Hope

Immigrant Hope

I love being an EFCA pastor in an EFCA church.  All churches in the EFCA are autonomous; in other words, we are our own church under the headship of the Lord.  Being a part of the EFCA gives us strength in numbers. I enjoy this benefit the most. Recently I met with a number of Arizona EFCA pastors.  I invited John Cosby, one of own at MVBC, to join us for the day. His background in missions led me to believe he would want to hear from the special guest, Diane Martinez of Immigrant Hope.  

Since then, I have seen John take hold of the vision to help establish Immigrant Hope here in the Valley. This is a big undertaking, and we are reaching out to many other pastors and churches.  Keep this in mind, Mountain Vista Bible Church, it does not take a mega-church to do mega things. It takes God. I am proud as a pastor that one of our members is pursuing the vision for an Immigrant Hope ministry here in the Valley. The potential to share Christ with people who have a specific need for help is what excites me the most. Following is something that I asked John to write to begin to introduce us to Immigrant Hope. You will be hearing more about his work in the future.

IMMIGRANT HOPE   John S. Cosby Trainer/Consultant, Worldview Resource Group; Member, Mt. Vista Bible Church  Dr. William Hamel, former President of the EFCA penned the following statement: “One of the great challenges for believers is to view people and situations from God’s point of view rather than our own.”  [1]   In this article he was addressing a Biblical response to “the alien” in our midst.  The noisy ring of the telephone pierced the calmness of a late afternoon conversation with my wife, Marge. On the other end of the line was the panicky voice of a friend seeking help. His wife should have been home at this hour, but never showed up. She along with one of their children were “missing”. He had called the places where she frequented and learned that the immigration authorities had been watching the school where their children attended. She, along with the children, were taken into custody. We prayed together. I wanted so much to do more but didn’t know even how to begin. A few hours later the phone rang again. It was my friend again calling to let me know he received word from his wife. She had been deported and was in Mexico.  For the past forty-five years Marge and I have lived and shared Christ among Latino/Hispanic people living on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border. Immigration has continually loomed as a huge issue, while at the same time, an issue very elusive to effectively address. In January I attended a presentation along with several local Evangelical Free Church pastors. Diane Martinez, Director of the Immigrant Hope center in Santa Barbara shared the vision and ministry of Immigrant Hope.  More than ever before the world’s population is coming to the United States. The Body of Christ here can either view that as an invasion or an opportunity for involvement. Immigrant Hope is a ministry associated with the EFCA designed to seize the opportunity for involvement. Christ is shared within the context of developing authentic relationships through meeting a very relevant need: truthful counsel toward a pathway to citizenship. Each I.H. center is equipped with personnel who are trained and certified by the U.S. Dept. of Justice to provide trustworthy counsel and representation for people related to their immigration status.  We, along with Mountain Vista Bible Church and a number of other evangelical churches in the valley are praying and seeking God’s direction toward establishing an Immigrant Hope center here in the East Valley area. Stay tuned for more regarding the power of God’s grace reaching and redeeming the World-at-our-front-door unto Himself!       [1]   EFCA Today, Spring 2011

IMMIGRANT HOPE

John S. Cosby
Trainer/Consultant, Worldview Resource Group; Member, Mt. Vista Bible Church

Dr. William Hamel, former President of the EFCA penned the following statement: “One of the great challenges for believers is to view people and situations from God’s point of view rather than our own.”[1] In this article he was addressing a Biblical response to “the alien” in our midst.

The noisy ring of the telephone pierced the calmness of a late afternoon conversation with my wife, Marge. On the other end of the line was the panicky voice of a friend seeking help. His wife should have been home at this hour, but never showed up. She along with one of their children were “missing”. He had called the places where she frequented and learned that the immigration authorities had been watching the school where their children attended. She, along with the children, were taken into custody. We prayed together. I wanted so much to do more but didn’t know even how to begin. A few hours later the phone rang again. It was my friend again calling to let me know he received word from his wife. She had been deported and was in Mexico.

For the past forty-five years Marge and I have lived and shared Christ among Latino/Hispanic people living on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border. Immigration has continually loomed as a huge issue, while at the same time, an issue very elusive to effectively address. In January I attended a presentation along with several local Evangelical Free Church pastors. Diane Martinez, Director of the Immigrant Hope center in Santa Barbara shared the vision and ministry of Immigrant Hope.

More than ever before the world’s population is coming to the United States. The Body of Christ here can either view that as an invasion or an opportunity for involvement. Immigrant Hope is a ministry associated with the EFCA designed to seize the opportunity for involvement. Christ is shared within the context of developing authentic relationships through meeting a very relevant need: truthful counsel toward a pathway to citizenship. Each I.H. center is equipped with personnel who are trained and certified by the U.S. Dept. of Justice to provide trustworthy counsel and representation for people related to their immigration status.

We, along with Mountain Vista Bible Church and a number of other evangelical churches in the valley are praying and seeking God’s direction toward establishing an Immigrant Hope center here in the East Valley area. Stay tuned for more regarding the power of God’s grace reaching and redeeming the World-at-our-front-door unto Himself!

 

[1] EFCA Today, Spring 2011