“Welcome to America” is not the first thing I would have legal, approved, asylum-seeking immigrants to hear when arriving in a place that will be their new home: it’s “welcome to our church. Jesus loves you.” If you agree, here’s a chance to give them a proper immigrant welcome that extends hospitality in the name of Jesus Christ.
One of our own RCA congregations is living out the mission of Jesus that we’re all striving to do every day. Last year, ICE had a problem they needed the church to help with. They needed to find a way to release people from detention centers, but knew that they didn’t have the resources to do so in a helpful and healthy way. In October, Immigration officials contacted a group of churches in the Phoenix area and asked for their help, welcoming asylum seekers and providing them with some basic needs along their journeys.
Every week since then, Israel and Karla Camacho and their congregation at Iglesia Nueva Esperanza have received at least one bus load of families that are on their way to reunite with relatives in the USA. Immigration Services drops them at the church where they are given meals, a place to stay, and daily necessities. The church is helping them reach family members by arranging transportation to their final destination. When a politician asked about border security Israel Camacho simply responded “The politics part is your job. The Jesus part is our job. We’re just going to worry about doing our job.”
” You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” – Leviticus 19:34
*TO BE CLEAR, THESE ARE FAMILIES THAT HAVE BEEN CLEARED BY ICE AND ARE AWAITING THEIR NEXT STEPS IN THE LEGAL ASYLUM PROCESS. So no matter any difference of opinion on political matters, this one cuts right down the aisle. And the BEST part is: ICE IS BRINGING THESE PEOPLE TO THE CHURCH!
Our denomination has been able to help with some of the funding needs over that past few months, but more funding is needed for this unique and timely ministry. While your deacons and elders pray about longer term or ongoing options, we wanted to initiate our support with a one-time offering this Easter Sunday.
- $56.80 covers the cost for each
- $20 for food while stay with the church
- $20 for food traveling to relatives
- $16.80 for transportation, gas, and related expenses
Also, this is not just social work to these families; we are being given an opportunity to share the gospel with them! The first thing the church does when they arrive is pray with them, worship with them, and encourage them to understand that God has a plan for their lives. Then, they’re encouraged to find a church when they get to their destination… and seek Jesus as their ultimate refuge.
Can you consider sponsoring even one person? Less than $57 covers the opportunity to provide practically and preach the gospel to these refuge-seekers. All are welcome to come Easter Sunday and we’ll provide the opportunity to give in-service as an act of worship. If you can’t join us but want to join in giving to this need, just to to our GIVE page and follow the link to GIVE ONLINE: make sure to SELECT “Easter Immigrant Aid” in the dropdown menu.
Thanks in advance for this opportunity to live out some of our core values as a church: global outreach and sharing God’s Good News (read our values and beliefs here). And remember:“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” – Hebrews 13:2
I hope we’ll put together a wonderful gift to give Iglesia Nueva Esperanza for their work, as we work together to share God’s Good News and punctuate it by our good deeds for His glory, and in His name.
– Pastor James