The IAFR Blog

Field notes, perspectives, stories, news & announcements

Dirty Laundry

Doing the laundry in Lille
It’s not easy to live without a place in this world.

Asylum seekers and refugees face a myriad of challenges to do things that most of us take for granted. Take France for example. Due to a shortage of shelter available to asylum seekers, over a third of them must make do without assistance.

Many asylum seekers end up living outside in makeshift camps.

Their small homemade shelters are cold, muddy, and saturated with the pervasive smell of damp wood and old campfires.

Our team in Lille, France, regularly visits the people in one such camp and noticed their struggle to wash and dry the few clothes that they possess. So the team recently added a washer and dryer to our refugee ministry centre there.

"We have nowhere to go for this."

IAFR’s Paul Sydnor recently visited the camp. A couple of asylum seekers pulled him to the side and asked if he could help them wash their clothes. They confided, "We have nowhere to go for this."

Paul was happy to tell them about the washer and dryer at the centre and arranged to meet them there to drop off their laundry.

We all know how clean clothing can make us feel human again. It is hard to imagine just how much it means to our displaced friends. We trust it is a tangible sign that God has not abandoned them.

It is our joy to meet them on their journey.

We are grateful to our many friends who partner with us in prayer and through financial support. It is because of you that we are able to show up in the lives of our displaced friends in life-giving ways.

- Tom Albinson with Paul Sydnor

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She Ran for Her Life

A Jonathan House resident shares her story
"I hope God will help me to see my family before I die."

When family members spoke out for democracy and political change, the government murdered them. It then singled out Baba (pseudonym) for persecution, torture, and imprisonment.

"I ran to save my life because they wanted to kill me too."

Baba had to leave her children behind in her homeland when she fled to America. She is now among the asylum seekers living in one of IAFR's safe houses in the Twin Cities that we call Jonathan House.

Like many asylum seekers and refugees, faith plays an important role in Baba's life. Soon after her arrival in Minnesota, she sought out a local church community. This ethnic fellowship plays an important role in strengthening her faith and hope during her time of crisis.

"Jonathan House encourages me in my faith."

Baba recently told an IAFR missionary serving with our Jonathan House ministry,

"Jonathan House is a very nice place for asylum seekers. You accept people as family. You enter into my problems to pray with me. You got me connected to my church and talked with my pastor. This is what I appreciate."

Because of the important relationship between faith and hope, our team offers prayer and encouragement to Jonathan House residents that want it. When possible, we also help connect them with a local community of faith.

"We know how we are weak and fallen, but God keeps us safe and saved us, so we praise him."

We are grateful to our many friends who partner with the Jonathan House ministry in prayer and through financial support. It is because of you that we are able to offer safe shelter, supportive community, and spiritual support to Baba and other residents.

Click here to hear more of Baba's story and the ministry of Jonathan House.

CLICK HERE if you would like to financially partner with our Jonathan House ministry. It's easy to do and makes a life-giving difference in the lives of Baba and other residents!

A refugee mother with baby in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya.

When you partner with IAFR, you are meeting critical needs, strengthening hope, and re-humanizing our refugee friends. Your support is a tangible sign to them that they are not forgotten and that God hears and sees and cares for them.

Many thanks to our faithful and generous financial partners who make it possible for our team to show up in the lives of refugees and asylum seekers every day!

- Tom Albinson with SJ Holsteen

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