Want to do more for refugees?

You’ve already contributed financially to help refugees, but you want to do more.

This is a critical time to consider multiple ways that we can work together to help those who have been driven from their homes.

Would you consider going short-term or long-term to serve the oppressed alongside one of our teams?

Does your church want to directly assist an on-the-ground refugee ministry through short-term teams, prayer or a longer term partnership?

Will you pray for specific, timely needs ITeams faces amidst this refugee crisis?

Have other ideas you want to discuss?


The Empty Plate Campaign


What is The #EmptyPlate Campaign?

The #EmptyPlate Campaign was started in response to the increasing demands on refugee work throughout Europe as a result of the continued humanitarian crises in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. ITeams has long-term teams embedded in strategic locations in Greece, Austria, Italy, a major Middle Eastern city bordering Syria, and the UK. We come alongside refugees because they are some of the most vulnerable people on the planet. We believe each person has inherent dignity and value no matter their circumstances or background. We want to see all people through the eyes of Jesus.

For 30 days beginning on 9/11/15 we’re inviting you to make a difference in the lives of refugees.


Here’s how it works

Donate today (even the cost of a meal) to help a refugee
Take a photo of your empty plate. (Feel free to be creative.)
Post the photo to social media with a message containing #EmptyPlate and #refugees


Other things you might like to do

Do you represent another organization working with refugees? If you’re not already working together with ITeams, please get in touch. We can do more together.

How you can help

 Read more about our work with refugees




Scott Olson

Refugees at Skopje BorderSEPTEMBER 2015 — Media attention on the plight of refugees streaming into Europe is raising awareness of the tremendous desperation that forces so many to flee their homes in search of a future and a hope—and the risks they must take to get there. For all the people who make it, there are those who don’t. The tragedies are immense and they are heartbreaking.

This is not a new crisis, but immediate action is needed in the life of every person who is being forcefully displaced. Every person’s story is unique but the conditions that create a refugee crisis are not a surprise—and they’re all too common today.

War, persecution, famine, drought, natural disasters, economic stresses, injustice… all of these are forms of oppression. Closing our eyes to effects of these conditions leads us to count refugees among the most invisible people of our generation. But the tide is turning. Eyes are opening and hearts are awakening. Even in such desperation, hope is being kindled.

Jesus meets people where they are, and that’s no different in a crisis. ITeams has been working with refugees for decades and we have long-standing teams in place throughout Europe. We work closely with local governments and organizations to help meet immediate and long-term needs. Every person has dignity and value because every human being is made in the image of God, no matter their circumstances or religious background. This belief causes us to come alongside refugees and demonstrate the love of Jesus.

Please pray for refugees. Though you may not know their names or stories personally at this point, Jesus does. We are witnesses of the transformation that is possible in the lives of those who risk their lives to find a future.

There is no single response to the refugee crisis. For the sake of men, women, and children everywhere risking everything in hope of a future…

…let’s do something now.

 Read more about our work with refugees


Footsteps on the Way

Here’s an example of a short-term team from Wheaton College that engaged with our team in Spain while walking on the Camino de Santiago.

Last summer four Wheaton College students walked the Camino de Santiago for 14 days. Alley, a member of the short term team, reflected on her experience.

“The Camino  is a sacred space – it’s hard to leave and be unchanged by the experience. Our group was most affected by the way the Lord showed up in personal times of need, and how He brought us each through our own physical and spiritual trials,” said Alley. “Personally, I was injured pretty badly during my time, what I later found out was a tear in a tendon in my left foot. But the Lord gave me just enough strength each day to make the hike, and it was in the pain that I was able to slow down and reflect on the ways that He was speaking to me. The Camino was a constant conversation with teammates, other pilgrims, and most importantly, with the Lord. We found God in the mundane, in the times where all we could think about was taking the next step on the path.”

Alley continued, “We traded in loneliness for solitude with the Lord and pressed into worship as we were surrounded with creation. The community that is formed on the Camino, and the sense of solidarity that you as a pilgrim have with other pilgrims as you walk, especially after you finish the journey, goes unmatched to anything else you’ve ever experienced.”

The reasons pilgrims walk are as diverse as the pilgrims themselves, yet there is a common theme. About 95% of pilgrims report walking the Camino for spiritual reasons. They’re at a unique place of reflection and searching, and their time on the Camino can be intensely introspective and profound. Many pilgrims need a place to process their pilgrimages once they arrive in Santiago, and through the Pilgrim House Welcome Center, ITeams workers and volunteers invite them in. The team celebrates their journey and encourages them to share their stories and go deeper in their personal and spiritual reflections.

Nate Walter, the team leader, views Pilgrim House as a “continuation of the Camino,” where pilgrims can gather together, find time and space for reflection, and continue to engage in significant conversations. Many pilgrims say they love the peaceful and friendly atmosphere Pilgrim House offers.

As for Alley, she reflects, “In the same way that the cobblestone outside the cathedral leaves pink craters on the palms of your hands as you sit in the plaza amidst wearied, accomplished travelers, so too this journey, the people around you, and the city of Santiago leave imprints on your heart. Our time on the Camino de Santiago and at Pilgrim House, will never be forgotten.”

To learn more about how you can be a part of a short-term team, contact stteams@iteams.org or visit our website http://www.iteams.us/short-term-teams-2/


Medical day miracle

If you’re anything like me, being sick is not something you love. Usually when you’re sick, you’re surrounded with loving people, warm blankets, medicine and anything else you need. Many of the oppressed we work with around the world don’t have those luxuries. Read how a short term team made a difference in the lives of people who don’t have the assurance that they’ll have what they need when they’re sick.

A short term team recently visited one of our communities that offers four medical days each year in its refugee center. This short term team consisted mostly of nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals. The timing of their visit coordinated beautifully with one of these days when scores of refugees arrived looking for medical help.

Local doctors and nurses were also donating their time that day. The short term team provided technologies and medications that were not readily available in that community. As these medical professionals worked alongside each other, they provided medical assistance and hope to many families like this one.

One little boy and his family had found their way to the refugee center after being on the refugee highway. He had been sick for months.

This family was undocumented, didn’t know the language, had no money for medication, and didn’t even have any friends to help them. When they visited the local clinics, they waited in line for hours only to be thrown out because they were foreigners.

When the family took their sick little boy to the medical day, they discovered his illness was something quite simple and could be treated by taking one medication for seven days. This refugee boy was helped because a short term team from the US worked alongside local professionals who were also donating their time and skills to help others from a completely different country.

This boy’s life was changed. He and his family also heard how Jesus not only can heal a body, but can heal a soul as well.

The short term team continues to think about how they can engage more deeply by helping meet some of the needs of the local doctors. They are working on a mobile clinic project where a medical team could go to the cities and places where the refugees live and meet medical needs more than four times a year

To learn more about how you can be a part of a short-term team, contact stteams@iteams.org or visit our website http://www.iteams.us/short-term-teams-2/


A garden’s impact

Short-term teams are having lasting impact in integrated community transformation through partnership.  Here’s one way a short-term team impacted a community by creating and launching an urban garden as they worked alongside our team and the immigrants who live there.

The opportunity arose unexpectedly. Instead of traveling internationally, this short-term team found themselves heading to a small community in a US city. They discovered that they came at the perfect time and were able to serve in a simple, yet encouraging way.

A leader of this community’s local mosque had recently purchased a house in the community for a dollar. The area surrounding this building was riddled with trash and garbage making it impossible to imagine this being used for anything meaningful.

Our team envisioned this area being used for something of value within the community, so with the help of the short-term team, together they cleared the ‘dollar’ house and surrounding area of its debris.

This set the stage for increased partnership among the people that our workers were bringing together in this community. Because of the hard work of this short-term team to clear the land, the local ITeams field staff were given the privilege to use this property for anything they desired. They launched an experiment in urban farming, and subsequently, the growing of peppers.

Peppers were chosen because one of the time-tested ways to combat homesickness is through food. Simply smelling or tasting familiar food can remind anyone of home. They knew that these peppers would represent home to the immigrants, and they were eager to grow something that would encourage them. That’s one simple way our team can express the love of Jesus for these people.

After an abundant growing season, ITeams field staff were able to give away these peppers to the local immigrant community. Because of this simple garden vegetable reminded them of home, opportunities for deeper relationships have flourished.

Our team in the community hopes to build upon the impact of this garden by expanding the gardening to become a source of income and microenterprise for this immigrant community this summer. This garden, cleared by a short-term team, has helped set the stage for transformation.

To learn more about how you can be a part of a short-term team, contact stteams@iteams.org or visit our website http://www.iteams.us/short-term-teams-2/


Help Me – A Thanksgiving Day Prayer


O God, when I have food, help me to remember the hungry;

When I have work, 
help me to remember the jobless;

When I have a home, 
help me to remember those who have no home at all;

When I am without pain,
 help me to remember those who suffer,

And remembering, 
help me to destroy my complacency;

bestir my compassion, 
and be concerned enough to help;

By word and deed,
 those who cry out for what we take for granted.


Samuel F. Pugh


Pre-Field Orientation & Training Dates 2016

Orientation dates for 2016

  • January 4-8, 2016
  • June 13-17, 2016
  • August 22-26, 2016 

Orientation participants should arrive Monday by 1pm.

ACCESS Training dates for 2016


  • January 25 – February 5

Participants should arrive January 24th


  • July 11- July 29

Participants should arrive July 10th