In June of 2016 a group of church members came together to form the Refugee Task Force, a committee focused on bringing a refugee to Olympia. This goal continues First Olympia’s legacy of sponsoring refugees beginning in World War II. The group connected with Lutheran Community Services liason, John Forseth, to begin the process. After six months of planning, training and conversation First Olympia was proud to welcome Layla, a 28 year old woman from Somalia. Layla arrived on January 17 at Sea Tac airport, where she was greeted by members of our steering committee. We hope that Layla is only the first of many that we will welcome into the Olympia community.

As of July 2017 Layla has settled into an apartment, gotten a driver’s liscence and has found part-time work. She continues to work on her English and has found community in a local mosque.

The Refugee Ministries team is in the process of discerning next steps for sponsoring another individual or family. For more information on how to join this team please contact the church office.