WEST ASIA

Helping people survive and recover from forced displacement

Our Mission

We are helping people survive and recover from forced displacement in Western Asia.
Our core activities focus on providing education, training and dignified employment opportunities that will catalyze economic, social, environmental and spiritual transformation in the refugee communities we serve.

As we endeavor to to break the isolation of our displaced friends, we spend time with them through regular visits to refugee homes, engagement in the community and advocating for them with local officials and national neighbors.

In executing our mission, we work with international NGO’s, Western churches and private individuals, and seek every opportunity to engage and serve alongside host nation churches to meet individual and community needs.

Photo: Refugee girls coloring princesses in a makeshift refugee camp in West Asia

Ministry Context

In March 2011, in the midst of the Arab Spring, peaceful protests across Syria erupted into violent conflict, and later that year escalated into a brutal civil war.

As of September 2017, Syria remains engulfed in conflict with no end in sight. Governments and militaries from across Western Asia, and the world, have become embroiled in the ordeal. In the midst of the carnage, multitudes have been devastated by the disaster. The statistics are stunning:

  • 470,000 people dead since the war began in 2011.
  • 13.5 million men, women and children in need.
  • 6.3 million internally displaced individuals; 75% of them in hard-to-reach and besieged areas.
  • 5.1 million people fled to neighboring countries; most to Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.
  • Turkey is host to 2.98 million refugees, more than any other country in the world.
  • The Za’atari and Azraq camps in Jordan give sanctuary to 150,000 people, but a half-million more have dispersed to other places in the country.
  • In Lebanon, refugees make up 1/4 of the population of the entire country.
  • Hundreds of thousands risked their lives to seek asylum in Europe.

The UNHCR identified Syria as, “…the biggest humanitarian and refugee crisis of our time, a continuing cause of suffering for millions…” The war is setting the Syrian people back an entire generation as families struggle to survive, and children grow up without education.

Despite the tremendous challenges, new opportunities to serve forcibly displaced people are providing hope. Some non-governmental organizations are being offered expanded privileges to provide job support for refugees. Several religious organizations in Europe are partnering with governments to create “Humanitarian Corridors”, expedited pathways for resettlement for an increasing number of families. New initiatives through IAFR are creating education and livelihood development opportunities for refugee families.

The Syrian crisis is an unprecedented tragedy, but with it comes the opportunity to serve “the least of these” with the same love that Jesus shared with mankind. We thank God for the opportunities we’ve been given, and consider our team privileged to be working in this effort.

More information: UNHCR

Helping People Recover

Job Creation

In a small village in Western Asia, IAFR has partnered with an American agro-tech company in a first-of-its-kind farming facility using high-tech methods to produce traditional crops for the local economy and refugee community.

The technology is called aquaponics, which gets it name from combining the separate disciplines of hydroponics and aquaculture. Essentially, the method raises fish in a controlled environment to create nutrient rich fertilizer, which provides plant food for a soilless farming system. Aquaponics is a sustainable and chemical free form of agriculture that uses 90% less water than traditional methods to produce very high quality fish and produce.

The project began in April 2017, and has provided employment and directly impacted the lives of several refugee families. The jobs provide fair wages, good working conditions and opportunity for personal, professional and spiritual growth. If successful, the project will be expanded into other communities. Looking ahead, it could even serve as a blueprint for new initiatives across Western Asia, Africa and anywhere else traditional agriculture methods fall short, and where forcibly displaced people need jobs and healthy food.

My Ethnic Table

Regardless of the culture, the dinner table is a place for family, fellowship and most of all, great food. Everyone knows that food is the heartbeat of culture, and whenever we meet people along the Refugee Highway one of the first things we do together is eat. 

My Ethnic Table is a project designed to engage women where they spend the majority of their day… the kitchen.

The goal of the project is to provide an opportunity for the world and refugees to connect with each other through the medium of food.  We spend time with women, hearing their stories and learning to prepare cuisine unique to their homeland. Those encounters are captured in writing and photos, with the aim of producing a very unique book that elevates the status of refugee women by sharing their heart stories and cooking secrets with home chefs around the world.

Refugee women have a voice, and it comes through loud and clear in the amazing cuisine they create.  We can’t wait to share those messages with the world.

Ministry Locations

A Movement of Hope

Let’s make a difference together!

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.

Learn more below.
PROJECTS
Discover how you can help refugees survive and recover from forced displacement by providing them with shelter, water, Bibles, church buildings, schools, specialized training and more!
LOCATIONS
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.
TEAM
When it comes to helping people survive and recover from forced displacement, our team is our greatest asset. We think you will agree. Get to know the IAFR team now.

Ministry Resources

Map of the Highway

Current refugee realities along with biblical perspective all rolled up into a beautiful poster. Free download.

IAFR Multi-media

Eye-opening presentations and videos designed to introduce current refugee realities and offer biblical perspective.

IAFR Publications

Precise and thought provoking perspectives concerning current refugee realities and contemporary issues.

Other Resources

Helpful links to information and resources related to forcibly displaced people.

Contact Us

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IAFR | 1515 East 66th Street | Minneapolis, MN 55423 | Tel. 612.200.0321 | Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.