Welcoming signs are one of the first things you see when you drive into Comer, Georgia. That’s a message that many of the people here take seriously: over ten percent of the residents here are former refugees.
That’s because of Jubilee Partners.
Jubilee Partners, a Christian organization, has helped welcome nearly 4000 refugees from around the world since 1979. Here they’ve helped refugees fleeing from war-torn countries start over in the United States.
One of the founders, Don Mosley, has traveled all around the world to war zones and refugee camps talking to refugees and hearing their stories. He says this inspired him to take action here at home.
Mosley says that “love put into action is the most effective deterrent to escalating violence around the world.” Love for the world’s people, Mosley says, drives the work of Jubilee Partners.
Despite the controversial opinions towards refugees in the United States, Mosley says he continously surprised at how welcoming the local community is once they encounter these refugees.
Jubilee Partners typically hosts families that are referred to them by the International Rescue Committee in Atlanta. Right now two families from Congo and one family from Honduras are here learning English, working around the grounds and taking citizenship classes.
Jubilee Partners relies on volunteers to make all of this possible. Many of these volunteers come from all over the country and stay for months at a time.
Christy Fossum recently retired and is now a full-time volunteer. She says that she wishes more people knew the stories of the refugees.
“They are deeply grateful, but there is deep sorrow that will never go away that they have had to leave their homeland. It’s not a choice they wanted to make,” Fossum says.
Mosley believes that more people would be accepting of refugees if they knew their stories and their personalities. He says that one of the biggest things he’s learned is the power of looking beyond stereotypes. This is something the city of Comer has done.
“God led us to Comer,” Mosley says. “Since the beginning, the people, the churches, the police, the mayor, everyone has been so welcoming of these people.”
By: Taylor Cromwell