Training & Consulting

I was taken back while preparing my monthly President’s report for the IAFR Board of Directors today. I was recapping recent and upcoming opportunities to offer refugee ministry consulting and/or training to others. Here’s what I recalled…

  1. June – Global Diaspora Network of the Lausanne Movement meetings in Manila. IAFR Europe Ministry Leader, Paul Sydnor participated and contributed.
  2. June – Refugee Highway Partnership Global Leadership Gathering in Bangkok. Paul Sydnor and Rob Perry (IAFR Canada COO) participated and contributed.
  3. June – Humanitarian Disaster Institute Conference in Chicago. Pastor Jean Pierre Gatera (IAFR Minneapolis/St. Paul) and Jacob Tornga (IAFR East Africa Regional Leader) participated and contributed.
  4. June – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Annual NGO Consultations, Geneva. Tom Albinson (Founder/President) and Tim Barnes (COO) participated and contributed.
  5. July – Richwoods Church, Peoria, IL. Tim Barnes preached.
  6. July – Milwaukee, WI. Tim Barnes met with a group of self identified post-evangelicals.
  7. July – Training Webinar. Rachel Uthmann (Director of Church Training) hosted an online webinar on Biblical Perspectives of Forced Displacement. About 30 people participated.
  8. July – Fargo, ND. Pastor Gatera will meet and consult with a refugee church there.
  9. July – Tom Albinson and Tim Barnes will consult online with the Director of Strategic Ministries of a well-known international mission.
  10. September – Paul Sydnor has been invited to train and consult with churches in South Korea wanting to ministry to the thousands of refugees from Yemen that are in their country.
  11. October – Paul Sydnor is consulting with the European Evangelical Alliance as they plan a refugee track for the October Hope for Europe event to be held in Tallinn.
  12. October – Several IAFR missionaries will participate and contribute to the annual North American Round Table of the Refugee Highway Partnership to be held in Chicago. Participants will come from all over the US and Canada.
  13. November – Rachel Uthmann and Tom Albinson have been invited to participate in and speak at the annual Round Table of the Turkey Region of the Refugee Highway Partnership. Tom can’t make it.
  14. November – Tom Albinson has been invited to speak to a gathering of mission leaders from Latin America in Mexico as they envision missionaries from the region serving along the refugee highway.
  15. May 2019 – Paul Sydnor has been invited to teach for a week at Germany‘s Korntal Academy on “Migration and Missions”.

I am encouraged to see this new interest in refugee ministry by Christians from all over the world. I count it a privilege as IAFR is able to train and consult with them.


I never forgot what he said when my generous older brother gave me a Compaq laptop computer many years ago (with a black and white screen with Windows 3.1). “The essence of your work is communication. So you need quality communication tools.”

Although that was back in the early ’90s, it came to mind today as I secured a Comcast Business contract for our US office today.

We’ve been using a free guest internet connection but have found it often slows down or drops out entirely just when we need it most. As we host many video conference meetings with our leadership, missionaries and partners as well as training webinars, it is time to invest in something with the capacity we need.

So after speaking on this morning’s webinar, I spent a good part of the day talking with Comcast and securing a modem/router that will meet our needs.

It will be installed (and hopefully working) on Friday afternoon.

An important investment in the essence of our ministry: communications.


I took the above photo a few years ago and will use it during tomorrow’s LIVE webinar [click link to register] when speaking on the reality that 84% of the world’s refugees are in developing nations.

I spent much of the day preparing for tomorrow and Thursday’s webinar (research, photos, maps, content development).

We’ve got around 20 people registered for tomorrow morning and around 15 for Thursday evening. I’m encouraged. It’s not too late to join us!


Our mission is bigger than we are. So we put a lot of time and thought into developing resources and training opportunities intended to help local churches, missions, refugee agencies and individuals thoughtfully and effectively engage refugees in life-giving ways.

I spent a good part of this morning working with Rachel Uthmann, IAFR US Director of Church Training, as she prepares an IAFR webinar to air live on Wednesday morning and again on Thursday evening. I’ll be the featured panelist.

Click below to register (it’s free) and join us!

I hope to see you there!