Kathi is a law and order person whose grandparents emigrated to the US just prior to WWII. Eventually called to the order of clergy, Kathi served an urban church with a growing Spanish-speaking population. She overheard her Anglo members in the hallways wondering how they could connect with their new neighbors. Soon, they offered an English as a Second Language course (ESL) taught by their own members. Kathi carried this experience with her to her new church on the other side of the city. There, folks from Somalia and Ghana were settling. More ESL classes came to be, and the Ghanaians started using the building for worship. Another move to another urban area placed Kathi with a community of undocumented immigrants. One family fled their homeland seeking a better life. There was no school in the village for their children, and the only employment was making bricks by hand. Here their children are legally in school as the parents work and pay taxes and social security despite being "illegal." They know one simple traffic ticket could send them as parents to a detention center with no rights. The risk is outweighed by the hope they have for their children. As Kathi looks back on her life, she finds joy in God's messy, mysterious love for all.
If you would like to get more involved in immigration ministries in West Ohio, or know someone who needs support, contact the West Ohio Immigration Task Force - Scott Hicks or David Meredith - at the Ohio River Valley District office at 513-421-2057.