Sep 26, 2012

Hear from IPI Students: Bethany Anderson

Bethany Anderson
Fullerton, CA

Why did you come to IPI?

I have a desire and calling to be a legal advocate for my immigrant neighbors.

My husband and I live in an immigrant neighborhood and I work with unaccompanied minors in detention.  Through college, I got connected to a local community church development organization where I met a young man named Sergio. I became close to his family, we helped him graduate high school, and we were beginning to think about college when I realized that he was undocumented. It did not seem fair to me that this young man, who has spent most of his life here in the States, who came to know the Lord through our teen center and who desired to work in that very same teen center as a volunteer, did not have the same rights as me.  I looked into the law a little bit and quickly realized how complicated and inefficient it actually is.

What did you learn at IPI?

The devotions in the morning were extremely impactful and encouraging to me.  I feel like I have even more resources to articulate my passion and heart for the immigrant and the church’s role in advocating.  Also, a deeper understanding of the law is invaluable for my future and ministry.  This was definitely worth my time and effort.

What is in your future?

I plan to become fully accredited and opening a legal ministry in partnership with my current organization, hopefully local churches, and Immigrant Hope.

Helping people through the process of understanding God’s heart for the immigrant, our opportunity to engage in relationship, and the undeniable need for advocacy and reform is the biggest challenge we face.

Do you have advice for others who are beginning to learn about immigration?

Read and know scripture! It is crucial to have a biblical and Christ-centered perspective on this issue.  Share a meal with an immigrant; build a relationship, learn, share, develop an authentic connection – it is key! Learn about the basic brokenness in the law, and prayerfully consider how God is calling you to respond.

We have a call to share the gospel and immigration gives the church an opportunity to grow in depth as we engage in the suffering of real people.