Field notes, perspectives, stories & updates from IAFR's work in Dzaleka Refugee Camp, Malawi
The photo above is definitely not the greatest photo in the world. Its just a couple of guys standing around a dimly lit room...but it was the conversation that was taking place that really mattered. The photo was taken inside a recently built church in Dzaleka Refugee Camp. To hear the church leaders describe the journey of getting to this point was amazing, revealing in so many different ways the resilience of the refugee spirit and the faithfulness of God all in one.
What was even greater though, was how one of the church elders described the way the people in the church were contributing towards the completion of the building. "Everyone is contributing...everyone is contributing...we are all contributing piece by piece" he kept saying. His words were a reminder to me of the healing power of acts of contribution - the ability to give and not just receive or be told what to do. Giving and contributing to one's community, one's church, one's family, one's country is a humanizing act, and it brings dignity and hope.
But even then my friend was not done in describing the meaning of what the church was doing. As refugees he said, we are not building this church for ourselves because one day we will leave. But this church will remain for other people in Malawi to use in the future. Our refugee friends are far more than people in need. They are kind, generous to a fault, and resilient in ways I still cannot understand or imagine.
A team from IAFR is headed back to the Dzaleka Refugee Camp after a two year absence due to Covid restrictions. Their time will include visiting and worshipping with our partner churches, meeting with refugee pastors and leaders, and following up on shared projects. The team will also be meeting with our partner, There Is Hope Malawi. There is much excitement as we anticipate reconnecting with our friends
IAFR has been serving people in Dzaleka Refugee Camp since 2009. About 50,000 people (mostly women and children) have found temporary refuge here from war, persecution and gross violations of human rights.
We visit Dzaleka 2-3 times annually, during which time this blog is most active.
Visit the Dzaleka page on the IAFR.org website to learn more!
We partner with There Is Hope, a Christian humanitarian and development agency established by a former refugee, Innocent Magambi.
We also partner with refugee churches in Dzaleka, seeking to partner with them in pursuing some of the things God has put on their heart to do.
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