"Who Is My Neighbor?" An Evangelical Forum on Immigration

This past Monday (March 12th) World Relief Jacksonville hosted a luncheon called “Who Is My Neighbor?” a forum on Immigration. It was a great learning experience for our staff and community leaders.  We now have an understanding of Comprehensive Immigration Reform and how we can advocate toward this change.  Hearing the needs of undocumented immigrants can be overwhelming at times. But it is important to press through the obstacles and do our part in standing for these vulnerable people in our community.

World Relief has developed a simple acronym to show us how we can make a difference among undocumented immigrants.

We suggest several steps: PLEASE .....

Prayer—for wisdom as your church engages with this issue, for immigrants in your community, and for your political leaders

Listening—to immigrant brothers and sisters’ experiences, as well as to what the Bible has to teach us about how to interact with the foreign-born

Education—help others in your congregation to understand the issue; some churches have dedicated a sermon or Sunday School class to the topic, or created opportunities for interaction between immigrants and non-immigrants within the church

Advocacy—your legislators need to hear the moral voice of churches and their leaders; some churches have created or signed on to a statement in support of immigration reform; others have visited, written to, or called their legislators to share their opinion

Service—the best way to understand the immigration issue is to build relationships with immigrants, and service, such as through providing English classes, is a great way to begin

Evangelism—While many immigrants bring a vibrant faith with them, others will encounter the transformative message of the gospel for the first time in the U.S.Immigration provides a missional opportunity to make disciples of all nations—right on our doorstep (taken from website: http://welcomingthestranger.com It is our hope that a network of pastors, community leaders and those passionate about serving immigrants will be established in Jacksonville.  If you would like to be part of such a group please contact Katie Sullivan, Church Relations at World Relief Jacksonville via email at ksullivan@wr.org or phone at 448-0733 x122.