The Cross and the Cause: Back to the Tent

Sunday night. I am sitting in the terminal in SFO awaiting my third DC red eye since July. The first was to attend the Pray4Reform Day of Action and Prayer, the second was my visit to the Oval Office. Somewhere along the way I need to change my handle from "accidental" to "intentional" advocate. 

It's been seventeen days since my unexpected meeting with President Obama and faith leaders to discuss the moral urgency of immigration reform. After that meeting I visited the Fast for Reform tent, a group raising awareness for immigration reform by fasting, praying and telling their stories. They were barely a day into their 20 day fast.

We spent about thirty minutes together sharing stories. Then, Patrick the Franciscan Action Network leader, handed me a cross on a lanyard, and asked me to lead in prayer.  I assured them we (the President and faith leaders) were each working hard in our own way to see immigration reform passed sooner than later. 

Since our meeting I have had the opportunity to tell the story of our church and these two unexpected meetings through the Union Tribune, NBC7 San Diego, the David Spoon Experience on KPRZ 1210am, personal conversations, and in a message I preached November 17 in worship. 

Tonight I'm flying back to DC to fast and pray in the same tent for the next two days. There will be opportunity for new stories, words of encouragement, prayer, and press events. The goal is to support the fast and pray effort of the core fasters who have been at it for 20 days. I'll be with Jim Wallis and Gabe Salguero (who have each written great articles on the effort). 

Congress can introduce legislation that will secure borders, offer earned citizenship (not amnesty), and keep families together--values we think are supported by scripture and the rule of law--before fall session ends December 13. The fast will last until they vote on something.

I'll continue to share the story of our church: over two decades of partnering with our Hispanic members in service and worship, tutoring children, prepping students for college, teaching literacy and citizenship classes for adults, and most recently, helping to navigate the challenging immigration process through our North County Immigration and Citizenship Center. 

And I'll tell stories of children living with the fear of parents' deportation, a 30 year old meandering through the system for 12 years just for her green card, and hardworking men and women wanting to come out of the shadows and contribute fully to our community. 

After services this morning I heard the story of another 30 year old. With tears she told of her father's work in the fields that gave her citizenship and a college education. Her father came from Mexico as a teenager, looking for work and a better life. He worked from before dawn till after sunset everyday  to put food on the table. She was the first of five children to get a four year degree. She studied international relations and Spanish to help third world countries. Now married with two children she is grateful for the opportunities afforded her. In college she also marched for strawberry pickets wages to increase 5 cents. She volunteers with our literacy and citizenship classes. 

This is the story of our church. This is really God's story of redemption, buying back lives for his glory. 

I'm taking the cross with me to the tent to remind me.


  1. Keep telling your story...God will go before you to prepare the way:-)

  2. Keep telling your story...God will go before you to prepare the way:-)


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