Photo: Sunrise in Minnesota today

I’m at a retreat center 30 minutes south of the Twin Cities this week, meeting with the executive leadership of IAFR Canada 🇨🇦 We call the meetings of IAFR executive leadership from the US and Canada our International Round Table (IRT).

They are in the final stages of establishing their organizational systems and will soon be ready to fully engage in ministry among refugees internationally.

While IAFR Canada is an autonomous mission agency, we share a common mission and operations values – so we work closely together toward that end.

While there is a lot of confusion and debate going on in the world concerning refugees, it is good to be together this week working on ways that bring hope and solutions to our uprooted friends.

We are up close and personal with refugees and asylum seekers in many parts of the world and we can testify that there is no need to fear them. There is good reason to partner with them in finding solutions to their displacement. That is where we are putting our time and energy.

Look out world 🌎

Articles, Bylaws and Budget

I spent the past two days with IAFR Executive VP (Tim Barnes) at our Minneapolis office drafting an update of IAFR Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. We’ve grown a lot since 2009 and we are working with our Board of Directors to make sure these core documents set us up for continued growth and long-term ministry.

We also fine tuned our strategic plan for 2019 and worked on our 2019 Budget.

I am so thankful for Tim’s wisdom and experience as we work on these things as they are foundational of all IAFR does.

Privacy and transparency

The European Union put new privacy laws into effect in May that released a flood of emails from nonprofits (including IAFR) to those on their email subscription lists. We all had to update our privacy policies concerning websites, blogs and email lists accordingly. I suspect you received at least an email or two notifying you of updated privacy policies and requesting you to confirm or update your email preferences. You may note that even this blog has a new Privacy Policy.

I’m thankful for the work of Tim Barnes, IAFR Executive Vice President, as he worked to update our privacy policy together with our legal consultant. I then spent a good part of the past week adding the updated policy to our website and IAFR affiliated blogs. I also prepared and sent out emails to friends on IAFR email lists requesting that they confirm their desire to be subscribed. I hope you took a second to click on any such IAFR email(s) you may have received 🙂

This kind of work isn’t shiny, but it is an important and even essential part of protecting friends who visit our site and want to keep informed of how we are helping people survive and recover from forced displacement.

Nuts and Bolts

It not the relatively glamorous frontline stuff – it’s the nuts and bolts without which everything would fall apart. That’s what I’m working on this week together with the IAFR US Service Team – the small band of people who serve in IAFR roles that strengthen everything we do as we pursue our mission of helping people survive and recover from forced displacement (e.g. services related to Finance, Publications and Media , Development, Missionary Training, Mobilisation, Project Management, Church Training, etc.).

I am grateful for my teammates Tim Barnes, Tim Uthmann, Jake Tornga and Rachel Uthmann for their passion and commitment to look after the nuts and bolts of IAFR.