Our January mission emphasis is the Immigration Care Team (ICT), a ministry offering active support and provision to asylum seekers and other immigrants. In Spring 2020, there was a request to sponsor a young woman from a Central African country, who was seeking asylum while being held in a detention center at the Texas border. A group of individuals who had participated in Courts & Ports, a 2-day immersion experience witnessing first-hand the legal and law enforcement processes related to immigration, detention, and deportation occurring in South Texas, responded to this request with a yes. Karen Smith, Tom and Robbie Ausley, Sally Watkins, Gerry Carrol, Howard and Marijo Hartman, and Rev. Cathy Stone each signed a Letter of Support and Affidavit of Support agreeing to be her sponsors, providing support while she waits for her asylum case to be decided. Kathy Morales joined the team and meets with our young woman regularly for English as a Second Language classes and Deborah Wilder joined the team as an interpreter.

The ICT met with her on Zoom regularly for the first year and has now moved to individuals connecting with her a few times each month. The ongoing care continues to ensure that she has a safe place to live, food, other necessities, access to legal representation and English instruction. The team connected her with Justice for Our Neighbors and is grateful she has legal representation. The ICT currently spends just over $1,000 each month on rent, utilities, groceries, and other occasional expenses such as a lockbox for important documents that was recently given.

Contributions to the Immigration Care Team will help cover living expenses and any legal costs that arise for our asylum-seeker while she goes through the asylum process. Prayers for the work of this team and for her are appreciated! Gifts can be made online or a check marked “Immigration Care Team” may be placed in the offering basket or mailed to the church during January.