by Jarrett Meek, Pastor/Executive Director, Founder
Mission Adelante takes seriously the biblical mandate to speak on behalf of vulnerable people who don't have a voice. In our case, some of those voiceless people are our neighbors and friends. In these strange times, when a lot is being said about immigrants and refugees, we, as a ministry and community, have embraced all the more our slogan, "loving people from all places." From undocumented immigrants, who form a large part of the very fabric of our neighborhood, to legal permanent residents and citizens who are hoping to be reunited with aging parents through a family reunification visa, to refugees who are displaced, without a country to call home, many members of our community are directly impacted by our country's immigration laws. At Mission Adelante, we find ourselves with beautiful opportunities to serve, share life, and share Jesus with people from all places who are often looked upon as outsiders by the world around them. As we live out our mission to make disciples, we find special significance in the disciple-making ministry of Jesus that emphasized serving the vulnerable and marginalized as a hallmark of those who would be His followers.
Open your mouths for the mute; for all those who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9
We know that many of our partners and friends look to Mission Adelante for information and leadership in issues related to immigrants and refugees. This, for us, is a solemn responsibility that we don't take lightly. We are standing in a unique place, at the nexus of current issues that have deep biblical, social, and political significance. By following the Lord we follow, by living where we live, by serving whom we serve, and loving whom we love, we have become part of a "new we" that includes people from different countries, backgrounds, races, and cultures. As a part of this new we, we look with special interest at the question, "who is my neighbor?". In light of our unique context, we marvel at the parable of the Good Samaritan, which demonstrated that an outsider, a foreigner, a person of a different race or religion, might just be the neighbor God calls us to love. You, as a friend of Mission Adelante, are also part of this "new we", and we are honored to be part of this journey together.
Maybe you are aware of the ongoing push for legislation to provide a permanent solution for "Dreamers", young immigrants who have grown up in the U.S. without proper immigration documents. There are new developments nearly every week on this front, and we continue to pray for a compassionate solution for these young friends and neighbors. The video at the top of this post will give you a glimpse into some of the realities facing the Dreamers. Recently, World Relief led the way in drafting a letter to Congress and to President Trump in support of the Dreamers and other vulnerable groups. This letter was published in the Washington Post on February 7th, along with the signatures of 100 prominent Evangelical leaders, including Beth Moore, Bill and Lynne Hybels, Ann Voskamp, and Max Lucado. Thousands of other Evangelical leaders and organizations, including Mission Adelante, signed on to the online version of the letter, which called on Congress and President Trump to give consideration to four groups of vulnerable people including, Dreamers, Refugees, Persecuted Christians, and Families awaiting reunification. I encourage you to read the letter here.
If you are interested in staying up-to-date with good information and thoughtful, Christian responses to issues related to immigrants and refugees, two of our trusted sources are World Relief and The Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), led by Dr. Russell Moore. Recently, Mission Adelante's board adopted the ERLC's Evangelical Leader Statement on Dreamers as our own position. If you are so inclined, we invite you to join with us and others across the country to pray for Dreamers, specifically on Monday, March 5th over the lunch hour. World Relief has put together a prayer guide for Dreamers that many will be using on this day. Thank you for walking with us and standing with our beloved community through all the challenges we face together.