Each month this year, Amplio will be highlighting a different non-profit partner providing job preparation and job training within the refugee communities we serve. More than just words, we are committing to financially support the work of the partner we select each month and want you to join us! We will match every dollar given to the Amplio Foundation this month, up to $1000, in support of this month’s partner.
Anchored by Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, the Research Triangle area has become one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States, doubling its population over the past decade.
The area boasts a myriad of colleges and universities, worldwide companies and start-ups. Education, plenteous jobs, and affordable housing make the area a popular destination not just for students, but refugees and immigrants from around the world.
“We began to ask, ‘What’s up with the local church in the south?’ It’s so segregated and divided—everyone going to different churches, or no church at all,” Lawrence explains.
Burdened by the vision of a unified church, he and his wife, Jina, established Waypoint Church in 2014 with the purpose of reaching their community, meeting practical needs, and providing a place where all nations could worship together.
In just four short years, that vision has come to life. Their congregation currently represents over 38 nations across the world.
The ministry extends a helping hand to international students and refugees, connecting them with valuable tools and resources to thrive. They partner with World Relief, a refugee resettlement agency, where Lawrence serves on the board, and together have put in more volunteer hours than any other local church, despite their humble size.
Lawrence has such a heart for the community that he started a restaurant with the intention of providing a living wage to refugees.
Sushiōki is now a local favorite, serving up hand-held sushi rolls “you eat like a burrito”. Lawrence sees the restaurant as a gateway into more sustainable careers—careers being obtained with the help of a new connection—Amplio Recruiting.
For Lawrence, this was no problem. With roots deep in the refugee community, he began sending Tucker names and numbers of talented and dependable Raleigh-Durham refugees ready to work.
“I will just text him names and numbers. ‘Here’s Ahmeed, here’s Emmanuel…’ a name and a number and he contacts them and meets them from there. It’s constant.”
Refugees face two common obstacles when it comes to jobs. The first is fear, a challenge made nearly obsolete by the trust Lawrence has built within the refugee community.
“Some refugees are afraid. But the ones I send all take the job because they trust [the relationship.]” he explains.
The second obstacle is underemployment.
“They may get jobs immediately, but a lot of them are in food service. A construction job may be, ‘Okay I’ll call you when I need you.’ You can’t raise a family on that. They need consistency, and benefits.”
“Lawrence is a prime example of how to serve refugees well,” Tucker Stevens shares. “If you are in this arena and want to grow… you’d better know Lawrence!”
As our June partner of the month, we’re highlighting their great work to give you the opportunity to partner alongside them in their mission. In the coming years, the church plans to build out an “International Center”, housing offices for all areas of refugee and immigrant ministries within the Triangle, that would be on a convenient bus route. The vision is a self-sustaining central hub for services and resources like ESL, resume building, financial support, networking and more for helping these new arrivals.
To make a charitable donation, visit the Amplio Foundation page. Scroll down and click the Donate Now button. Fill in the amount and payment information, as well as whether you would like for it to be a one-time gift or recurring donation. Click the Give button and you’re done! Thank you for partnering with us to support the refugee workforce.