With the current upheaval in the lives of refugees and immigrants in the United States, organizations that serve the vulnerable and displaced, like Mission Adelante, are often inundated with calls from people seeking ways that they can help the refugee and immigrant population.
A vital way to help is to pray. Pray for refugees who are still in harm's way. Pray for immigrants and refugees as they transition to life in the United States, and experience hardships. Pray for those who work with and for the immigrant and refugee populations here and abroad that God would grant them strength and perseverance to continue to advocate for and help all involved. Pray for our elected officials that they will remember the vulnerable and displaced when they are making decisions.
Prayer is essential to our ministry. Our staff continues to spend much time in prayer and lament for our friends and neighbors in our community. Prayer is an important part of our programs, from praying with the children who come to our programs on Tuesday and Thursday evenings to praying with and for the volunteers and students who participate in ESL classes together. At Mission Adelante, "we believe that prayer is the most important work in ministry and that our mission depends upon the power and work of the Holy Spirit in individual lives."
One tool that we continue to find helpful, and that we put in our volunteer orientation notebook each trimester is the "I Was A Stranger" bookmark from the organization, Evangelical Immigration Table. The bookmark has 40 scriptures on it that speak about our need to help the foreigner among us. The Evangelical Immigration Table has four challenges for us. First, challenge yourself. Second, challenge your church. Third, challenge your campus. Fourth, challenge your legislators. You can order the bookmark or become part of any of the challenges at http://evangelicalimmigrationtable.com/iwasastranger/
We will continue to welcome the stranger, we will continue to advocate and stand up for our immigrant and refugee friends, we will continue to fight for the vulnerable and the displaced. But most importantly we will pray that others will show justice and compassion to immigrants and refugees.