Helping people survive and recover from forced displacement

MinistriesOpportunitiesRefugee Centre

Our Mission

We help asylum-seekers and refugees survive and recover from forced displacement in Lille, France.

We encourage supportive relationships between refugees, local church members and community groups. We connect with like-minded groups in the region and we raise awareness.

We offer activities to build resilience and strengthen faith. We reflect together with refugees on their experiences, life goals and decisions as they prepare for the next stage of their journey.

In cooperation with church communities, we provide a safe place for holistic awareness, inner healing and peace.

We want a community that offers hope and strength for the soul.” -Paul Sydnor, Lille Ministry Leader

Ministry Context

Many asylum seekers come to Northern France en route to Great Britain. Many in Lille, have decided to try and stay in France. Their application process for asylum can last several years.

They have few options on this difficult stretch of their journey when it comes to finding adequate food and shelter or other essentials of life.

France takes a hard-line approach in its immigration policy and offers very little infra-structure to provide for the needs of asylum seekers. Many of these men, women and children are forced to sleep in the rough and on the streets. This increases their vulnerability and often challenges their personal and spiritual well-being.

I have been unsettled throughout Europe for five years. The conditions in France are some of the worst that I have experienced.” –Asylum seeker from Cameroon


  • Hospitality & Visitation
  • Pastoral Care
  • Practical Assistance
  • The Lille Refugee Welcome Centre
  • Community Integration (in collaboration with local churches)
  • Computer Training

Needs & Opportunities

  • Long-term Service Opportunities
  • Lille Ministry Leader
  • Maintenance Coordinator
  • Welcome Centre Host
  • Resident Advisor (On-site Shelter Ministry)
  • Community Facilitator
  • Sports Director
  • Creative Arts Specialist(s) (music, dance, drama, art)
  • Youth Worker
  • Computer Trainer
  • Language Teacher
  • Cook
  • Story Teller (Photography, Videography, Graphic Design)
  • Short-term Service Opportunities
  • Renovation & Construction Teams
  • Organize & Lead a Sports Camp
  • Creative Arts Workshop
  • Welcome Centre Intern

Inquire about service opportunities below.

Lille Refugee Centre

Michael Jurrens meets a refugee outside of the Lille Ministry Centre

We opened the Lille Ministry Centre in early March 2020, only to have it shut down two days later in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are looking forward to opening the doors again as soon as it is safe and appropriate to do so.

We offer language courses, access to computers/internet, computer training, community gatherings.

The centre is based in a local church and creates a welcoming space in which we can help build community and strengthen faith. It is a rare safe place in which refugees, asylum seekers, volunteers and IAFR teammates can all connect in ways that both encourage and benefit one another.

IAFR | 1515 East 66th Street | Minneapolis, MN 55423 | | 612.200.0321

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