after fourteen years with the organization. While living in Rwanda for eight years, he developed an innovative church-based programming model for World Relief, which is now used in nine countries. He also spent six years in leadership positions in the international programs department. He has previous experience working with the US government. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Lehigh University and a master’s degree in global leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary. He and his wife Sharon have three children.