• Gustavo Driau

Conversations on Migrants Ministries

On Wednesday, September 23, 2020, companion churches from Chile, Argentina, Colombia, and Peru participated in conversations with the ELCA-AMMPARO Continental Program discussing initiatives to accompany migrants. In the debate, the churches listened to the experience presented by the Pastoral of Migrants of the Salvadoran Lutheran Church

The conversation tackled the complexity of migration in the region has been increasing. These challenges are, among others, the migration flows in Central America Northern Triangle and Southern Triangle, the crisis of unaccompanied migrant girls and boys; the emigration from Venezuela and the growing challenges that receiving countries face; the emigration from Haiti, and the discrimination suffered by its emigrants; and, the countless dangers and threats that many migrant people face on their journeys, the insufficient responses of societies, governments, and the international community

The conversations included the presentation of the AMMPARO Continental strategy.

The strategy affirms that companion churches will continue to welcome and assist vulnerable migrants. In particular, women and children in a situation of migration

The companion churches witnessed how they are discovering the presence of the crucified and risen Jesus in their ministries serving migrants and refugees.

They are renewing the values of the Kingdom of God in their relationship with migrants.

The local faith communities and congregations provide spiritual and pastoral support and to listen, strengthen, celebrate, and restore the spirituality of migrants. Companion churches need accompaniment to develop their capacities for mission and service to people in migration.

The companion churches addressed the relevance of reinforcing communities' resilience and their ministries for reconciliation and restoration.

Immediate direct assistance interventions such as distributing food or other goods are only acceptable at first as a response of maximum urgency. The church's ministry focuses on accompaniment and relationships, prioritizing the restoration and reconciliation of individuals, families, and groups. Therefore, it is necessary a comprehensive, holistic, and diaconal accompaniment.

Conversations among the companion churches in Argentina, Peru, Chile, and Colombia, and the ELCA-AMMPARO Continental strategy will continue in bilateral and multilateral dialogues.

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