Helping people survive and recover from forced displacement
We are helping asylum-seekers and refugees survive and recover from forced displacment in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. We raise awareness among churches concerning the challenges facing these new arrivals.
Jonathan House is our priority ministry in the Twin Cities, through which we are providing temporary shelter, practical help, strategic connections and a welcoming community. We do this in collaboration with local churches, service agencies and the asylum-seekers themselves.
Although lawfully present in the United States, asylum seekers are initally barred from both employment and governmental assistance - including assistance offered to resettled refugees. This leaves them especially vulnerable. In response, IAFR launched a Twin Cities based ministry seeking to help local churches and agencies better assist asylum-seekers. This is a long neglected need as it has received very little attention from the media and the church in the US.
Minnesota is a leading US state when it comes to the number of refugees being resettled into its communities. Its Somali, Liberian, Ethiopian, Eritrean and Hmong communities are among the largest in the USA.* In recent years the Twin Cities refugee population has become even more diverse as significant numbers of Bhutanese, Karen and Iraqi refugees are resettled here.
Jonathan House is a project responding to the pressing need for temporary housing among asylum-seekers in Minneapolis/St. Paul. But Jonathan House will offer more than shelter. It will also extend practical help, strategic connections, and a welcoming community with a desire to help our new friends recover from displacement and begin to rebuild their lives.
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.