Today's speaker was Jason Lukis.  Jason was a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America for 12 years before becoming involved with the global organization  International Association For Refugees(IAFR), which is headquartered here in the Twin Cities.  IAFR was established in 2009  to create an international Christian nonprofit agency devoted to the mission of helping people survive and recover from forced displacement. They do this in partnership with both local and refugee churches.  There are currently over 82 million people forcibly displaced worldwide and over 40% are children.  4% of them are "Asylum Seekers" meaning they are going through the long legal process of being granted legal asylum in another country.  Jason focused his comments on this group.  Asylum seekers in the U.S. are not here illegally but are working through the legal process, which takes years and does not always end with asylum being granted.  During this time these people are not eligible for government aid and are not allowed to work.  There are currently 3000 asylum seekers in Minnesota.  IAFR has created and staffs Jonathon House here in the Twin Cities which houses 9 people.  Much help is needed for Minnesota asylum seekers and Jason referred us to the following sites for more information on how we might help:,, and