International humanitarian agencies do a remarkable job of keeping refugees physically alive. Some people might think that this is all that truly matters – and might wonder why theological training is important to bring into a humanitarian context. But it turns out that even many humanitarian workers recognize that keeping people breathing is not enough. People need hope as much as they need air. A person without hope may well wish they were dead.
Yet humanitarian agencies are not equipped to distribute hope. This is the domain of the church. And this is why IAFR is seeking to strengthen refugee church leaders. They carry a heavy burden – to keep hope alive in a context that seems determined to strip it from the hearts of the people here.
When refugee churches are healthy and united, they are a powerful force of hope and life here. They play an integral part in helping people survive and recover from forced displacement in places like Kakuma.