It’s been bothering me for a while – IAFR’s social media presence has been pretty weak. While not an end in itself, social media is an powerful free resource to raise awareness of refugee realities and create hope that God is at work in the midst of human vulnerability and suffering.
I started posting more regular updates to the IAFR Facebook account a couple of weeks ago (www.facebook.com/refugeeministry). This week I resurrected the IAFR Instagram account (@IAFRefugees). It’s encouraging to see our list of followers quickly growing.
If you don’t already, I encourage you to follow IAFR on Facebook and Instagram – and encourage your friends to do the same.
I’m praying that IAFR will find a person with the passion and ability to run our social media, but until we find that person, I will do what I can to keep it going.
I didn’t have much of a ministry budget back in the late ’90s when I was serving as Director of Refugee Ministries with International Teams (now One Collective). So I taught myself the basic skills of website design so we could have an online presence.
This skill set has come in handy with IAFR. By serving as website designer, I free up funding for other purposes. That isn’t to say I wouldn’t love to see someone join our team to serve in this capacity. Days like today would have been spent differently if I didn’t have to make a backlog of edits and updates.
I’m sure the right person will come along at the right time. In the meantime, I’ll keep playing the geek.
I was starting to experience inconsistent light readings and shutter issues, so it was time to bit the bullet and get a new camera. I look forward to learning how recent advances in camera design and functionality will improve my ability to help you and others see the refugee highway up close and personal.
Images like the one on the header of this blog play an essential role in helping those who support and pray for the work of IAFR to understand the contexts in which we serve. In this way, my camera serves as an eye to the refugee highway.
I am the chief photographer and publications department of IAFR and I look forward to seeing how this new friend (photo) will capture honest and captivating images that document stories of human suffering and resilience in our times.
As you probably know, cameras are not cheap. If you would like to help cover the costs of this Sony a7 III, just make a special donation to IAFR designated for “Tom Albinson”. Click here to donate online now.
I took a few experimental photos this weekend. Lots to learn, but I am very happy with what this camera is able to capture. I am looking forward to taking it on my upcoming visit to our team in France in September and then to Kakuma in October. In the meantime, I will keep learning and practicing…
Above: Motorcycle on Main Street. Henderson, MN.
Above: A backyard sunflower (planted by a bird) struggles to cope with the droughtAbove: Minnesota native wild sunflowers appear to be taking flight in our backyardAbove: A late bloomer in its glory (backyard)
I’m writing an article on How God is at work among forcibly displaced people for the New Urban World Journal of the Urban Shalom Society. I’m connected with them and their work through my Ambassador role with World Evangelical Alliance (WEA).
While I find writing hard work, I also find it to be a helpful discipline as it forces me to put words on issues and convictions.
My hope is that this article might be used to create new space in the hearts and minds of people for refugees. I believe that this is among the most important challenges of this decade, during which many societies have begun to perceive refugees as a threat to their well-being rather than vulnerable people in need of safety.
I suspect that writing will become an increasingly important part of my ministry in coming years.
The UN Refugee Agency Annual NGO Consultations are over. It was good to bring a faith-based (Christian) presence and voice to the gathering.
The workshop dedicated to the role of faith in humanitarian response strongly confirmed the UN’s respect and appreciation for faith based communities and their unique contributions to helping people survive and recover from forced displacement.
I look forward to reading this new book published with the intent to help secular agencies understand how to partner with local faith based communities. While it is clear that we do not always understand each other, we can still appreciate and value the contributions each brings to humanitarian crises.