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Missions and Chickens

Good news! Thanks to the support of many individual donors and a grant from Tyndale House Foundation, we are now helping a group of 25 forcibly displaced women (mostly mothers) expand their chicken business from 460 to 2000 chickens! Learn more by clicking below.

Let there be Chickens!

What do chickens have to do with missions?

We believe that the good news of the kingdom of God touches every aspect of human life. In a cold-hearted world that leaves vulnerable people to fend for themselves outside of the city walls, loving mercy and pursuing justice are  essential to Christian life and ministry.

We desperately want people to know how much our Creator loves them. We also believe that God loves to provide for others through his people. Consider his invitation to partner with him in providing food, water, hospitality, shelter, healing and loving presence to outsiders and strangers in Matthew 25.

Helping Pauline (see Let there be Chickens) and these forcibly displaced friends grow their business without going deeper into debt is a tangible way that God is giving them their daily bread. But their business generates more than helpful income to pull them out of deep poverty. It is strengthening life-giving hope and resilience.

By investing in their poultry business, we are helping them overcome the trauma of their displacement by strengthening their community and increasing their capacity to make ends meet in the midst of extremely difficult circumstances. Furthermore, by getting behind their initiative, we are affirming their dignity and helping them make a meaningful contribution to society. All of this is fueling hope, without which despair can take hold and suffocate the soul.

The fact that these ladies identify themselves as followers of Jesus makes this partnership all the more meaningful. They know that they are not forgotten and alone. The church-at-large is standing with them.

Strengthening life-giving community, faith, emotional well-being, personal capacity and the ability to contribute to society are all important ways that we are helping people recover from forced displacement - and core to the way IAFR pursues our mission along the refugee highway.

Listen to this quick interview with Pauline, the leader of the 25 women co-op, as she talks about the poultry project...

Kenya Poultry Project - IAFR from IAFR on Vimeo.

Click here to learn more about this IAFR project.

2017 IAFR Conference

Every year we try and pull our complete IAFR team together for a few days of fellowship, refreshment and training. All but 3 of our teammates made it to our gathering this year - and we were glad to be able to connect with them via Skype during the week (photo).

As always, we ended our conference with a communion service. Time and again our teammates commented on how IAFR is "home" and "family" to them. I couldn't agree more. We serve in ministry contexts in which people are carrying heavy burdens and often struggling to find reasons to hope. Many of us don't have another teammate on location. It can get lonely when things get tough. The conference was a reminder that we are not alone and that we can lean on our IAFR colleagues whenever needed.

We have now traveled back to our various ministry locations - with full hearts and fresh perspective for the opportunities and challenges that lay before us.

Many thanks to everyone who stands behind our teammates in prayer and through financial support! Together we are helping people survive and recover from forced displacement!

-Tom Albinson

IAFR Canada!

It started just over a year ago when the mission's pastor of The People's Church in Toronto walked up to me and said, "You are the mission we've been looking for!" That conversation led us to consider whether they could register IAFR in Canada.

We spent much of the past year making sure that we share a common sense of mission and ministry values and prayerfully unpacking the possibilities of founding IAFR in Canada.

It was with great joy that we came to the conclusion that we are on the same page and that the addition of IAFR Canada will strengthen IAFR's capacity to pursue our mission of helping people survive and recover from forced displacement.

The possibilities are great as churches, people and resources in Canada join in the mission God has set before IAFR!

Our IAFR colleagues in Canada need our prayers as they are now laying the foundation of the organisation and discerning how and where to begin ministry initiatives along the Refugee Highway.

While an autonomous IAFR mission agency, IAFR Canada will work hand in hand with IAFR US.

Photo: A meeting in Toronto in June exploring the possibilities of establishing IAFR Canada

More than just people in need...

One of the phrases we commonly repeat throughout IAFR is that refugees are “more than just people in need.”  Yes, they have specific physical, emotional and spiritual needs- as we all do- which are wonderful opportunities to share life together.  However, they also bring something beautiful: themselves, with life experiences, skills and perspectives which enrich our relationships and our world.  They often reflect resilience, perseverance, joy and resourcefulness in ways we would otherwise miss.

A new film opening in theaters this weekend (Friday, 25 August) shares a great example of the contribution refugees can bring.  All Saints tells the powerful true story of a group of Karen refugees from Myanmar and a shrinking congregation in Smyrna, Tennessee, discovering community together.  As the church struggles to keep its doors open, the refugees bring new life to the church in some unexpected ways. 

The movie is good precisely because it doesn’t create a “hero” in the story; instead, it reveals the challenges and beauty when flawed, broken people learn to walk through the messiness of life together.  It’s a compassionate, engaging and occasionally funny movie that shows a side of the refugee conversation which is often missed. That is the real power of this film.  It reminds us that people, even in the vulnerable position of refugees, can reflect hope into our lives. 

If you have time this week, go see All Saints.  Take the kids before school starts back up, or invite a group of friends to join you.  Then talk about it together.  Challenge each other to consider how everyone, including refugees and imperfect church people, brings life to our story!

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