Those of you who care about immigrants into Northern Virginia need to know about this prayer request from a local (Arlington) pastor:
Fe Y Alabanza is a Spanish-speaking congregation that worships in Arlington. They hold Saturday evening escuela de biblia for adults at Church of the Covenant. They are an Assemblies of God congregation and their pastor Felix is Colombian, but their congregation is made up of immigrants from all over Latin America. Lately they are receiving into their fellowship unaccompanied minors who have been handed over to them from DHS because they have been dumped by smugglers and extorters on the US border. About a dozen kids have found their way to this congregation because they have family members here in Northern Virginia. Apparently DHS has found this pastor trustworthy enough to entrust these children to him to guarantee that they will show up for a court date hearing within six months. He doesn't know what is happening, but he and his congregation are busy shepherding them around to find their relatives, arranging housing and schooling and whatever else they need. Some are living with him in a manse next to the church building.
The congregation is overwhelmed with this need, but they are not turning away from these kids.
Please pray for these children, the congregation of Fe Y Alabanza, and for the network of faith-based organizations that can help them.
Your Pastor Blogs at Pastor Beth at Covenant
And a follow up email from the pastor of this congregation:
I Would like to make some corrections to the previous message and sensitive information spread here in this email to pastors and God leading servants like you:
1. Not only those who "care about", but anyone who really loves the Lord has a demand from God to serve the immigrants.
Be hospitable according to New Testament teaching which literally means to “love the stranger” or the alien (Romans 12:13; Hebrews 13:2; 1 Peter 4:9). Jesus commanded his followers to welcome people who had no social standing, such as the poor, the sick, and the outsider (Luke 14:12-14)...you should be involved.!
2. The congregation FE y ALABANZA, is a multinational American congregation, not only of American Hispanics but Anglo Americans and African Americans as well, we have it all. This is what makes us strong and really United.
3. Minors we have seeing and assisted to reunite with relatives are been released to first degree relatives not directly to us.
4. Not only I don't know what is going on here in America, we are Americans and never seen something like this before. However, no one has a satisfactory response to all the emerging questions . Officials and government agents don't know either, we have asked them. And I bet, you neither know. Don't worry God is Smiling.
5. If we, pastors in America continue to ignore these people, this immigrants that are been brought here by the will of God, we are going to be in the same situation as pastors in Europe (are) in this moment. Frustrated, single out, and with beautiful but empty buildings; And some, ready to be filled and adapted to temporality housing immigrants from Muslim and African countries.
Please, Wake up, let's get together as the army of God and let's do our part. At least, make your congregation know of what you already know.
6. We are not asking anyone outside of our ministry for anything, we are here to help, to assist, to bring solutions and not to aggregate to the problem. Please pray for us.
Thank you for reading, if you want to know me or my ministry please call me or write back. Thanks.
Pastor, FELIX EDGONZALEZ II