Since 1980, Central Florida has welcomed well over 10,000 refugees who are escaping war, oppression, and persecution.
In November 2017, a group of local churches gathered together to form the Refugee Church Alliance. We are partnering with cultural organizations and social service providers to build a network of healthy relationships and support structures for refugees and asylum seekers who call Orlando home.
Because of the recent changes in U.S. immigration policy, 2019 will be the first year since the mid-1970’s that Orlando will not have a resettlement agency ready to welcome newly arriving families. And yet, out of the ashes, hope will continue to rise.
The greater Orlando area is a richly diverse community. We are home to international students from over 150 countries and immigrants from nearly every region of the world.
IAFR's Lauren Gaines serves as founder and leader of the remarkable ministry of the Refugee Church Alliance in Orlando.
The Refugee Church Alliance is a network of churches seeking the well-being of resettled refugees in Central Florida. They collaborate with interfaith agencies, local service providers, and cultural organizations to build life-giving relationships and support structures that assist refugees in restoring hope, belonging and trust.
Furthermore, they serve the local Church by educating, equipping, and mobilizing followers of Jesus to walk alongside refugees as they make Central Florida their home.
There are 68.5 million forcibly displaced children, women and men in the world - the highest number ever recorded. That's 1 in every 110 people alive today. Another 44,400 people are uprooted every day.
First, God is alive and well along the refugee highway today. Second, Refugees are more than people in need. They are an important part of the solution. And third, God has begun a worldwide movement of his people to welcome and love refugees.
Learn more below.
Discover how you can help people survive and recover from forced displacement by providing them with shelter, water, Bibles, church buildings, schools, income-generation, specialized training and more!
Whether by joining the support team of one of our missionaries or by joining one of our teams yourself, you can show up in the lives of refugees. Explore the unique work of IAFR in Africa, Europe and North America.