We are helping asylum-seekers and refugees recover from forced displacement and rebuild their lives in Atlanta.
Refugees are quite vulnerable when they are resettled to the USA. Their challenges are far from over as they need to learn the language, culture and systems of their new context. Together with local churches, we offer supportive community and generate fresh hope as we come alongside of our new neighbors and help them rebuild their lives.
We also raise awareness among churches concerning the challenges facing these new arrivals. We help local churches develop mutually beneficial relationships with refugees in their communities.
In 2013, Georgia ranked seventh among states for the total number of refugees it had taken in over the previous six years. Refugees from Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq, Bhutan and some 40 other countries live in Clarkston and NE Atlanta. Since the early 1980s nearly 10,000 refugees have resettled in Clarkston to escape war, oppression and persecution. Clarkston has been described as the “Ellis Island of the South” and the most diverse square mile in America. The local high school boasts students from 54 countries speaking 47 different languages.
The United States has a long and proud history of providing refuge to victims of religious, political, ethnic, and other forms of persecution. It has committed itself to the principle that everyone has the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution. Nonetheless, refugees face strict limitations on services to meet their basic needs, and asylum seekers receive no support upon their arrival in the United States.
The USA is the world's leading country of resettlement for refugees. The USA also receives the second most requests for asylum in the world.
Churches across the country are increasingly recognizing their mandate to welcome and reach out to these new arrivals in their communities. As they do, they discover that the blessing is mutual.
There are over 65 million forcibly displaced children, women and men in the world. That's 1 in every 113 people alive today. Another 34,000 people are uprooted every day. The last time there were this many refugees was during World War 2.
Three reasons why we refuse to lose hope.
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.
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 the USA.