The faith community has shown strong, compassionate leadership throughout the border crisis. I’m incredibly proud to be part of a community that tirelessly supports the most vulnerable—in this case, young children and families seeking safety and refuge.
Last week, a vigil was held in Baltimore for the thousands of unaccompanied refugee children who arrived in Maryland after fleeing violence. Bishop Wolfgang Herz-Lane of the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America led the prayer. The Washington Post covered the vigil in the article Md. Religious Leaders Pray for Immigrant Children. Here is an excerpt:
Dozens of religious leaders and supporters marched along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor on Wednesday to draw attention to the influx of immigrant children into the United States, and specifically into Maryland and Baltimore. In the first seven months of 2014, 2,205 unaccompanied immigrant children have settled in Maryland. Most of those children have been reunited with family members or placed in the homes of sponsors.
Roughly 57,000 unaccompanied immigrant children have crossed the border into the United States since October, mostly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
Linda Hartke, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and one of the rally’s organizers, said the march and prayer vigil were designed to send a message that the city is welcoming of refugees and immigrants.
‘Today’s gathering is an important sign of support from the people of Baltimore that says this is a city and a state that’s welcoming of refugee kids, of people who flee violence, of people who have dreams and aspirations for their future, for their well-being, and to be reunited with their family members.’
Although thousands of children have found loving homes, there are many more who await a family. Foster parents can change the course of a child’s life, and foster children make an indelible mark on their parents. If you are interested in learning more about giving the gift of family, click here. If you don’t feel called to become a foster parent, click here to learn about the many other ways to become a champion of this crisis.