Andrew Richards is the Mission Pastor at Rock Harbor Church and former Immigrants’ Journey Learning Lab participant. We are grateful for his reflections on his experience with TGIP, learning from the remarkable peacemakers embedded in the borderlands of San Diego and Tijuana.
I had the chance to travel with TGIP to the SD/TJ border in order to meet with people invested in and impacted by border realities. Sound bites don’t do justice to personal experience and exposure to the current immigration situation at one of the most trafficked borders in the globe.
We live in a sound bite culture. Clips of viewpoints seem to form our whole view of politics, people, and issues more so than truly seeking to understand the nuances of each. Our news is filled with the fruit of an increasingly polarized world engaging in battles from increasingly entrenched positions. The Global Immersion Project flips our culture of pre-formed opinions on it’s head. Or rather, they help us engage it right side up, aligning us with the heart of Jesus, experienced in seeking peace in everyday situations. TGIP has been invaluable in my continuing process of understanding the multifaceted immigration issue. TGIP started with the person – the person of Jesus, and the person affected by recent issues. Then, through relationships that they have cultivated, TGIP helped us discern a map of the best way forward in order to truly love God and love our neighbors.
In order for the church to live into the dream that God has for us, we can’t be content sitting behind political platitudes. We must meet the people, listen to their stories, and then respond as Jesus would lead us in creating solutions. TGIP gives you the context to do this. Sign up. Connect. Translate amor into acción.
For more information and to apply for an upcoming Immigrants’ Journey Learning Lab, click here.