By Bill Mefford, photo by Steve Pavey, see more of Steve's work at www.stevepavey.com
Today (Tuesday) is known as “Giving Tuesday,” the day that seems designed to ameliorate the self-indulgence that characterizes the national shopping craze on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As long as the United States remains fixated on our national pastime – shopping! – who says we are not a united nation?
Nonetheless, as ambivalent as I am about making giving to needed ministries and good works the day after we spend four days focused solely on ourselves (which is kind of like the previous 360), I hope this does not take away the passion for which I hope you will support a ministry I absolutely believe in: the work of Justice for Our Neighbors, or better known as JFON.
JFON is headquartered in Springfield, VA, but is scattered throughout the country in 15 sites, which collectively employs 37 immigration attorneys. These sites operate in 12 states, including Washington, D.C., and run approximately 40 clinics. The goal of JFON is simple: to offer a hospitality ministry that welcomes immigrants by providing affordable, high-quality immigration legal services to low-income immigrants and refugees, engaging in advocacy for immigrant and refugee rights, and offering education to communities of faith and to the public.
There is no ministry I believe in more than JFON.
And I know what I am talking about. For more than ten years I have been to almost all of the JFON sites, I personally know almost all of the site directors and the incredible attorneys whose primary passion is to serve immigrants and refugees, and I have worked closely with so many JFON volunteers, folks who passionately love God and love their sisters and brothers who are immigrants and refugees. I spent the last ten years coordinating the efforts of followers of Jesus as they engaged in the missional work of advocacy and organizing for the purpose of protecting the rights of immigrants and refugees, mobilizing literally thousands of public witness events in support of immigrants and refugees. And do you know where the bulk of those events emanated? Yep, that’s right; most came from folks affiliated in some way with JFON.
So let me say this again. There is no ministry I believe in more than JFON.
And this is why I am working with JFON to raise money to support this vital work. And believe me when I say this, there is no more vital a time in history that immigrants and refugees will need quality legal representation now that this country has elected someone as vitriolic and nativist as donald trump who, in turn, has named a racist, anti-immigrant Senator as his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. These guys will be a nightmare to the people we care about and we can’t waste time mobilizing all of our passion to stop them. This begins now.
Things have never looked bleaker, but there are a bunch of things that we will do to support our immigrant and refugee sisters and brothers at Fig Tree Revolution and one of them will be to support those organizations whose services are so vital.
And there is none as vital right now as JFON.
So, will you join me in giving today to JFON and in encouraging your friends and networks by sharing this post on Facebook and Twitter and elsewhere? I am starting with a goal of raising $250, but I want to blow the lid of that 250 real quick.
Will you also consider volunteering at a local JFON? (You can find one hopefully near you here. If there isn’t one near you then I encourage you to find a reputable legal clinic and volunteer there.)
These steps are just the beginning. We at Fig Tree Revolution will be sharing opportunities for you to participate in the movement of people of faith who are advocating and organizing to protect the rights of ALL immigrants and refugees in the coming months because of who we have elected and because of who God has called us to be.
Wanna join me? Let’s make history.