Each year the Regional Youth and Young Adult’s ministry provide an immersion experience for young leaders to practice and engage the tools of faith they’ve gained from their training. This year we felt compelled to extend this opportunity to young adults from around the General Church – United States and Canada. In the past we have sent young people to unfamiliar areas of the world for most of us. When considering what unique opportunities we could host for folks from around our larger Church, it only seemed natural since we share a border with another country that we tackle issues of immigration and deportation.
With the support of a grant from the Oreon E. Scott Foundation, our region hosted a 10-day immersion experience for eight young adults, four youth, and a number of adults from around the PSWR. Five days of training were provided by immigration resource ministry Matthew 25, Obra Hispana National Pastor, Lori Tapia, our Associate Regional Minister, B. J. Barlow, and conversation that engaged perspectives on racism and cultural sensitivities. The other five days took participants across the US-Mexico border to visit border patrol agents, deported veterans, and our sister church Iglesia de Las Todas Naciones in Tijuana.
The results of this project are continuing to be revealed to us. Our hope is that with the gathering of resources, personal stories, and close encounters with our immigration system, these young leaders will work to provide support and services to immigrants throughout the General Church and beyond.
To hear the impact the program had on one participant, visit: https://youtu.be/4ciShEqHPg8 or watch the video below.