With all the challenges of 2020, beginning a new ministry during a pandemic was a ray of light and hope during such an unprecedented time. While COVID-19 hampered the launch of All Saints Immigration Services, it did not stop us from being able to welcome the stranger into our church and assist them with their legal and immigration needs.
Our first client was from Jamaica, and we helped her and her husband assemble their immigration papers so they could remain in the U.S. legally. We are currently working with another family of five, assisting the mother and father to obtain the legal status needed to stay in the U.S. with their three U.S.-citizen children. A third family has recently come to us as they literally left his business to flee from gang threat and oppression within their home country.
As you can imagine, if approved, these are not small acts we as a church are doing— collectively the work of ASIS can literally change the trajectory of entire families. This is what All Saints Immigration Services will provide as one of our main goals: helping families stay together.
As we move forward in 2021, we want to expand the amount of clients we are able to assist. Lynn and I hope to increase our knowledge of Immigration Law, our experience, and our outreach to the community. Before opening, we hired a part-time interpreter and administrative assistant named Dulce Maria Salcedo, who has been incredibly beneficial. A few months into Dulce Maria’s work with us, I came across a photo of myself seventeen years ago eating dinner with her mother and father as we celebrated her second birthday! It was truly remarkable as we had no idea of the connection!
It is true that the Spirit was at work long before this ministry was ever planned and continues to encourage and work in ways beyond our imagination. I was only nineteen years old at the time! God does in fact fulfill his work in small quiet ways and in his on timing.
As we enter into 2021, we certainly anticipate having the church more involved with volunteer opportunities, community events, and one-on-one relationship-building with our clients. Of course, much of this will be dependent on how the pandemic wanes, in which we will be able to welcome more clients and facilitate ways to support these families. We look forward to hosting special events and sharing ways the church can join us in the work the Lord is doing in the lives of the immigrants in our community!