the joys and challenges of working with refugees, part one

Kosovo Refugees

Written by Dena Dyer

I'm a wife, mom, author, communications director and speaker who enjoys encouraging my fellow women through all types of media.

January 12, 2012

Kosovo Refugees

[serialposts]As an eleven year-old dreamer in Dumas, a small town in the Texas panhandle, I attended mission classes at our local Baptist church and wondered if God would call me to be a missionary to Africa. The thought thrilled and terrified me at the same time. But I simply prayed, “God, use me as you see best. Wherever you want me, I will go.”

Fast-forward thirty years, and I now have a job I never knew existed during my adolescence.

I’m the Director of Communications and Development for a non-profit in Amarillo, Texas (forty-five minutes from where I grew up) which resettles refugees. Catholic Family Service has a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to aid refugees in starting a new life. These victims of war and persecution have been through atrocities few of us can even imagine, and come from such diverse places as Iraq, Cuba, Burma, Congo, and Somalia.

Amarillo is now an incredibly diverse city, with people from over 60 countries residing within its city limits. When my husband, two boys and I moved here last year to be near family, I was amazed as God miraculously opened the doors for me to take this job.

I didn’t go to the mission field; the mission field came to me.

Now I have the privilege of raising support and awareness for all of CFS’s divisions, including affordable housing, an emergency youth shelter, a food pantry for senior citizens and the disabled, and our refugee programs. As I see our tireless staff in action, I hear Christ say:

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,”
Matthew 25:35

To be continued… 

1 Comment

  1. Diana Trautwein

    CFS is one of the very best NGO’s out there – I read this 2-part series in backwards order and thank you for each of them. Our local CFS does amazing work with the homeless, with single moms and children and undoubtedly a whole long list of other services I am as yet unaware of. Lovely that a Baptist can join hands with this group of dedicated Jesus-followers and model ecumenism while serving the least of these. Cool.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

the joys and challenges of working with refugees, part one

by Dena Dyer time to read: 1 min