We help asylum-seekers and refugees survive and recover from forced displacement in Lille, France.
We facilitate supportive relationships between refugees, local church members and community groups. We offer activities to build resilience and strengthen faith. We encourage refugees to reflect on their experiences, life goals and decisions as they prepare for the next stage of their journey. In cooperation with church communities, we offer a safe place for holistic awareness, inner healing and peace.
In addition, we connect to other church communities in the region to build networks and raise awareness.
Asylum seekers come to Northern France often in route to Great Britain. Those in Lille, have usually made a decision to stay and the application process for asylum can last several years. Many of these are from French speaking countries. Most have already been in Paris and Calais or passed through other parts of Europe. They have few options in this difficult stretch of their journey when it comes to finding adequate food and shelter or other essentials of life. Across the region and even in Lille, many of these men, women and children are forced to sleep in the rough and on the streets. France takes a hard-line approach in its immigration policy and offers very little infra-structure to provide for the needs of asylum seekers. This increases the vulnerability of people and diverts attention away from the non-physical needs such as addressing trauma, making decisions, setting goals and managing conflict.
More Information: BBC Country Profile | UNHCR
In 2018, the team rented a space to help focus on the non-physical needs of refugees. Donations to the Refugee Centre (France) project are being used to develop and expand this ministry centre. The centre is another step in building ongoing relationships with refugees and churches that offer community, bring hope and strengthen faith.
Listen to how a week long youth camp impacted the life of Chris, a refugee from Congo.
The camp brought refugee and French youth together. As they reflected on the story of Joseph in the Bible, Chris says he could see his story in Joseph's story.
"Would you like to do it again?"
"Yes, of course! It was fantastic!"
Duration: 2 minutes
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.