Helping people survive and recover from forced displacement

Our Mission

We serve resettled refugees and asylum seekers in ways that help them recover from forced displacement.

We believe refugees are more than people in need.

We assist local churches in building long-term relationships with refugees and asylum seekers that restore trust, recover dignity, and foster hope.

We seek to be caring and connected neighbors who come alongside resettled refugees as they rebuild their lives and find solutions to their displacement. We endeavor to break the isolation many refugees experience. We spend time together in our homes, learn about one another’s cultures, and about each other's languages.

The bottom line: We offer safe and supportive friendships so they know they are seen, heard, and cared for by their community and by God.

Ministry Context

Since 1980, Central Florida has welcomed well over 10,000 refugees who are escaping war, oppression, and persecution.

In November 2017, a group of local churches gathered together to form the Refugee Church Alliance. We are partnering with cultural organizations and social service providers to build a network of healthy relationships and support structures for refugees and asylum seekers who call Orlando home.

Because of the recent changes in U.S. immigration policy, 2019 will be the first year since the mid-1970’s that Orlando will not have a resettlement agency ready to welcome newly arriving families. And yet, out of the ashes, hope will continue to rise.

The greater Orlando area is a richly diverse community. We are home to international students from over 150 countries and immigrants from nearly every region of the world.

The Refugee Church Alliance

IAFR's Lauren Gaines serves as founder and leader of the remarkable ministry of the Refugee Church Alliance in Orlando.

The Refugee Church Alliance is a network of churches seeking the well-being of resettled refugees in Central Florida. They collaborate with interfaith agencies, local service providers, and cultural organizations to build life-giving relationships and support structures that assist refugees in restoring hope, belonging and trust.

Furthermore, they serve the local Church by educating, equipping, and mobilizing followers of Jesus to walk alongside refugees as they make Central Florida their home.

Refugees in the USA

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.

A Movement of Hope

Let’s make a difference together!

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.

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.


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.


Perhaps you want to serve refugees, but you're not sure where to begin. Or maybe you are already engaged in refugee ministry, but feel the need to be better equipped? We are here to help.

Next Steps

Connect with us

Refugee Ministry Training

Service Opportunities

About IAFR
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Ministry Resources

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