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Refugee FAQ (2019)

2019 06 20 FAQ image 500x

The 2019 Refugee Realities FAQ is finally here! This 2 sided Q & A will quickly acquaint you with the latest overview concerning refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people - all people forced to flee their homes due to war, persecution, gross violations of human rights and failed states. Click the image to download a copy today!

Upcoming Webinar!

Theme: Overview of the Refugee Highway
: 25 June 2019
Time: 1:00 PM CDT (Chicago time)
Location: Online
Registration: Click here to register now!

Details:  This IAFR webinar will offer a global snapshot of the realities of refugees and others forced to flee their homes because of violence and hatred. Whether you're new to the topic of refugees and forcibly displaced people or just looking for a way to stay up to date, this webinar is for you.

Register today to join us for a one-hour session featuring Tom Albinson, Founder/President of IAFR and Ambassador for Refugees, Displaced and Stateless People for the World Evangelical Alliance.

A Time to Build!

Refugee Church Buildings - Before and After

The Kenya government opened the Kalobeyei Refugee Settlement in June 2016. It is located about 10 miles down the road from Kakuma refugee camp. About 40,000 refugees live there today.

Being a relatively new camp, Christian refugees are struggling to build suitable church buildings - a necessity as the harsh climate and terrain do not make it possible to meet safely outside.

At present, most of the churches in Kalobeyei look like the "today" photo above. As you can see, the heat, sand and winds quickly shred their simple structures.

When I met with local church leaders there in February, they asked if IAFR would partner with them to help build more durable church buildings. They proposed that we provide them with metal sheets. They will come up with the other building materials and build their churches.

100 metal sheets will build 1 refugee church. The cost per church = $1000.

A refugee church in prayer

Photo: A refugee church in prayer

Investing in life-giving faith and supportive community

Refugee churches are far more than buildings. They are communities of life-giving faith that play a critical role in helping people survive and recover from forced displacement.

Refugee church buildings serve as community hubs that buzz with activity throughout the week hosting worship services, prayer meetings, discipleship studies, choir practices, and programs for children, youth and women. They also serve as ministry centers through which the needs of orphans, widows, single moms, the elderly and chronically sick are met.

Refugee church buildings play a critical role in helping people survive and recover from forced displacement.

Thank You!

Our generous partners have already provided enough to provide metal sheets for 5 refugee church buildings! There are an estimated 45 refugee churches in Kalobeyei, of which most are in need of metal sheets.

Please pray with us that these churches will all have a suitable building before the end of 2019.

-by Tom Albinson, IAFR President

KISOM is here!

It was a joy to participate in the first training seminar to be held in the brand new building of the Kakuma Interdenominational School of Mission (KISOM) while in Kakuma last month!

KISOM was established by an association of refugee churches over 20 years ago. They have been praying for a suitable building for their school and God has now provided. What a joy for IAFR to participate with God as he answered their prayers!

KISOM - Before and After

The photos above show where they have most recently been meeting - in an abandoned and condemned primary school in the refugee camp. The new building is on land owned by our refugee partner United Refugee and Host Churches (URHC) and is situated in an easily accessible spot just outside of the camp.

The hill in the distance is commonly known as "prayer mountain" - a place that refugees and Christian humanitarian workers have gone to pray ever since the camp was established back in 1992. What a perfect view from the KISOM campus!

Prof Kalantzis teaching theology in Kakuma

Photo: Wheaton College Professor George Kalantzis teaching theology in Kakuma refugee camp (2/2019)

IAFR has been partnering with KISOM for many years. Through our partnership with Wheaton College and the Humanitarian Disaster Institute, we have brought theological and trauma care training to refugee church leaders. While in Kakuma last month, we were encouraged to hear how they are taking what they're learning back to their faith communities.

IAFR has identified 5 essentials that strengthen hope and human resilience. Our investment in KISOM is a substantial contribution to each of them. Through KISOM we are:

  1. strengthening refugee church communities;
  2. deepening faith in Jesus Christ;
  3. equipping refugee churches to help heal the wounds of trauma;
  4. strengthening the capacity of refugee leaders to care for their churches;
  5. and supporting the initiative and vision of our refugee partners (KISOM).

The KISOM campus

Photo: The KISOM campus today

Many thanks to everyone who prayed and contributed to the KISOM Building Project over the years! We hope the sight of the new building fills you with joy!

Please pray as we are now working on the final touches to this phase of the development of the KISOM campus.

We recently received a grant from the 2018 Urbana Student Missions Conference that will make it possible to add 4 toilets and a rain water collection system to provide a sustainable source of water on campus. We're praying that we will have enough funding remaining to install solar power - a clean, reliable and sustainable source of electricity on the KISOM campus!

-by Tom Albinson, IAFR President

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