My wife and I minister to a growing community with many immigrants who are coming to Long Island. One young woman we met told us that she was paying $400 for a trip to the Human Resources Office in Manhattan to seek political asylum. Multiple trips at $400 for refugees fleeing persecution! These are not wealthy people. So, we were able to step in and help with transportation and providing a safe community for this young woman, who was also expecting a child. Then in September, when the child was coming, my wife Miriam accompanied the young woman to the hospital. She was there for the delivery of the child—a moment that is like none other.
Lima first came to the United States to assist another pastor in his ministry. He quickly discovered, however, that in many communities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Brazilian immigrants lacked a church home. They had worshiped as Presbyterians in Brazil, but now they weren’t able to find a Presbyterian, Portuguese-speaking congregation that understood the unique challenges and opportunities they were facing. Their only option was to go to a church of another tradition, but they weren’t comfortable, Lima says, with the theology or worship.
Kevin Hershey felt a call to ministry at a young age. He knew a closeness to God, a consistent back and forth interaction, a way of being in relationship, that he eventually realized set him apart from his peers. Many years later, he continues to live in this close relationship with the Sacred by leading a community, Companions on the Way, to deepen their relationship with God and in turn with each other.