The Pacific South West Region (PSWR) is organizing an immigration immersion experience for young adults this summer. Rev. BJ Barlow, PSWR staff, has secured a grant to make the July 25-Aug. 4 event financially affordable for ten participants ages 18-35 from across the U.S. and Canada. Applications are due March 31.
“We are looking for individuals who are open to learning about the immigrant experience, hearing their stories and then sharing the work with immigrants who seek to tell their stories,” Barlow said.
The itinerary is packed with learning and doing. The Matthew 25 movement in Southern California, which is partnering with the Whittier (CA) church of Rev. Gabriel Lopez, will offer training along with Disciples Seminary Foundation, the Central Pastoral Office of Hispanic Ministries (CPOHM), and North American Pacific/Asian Disciples (NAPAD). Tana Liu-Beers, Disciples immigration counsel, will also talk to the group, and they will speak with border control agents and families impacted by immigration issues. PSWR staff Rev. Young Lan Kim and other area ministers, including Rev. Sadie Cullumber and partners in Mexico, will also share with the group.
In the “doing” column, the participants will travel to Tijuana, Albergues and Puerto Nuevo. They will continue to study both scripture and stories of the impacts of immigration on both Hispanic and Asian/Pacific groups.
The project, funded by an Oreon E. Scott Foundation grant, could serve as a model for developing ministries that honor immigrants and their stories.