Paul and Reinhild Sydnor
Paul has been serving refugees since 1985. He served with Operation Mobilisation (1 year), Slavic Gospel Association (3 years) and International Teams (15 years). He began serving with IAFR in 2010. Paul is an active founding member of the Refugee Highway Partnership in Europe.
Having served as a pastor, Paul’s focus has been to help local churches to reach out to refugees in meaningful ways. He has helped empower and activate church-based work among refugees in several places around Europe including, Austria, Italy, France, Germany and the UK.
Paul brings a holistic approach to refugee issues that are faith-based, person centered and relevant. He has come alongside of a number of refugee leaders over the years to strengthen and support them in their own efforts, including refugee leaders from Croatia, Kosovo, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and several parts of Africa.
Paul is particularly interested in helping refugees to overcome some of the cross-cultural issues they face. Paul and his family live in northern France. His wife, Reinhild, is from Germany. Their three teenage children (Tessa, Noah & Luke) have been raised in 4 European countries.
Sydnor Update, November 5, 2016
Since the last update, the refugee crisis in Europe has continued to evolve. The government announced that in October they will evacuate the refugees in Calais to cities around France and dismantle the camp where approx. 9000 refugees have gathered. This will relieve the situation but it does not offer a solution. In the past, the refugees have always returned to Calais and continued to find ways to the UK where many have relatives and can speak the language.
Highlights from the past 3 months:
We are working to open a Refugee centre for hope. Work among refugees needs to include both emergency relief as well as help to recover and rebuild a life. Recovery is all about hope.
We saw this again when we invited several people home for lunch after church. One man was an asylum seeker who lived for 4 months on the streets. He is now waiting for the decision about his case and lives in fear of losing his room, going back on the street and what might happen one day. I asked him one day “What gives you hope?” He answered “This…being with you gives hope.”
This statement is simple and profound, and it has been a constant theme in our refugee ministry. When refugees find hope they are then ready for the road ahead.
In July and August, a short term team was here to visit with refugees. They helped with English instruction and planned various activities and outings. These are the kind of activities that a centre of hope will offer. As always, time together like this makes a big impact on everyone. One refugee commented “there are many who come to us, to provide for us, but you take us with you.”
I have attended the European Leadership Forum (ELF) in Poland where I led two discussions about refugee issues in Europe.
Tessa graduated from Roanoke college! … She finished summa cum laude and also won a scholarship to teach English in South Korea. She loves to plan, so after this year of practical experience, she plans to go to graduate school to prepare or teaching in college.
IAFR Organization and Support address
International Association for Refugees
P.O. Box 47947
Minneapolis, MN 55447
Phone: +1 763.219.180
Home and Mailing address:
Paul & Reinhild Sydnor
9 rue des Roseaux
Phone +33 3 6264 4434