The IAFR Blog

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Strengthening Refugee Churches

July 16, 2021

The Refugee Church

While humanitarian agencies do tremendous work helping people survive the trauma of forced displacement, refugee churches do the critical work of keeping hope alive by offering safe and supportive community, a life-giving worldview, and opportunities to heal and recover from loss and suffering

Walk through a refugee camp on a Sunday morning and if there are refugee churches present you will hear singing and dancing and praying resounding from their makeshift buildings.

I have often been inspired as I witness how their faith in Christ enables them to transcend all that they’ve had to endure - past sufferings, current struggles, and future uncertainties.

May God renew their hope, joy, and strength even today!

IAFR partners with refugee churches.

IAFR is committed to encouraging and strengthening refugee churches. Here are a few ways we are doing this.

Refugee Church Consulting

IAFR's Pastor Jean Pierre Gatera is a missionary and former refugee who serves as our Refugee Church Consultant. Pastor Gatera is constantly engaging with refugee church leaders - both here in the US and overseas (especially in Kakuma refugee camp where he lived for 20 years).

Peace & Reconciliation Training

Thanks to our generous donors, we were able to sponsor five refugee pastors from Kakuma to participate in a Peace and Reconciliation training conference in Kenya this month.

The conference was offered by Way of Peace, a ministry that was developed in the wake of the infamous genocide in Rwanda. The pastors are now eager to bring the training back to the camp.

Refugee Church Buildings

We recently received a couple of generous donations that will help IAFR provide building materials for refugee churches in Kakuma (Kenya) and Dzaleka (Malawi).

Theological Training

Refugee church leaders in Kakuma refugee camp asked IAFR to bring theological training to them. We have been able to do so for the past six years in partnership with Dr. George Kalantzis from Wheaton College. George is also presently offering an online theology course to a group of refugees and asylum seekers spread across ten time zones.

These are just a few examples of what it looks like to partner with refugee churches.

Click here to learn more.

- Tom Albinson

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