Hello everyone! Our BayUP team would love to thank everyone for gathering with us last Saturday to earnestly pray for our detainees, migrant children, families distraught by the system, and the whole immigration bureaucracy.
For anyone who was not able to attend, our BayUP (Bay Area Urban Project) team had the honor of leading this month’s prayer vigil. We are college students from different Intervarsity Christian Fellowship university chapters across Northern California and Nevada who convened in Oakland to learn about varying social justice issues through a faith-based perspective. Our team was assigned to work with Debbie for the summer. While we are learning about immigration issues, we are also growing compassionate hearts for those who have experienced the brokenness of the system.
Over the planning process for the vigil, we realized the importance of including people’s stories. Rules and regulations are passed left and right in legislation, and we often fail to hear or appreciate personal narratives that humanize the larger issues.
Our team thought it would be fitting to employ a theme that centers around stories and the way these stories weave in and out with others’ stories. We are all connected by threads that we sometimes do not realize, so we hoped to make those more visible to convict us to become united and interdependent. We were created to be a close-knit community. We were created to be each others’ LIFELINES.
The prayer vigil became a space for realizations, convictions, and the building of new relationships all in the name of immigration justice. We hope that it was “successful” in that it will lead us to become more pro-active in pursuing justice for our brothers and sisters who 1) are trapped within the walls of detention centers, and 2) are suffering from family separation, and 3) are in our communities and cities living with fear of being caught by immigration.
We ask that we all continue to earnestly pray for shalom, the restoration of how relationships were created to be. As the nation awakens to see immigration as an imperative issue, we pray that we all link arms to announce God’s message to the world: to love everyone with no boundaries. Power to you!