Publication Date

2005

Abstract

The paper that follows is a qualitative analysis of World Relief Moline based on grounded theory. The goal of this research was to determine the effectiveness of World Relief's approach in gaining the participation of church congregations in refugee resettlement sponsorship programs and the use of its manual for resettlement. The focus of the study was to understand why some congregations sponsored refugees while other congregations did not. Data was collected through personal interviews and through a focus group discussion (FGD) with representatives from seven congregations in the Moline area. Common themes were identified from the interviews and FGDs. The comparisons from each congregation showed that while refugee resettlement is a rich ministry, churches that sponsored refugees needed to have a clear purpose that was centered on their congregations' beliefs. Without church sponsors and other community support, voluntary agencies, like World Relief risk disbanding their refugee programs. Many agencies try to meet this challenge by stretching staff and resources, but end up sacrificing quality and thoroughness of services. With a stronger partnership between local churches and World Relief more refugees can continue to find hope and prosperity here in the United States.

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