Regional Roundtables Ignite Dialogue and Action
This year has seen a substantial ramp up in the RHP strategy of holding regional Roundtables, connecting and catalyzing key leaders who are working among the forcibly displaced.
The 6th annual North American Roundtable, held in late July, welcomed several hundred leaders from faith-based organizations and churches engaged in refugee ministry throughout Canada and the USA. Attendees discussed best practices, shared resources, ideas, and encouragment during the meeting held in Phoenix. To read the summary report from the Roundtable, click here.
The South Asia Refugee Consultation was held in Chennai, India, May 20-23 with key leaders representing or working among the Tibetian, Chin, Tamil, Pakistani, Bhutanese, Nepali, Persian and Afghan refugee and asylum seeker communities. Many project recommendations were made and a core leadership team appointed for a regional refugee network. The full report is here.
The Africa Refugee Highway Roundtable was held in Kampala, Uganda, April 24-26 with over 50 leaders from 24 nationalities attending. The gathering focused on the theme "Convening to Collaborate" as the goal was to re-establish an ongoing regional network of refugee minstries. Ongoing task groups were established for children, database information, church mobilization, and a regional leadership group was appointed. Read the full report here.
At the begining of 2014, the European Roundtable led the way. It was held in Berlin and focused on the theme “Important Resources for Building Refugee Ministries.” Nearly 60 leaders representing 13 European countries participated. Read the full report on the RHP Europe website.
World Refugee Sunday Spreads!
An increasing number of people are participating in the annual World Refugee Sunday (WRS), held this year on June 15 or 22. Consider the following examples:
The WRS 2014 promotional flyer was available in over 15 languages - a new record! More materials were available on the RHP website (such as media presentations, speaking resources, and prayer points).
In Africa, WRS was observed in many churches for the first time with the avaiability of information in the Swahili language. Desinated prayer events were held in Rwanda, South Sudan, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, among other countries. In the Nakivale Refugee Settlement of Uganda, five refugee churches came together for a joint prayer service.
Through our friends at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, WRS materials were developed, promoted, and distributed for the nearly 7 million attendees of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
In India, along with churches participating in Chennai, Hydrabad, and Bangalore, Afghan refugee churches came together in Delhi for WRS commemoration.
If you have a report or a story to share about World Refugee Sunday, please send it to us!
The next WRS is scheduled for June 14 or 21, 2015. Today you can set next year's event up for success by:
We Need Your Help! RHP Training Initiative
The Refugee Highway Partnership is exploring the development of a new training opportunity that will help equip churches and individuals in refugee ministry. We would like to see education opportunities for participants to receive possible online training through webinars, as well as individual encouragement through trainers who can possibly act as coaches, mentors and champions. But we need your feedback about the kind of training that will be most helpful! Please click here to take our five minute survey.
Global Member Care Conference
Ministry among the displaced is intense, especially at this time in history. The care of people that serve with and for refugees, asylum seekers, and IDPs is rarely given appropriate attention. The RHP continues to try and address that.
Toward that end, the RHP is an official endorsing group for the second Global Member Care Conference, to be held 9-13 February 2015 in Turkey. The theme is "Member Care in Hard Places"and among the speakers are RHP leaders Glenn Goss and Tim Friesen. Come join us!
Organized by the Global Member Care Network, the conference is also endorsed by the Religious Liberty Partnership, the Ethne to Ethne Network. the Lausanne Movement, and the World Evangelical Alliance Missions Commission. Click here for details and registration information.
RHP Focus Groups
The RHP has developed several ongoing Focus Groups that seek to address key issues in refugee ministry (Prayer, Refugee Churches, etc.). We are in the process of putting together reports on the activities of the different Focus Group and you can find the first, from the Refugee Children Focus Group,here
In addition, the RHP Member Care Focus Group (a cooperative effort between the RHP and the Religious Liberty Partnership) has recently completed a historic survey which will identify ways to strengthen workers and potentially help identify key resources for the community. Stay tuned for the assessment of that survey and next step recommendations coming soon!
Upcoming Global Summit
The Refugee Highway Partnership will be hosting a global gathering from 25-28 January 2015 in Malta. Unlike past global Roundtables, this event is by invitation only and is designed primarily for the RHP Leadership Council, RHP regional leadership teams, refugee ministry practitioners, and a few other key leaders.
We are seeking to have a variety of groups represented who actively work with refugees, asylum seekers, and forcibly displaced. If you have a suggestion for someone we should invite, or if you would like to request a spot, please contactinfo@REACTServices.com .
Our goal for the RHP Summit is to relationally connect global refugee ministry leaders, share current best ministry practices, create shared vision for our ongoing work together, and explore how to catalyze even better collaboration as we serve together with and among the forcibly displaced.
NOTE: We had originally scheduled an RHP Global Roundtable in mid-October in South Korea but it wascancelled when the General Assembly of the World Evangelical Alliance was postponed.