Lovelight Stories Podcast

Understanding The Refugee Experience and Creating Opportunity with Missy Williams | Seed Effect

April 12, 2023

< back to blog home

The Lovelight Stories Podcast with Missy Williams, Seed Effect

Missy Williams co-founded Seed Effect with her husband after a mission trip to South Sudan where they witnessed the need for displaced families to be supported in creating opportunity as they rebuild their lives. Today, she serves as the Executive Director.

In this episode, you’ll gain a better understanding of the refugee experience. You’ll begin to understand what she’s witnessed in working with people in South Sudan and Uganda, as well as how specific finance solutions are helping refugees rebuild their lives through creating opportunity.


Listen + Subscribe on your favorite platform: need to link to actual LS podcast

Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | Pandora | iHeartRadio

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Understanding the refugee experience and the unstable political landscape of South Sudan


  • Reframing what it means to be a refugee


  • Understanding the surprising reality of where most refugees end-up when they leave their home country


  • Understanding the difference between micro-finance institutions and savings groups


  • The power of micro finances and savings groups, and why they are necessary


Missy Williams, Seed Effect

A few points to note:

As Missy shares, “99% of refugees will remain in a country adjacent to their own.” Contrary to what many of us might think, so few actually make it any farther. Most aren’t coming to the US and restarting their lives, and as Missy pointed out, many are in a safer place but don’t have opportunities or resources available once they arrive to their new home country. With the tools of Seed Effect, they can begin creating opportunities to flourish!

Savings groups are lead within the local community and sustained by the members themselves. After 3 years, 90% of members graduate from the program and 99% continue on their own. Now that’s a high success rate!


This is a story that helps us better understand the topic of refugee migration internationally, and the successful tools available to help them in creating opportunity in their new home countries. It’s a model of true empowerment!

LSP | Seed Effect

Missy's bio:

Missy and her husband, David, co-founded Seed Effect in 2009 in partnership with the local church after a mission trip to South Sudan. Missy serves as Seed Effect’s Executive Director, managing a team of seven in the US and leading the organization through strategic planning and expansion, vision casting, fundraising, marketing and development, while also supporting a team of over 70 full-time and another 150 part-time staff in Uganda.

Missy not only helped found and grow Seed Effect in South Sudan, but when war broke out, she led the organization alongside the local leadership through a transition to northern Uganda. The Seed Effect team pioneered a savings program for refugees that has grown to serve over 56,000 people in over 2,000 Christ-centered savings and loan groups. Seed Effect now oversees the largest network of savings and loan groups in the region.

Missy received her B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin. Upon graduating from UT, and prior to launching Seed Effect, she managed a small business and started an interior design firm in Dallas. Missy and David have two children, are actively involved in Watermark Community Church and serve on the board of their children's school, Classical School of Dallas. Missy also loves to watercolor, garden, fly fish, and travel with her family.


Links Mentioned

Watch on YouTube!

Send us your Heartmail!

Have a relatable experience to share, encouraging words for our guest, or just want to share a comment?

If there’s a large response to today's episode, we might just bring our guest back on the show to dive into your comments, or even have them join us as a guest in The Lovelight Stories FB Community!


1.)  Leave a quick voice message

Leave a voice message for our guest and you'll have a chance to have your note featured on an upcoming episode! Leave your voice message here!

2.)  Submit your written questions

Submit your written questions or encouraging comments for today's guest here instead. Submit questions and comments here!


Submit your guest idea

Have someone you know who'd be a great guest on the show? Have a topic idea? Submit your ideas here!


Stephanie Jacobs | Storyteller & Advocate for Social Justice
The Lovelight Stories Podcast with Missy Williams, Seed Effect
The Lovelight Stories Podcast with Missy Williams, Seed Effect

Explore more categories:  Lovelight Stories Podcast, Social Issues

share this post:

Leave a Reply

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

search our blog + show notes!

Hey! Do you have any stories on...