MIAMI – The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) is the largest evangelical group in the United States. The NHCLC is currently mobilizing to help the thousands of people in the caravan of immigrants, asylum seekers, that has traveled through Central America to the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
The NHCLC Vision Statement begins by saying that it proposes to:
“Exercise prophetic leadership by reconciling the vertical and horizontal planes of the Christian message; sanctification with service, conviction with compassion, the image of God with the habits of Christ, holiness and humility, John 3:16 and Matthew 25 and the prophetic with the practical.”
Unique among common vision statements, it goes on to include the desire to:
“Enrich the narrative of American Evangelicalism by replacing the media exacerbated image of angry white evangelicals who oppose everything to a convicted, yet compassionate multi-ethnic kingdom culture community committed to sharing the truth with love.”
It further looks to:
“Edify a multi-ethnic, transgenerational firewall against moral relativism, spiritual apathy, cultural decadence, and ecclesiastical lukewarmness while simultaneously elevating biblical marriage, championing life and protecting religious liberty.”
While the liberal media decries the U.S. policy that requires asylum seekers to do so legally, churches affiliated with the NHCLC are on the ground “being the hands and feet of Jesus, meeting the very practical, immediate needs of the people who have recently crossed into the U.S.
Pastor Samuel Rodriguez, President of the NHCLC, explained in a recent interview that, contrary to popular belief, that U.S. policy is not anti-Latino, but is anti-illegal entry. He emphasized that “We are Christian before being Mexican or American. Our Christ-centric commitment should always be what leads us.” To which he added,
Like Jesus, we have to feed and clothe others, help those in need, but at the same time, respect what Paul tells us in Romans 13, which is to respect the laws of government. As Christians, we can do both.
About 70% of the asylum seekers are men 40-years-old and younger who are able to work, but who cannot find work in the declining economies of their own countries. NHCLC Executive Vice President, Tony Suarez, iterated that “There’s nothing wrong or illegal with people approaching our border & applying for asylum. That doesn’t mean we have to receive everyone that comes but they certainly can apply.” That, he correctly notes, is a right way to immigrate.
Rodriguez told reporters that the commitment of the NHCLC’s affiliated churches in Mexico is to help the asylum seekers and treat them with compassion. In addition to helping address essential needs, Mexican and Latin American churches are hoping to reach out to willing travelers by providing training and jobs on the southern side of the border. Those churches are committed to treating the people in the caravan with dignity, respect, and the love of Christ.
The caravan represents an emerging problem around the world today, but it also presents a golden opportunity for Christians to demonstrate Christ’s love to masses of people who are open to hearing the Gospel and discovering a better life here on earth and in eternity.
To read more news on Immigration on Missions Box, go here.
- The Christian Post, Largest Latino evangelical group mobilizing to help migrant caravan, Samuel Rodriguez says
- Evangelical Focus, Christians should clothe the needy while respecting the laws