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World Relief and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church educate on refugees

St. Stephen’s rector has hosted four refugee families since 2012

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and World Relief are hosting an informational educational presentation on refugees from 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, May 20, at the church, 57th and Perry.

“We hope to dispel fears and myths about refugees,” said the Rev. Bill Osborne, rector of St. Stephen’s. 

Bill and his family hosted four refugee families and followed up with them.  After they welcomed refugees at the airport, they had the families stay in their home for one to six days before moving into an apartment.  The congregation helped provide most of the furnishings for their apartments.

The first refugee family came from Congo-Burundi with three children.  The second family was a father from Pakistan and mother from Indonesia, who came from Malaysia with their three children. For 24 hours in November, they hosted a family of eight from Syria, before a Spokane Valley church took over.  In December, they welcomed two Rohingyan men from Burma.

Bill’s father-in-law was a refugee after the end of World War II, an ethnic German who escaped from a death camp in Yugoslavia and fled to Vienna.  A Methodist church in Pasadena sponsored him, and he later became a Methodist pastor.

Bill met his wife, Margaret Drumm, during graduate school at Humboldt State University when they were attending her father’s church.  Her parents were hosting a refugee and his family from Eritrea for a year in their home.  He later became a pharmacist.

In 2011, Bill and his family moved to Spokane.

Bill’s daughter, Elisa, helped with a Ferris High School fund raiser for World Relief in 2012. She learned that WR needed host families and encouraged her parents to volunteer.

“I’ve found it interesting attending meetings with World Relief, which was formed from the National Association of Evangelicals, and I’ve found that dealing with issues around refugees is  a good way to unite,” he said.

For information, call 448-2255 or email

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