Mission of Amigos en Cristo
Amigos en Cristo (Friends in Christ) is a ministry of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. We provide immigrants to Southwest Florida with the tools to be successful and contributing members of our community and the Kingdom of God.
We are known as the “Church of the Americas” because of our embrace of all generations of people from across the Americas; whether of American, Hispanic or Haitian ancestry. Whether born abroad or here in the United States we are one body united by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
People find joy in volunteering their time, talent and treasure to support the various ministries of Amigos Center as well as our Word and Sacrament ministries. With joyful hearts people come to both serve others through our social services and to be served through Word and Sacrament. Weighty personal problems become easier to bear because of the mutual support, prayers and fellowship of others. There is a pervasive sense of family in all that we do.
Amigos en Cristo embraces the coming promise that, “They shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God”. (Luke 13:29). In Christ we are many nations yet one family, we have multiple gifts yet one purpose, countless tongues yet one voice, diverse cultures yet one people. We are Amigos en Cristo, we are Friends in Christ.
We believe that God wants everyone to be saved from the coming judgment by his grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The best way to reach the lost is by establishing new churches organized around the concept of small groups. (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:46-47; 8:1, 4-5)
Growth is impossible without capable leadership. By God’s grace, every believer has the potential to become a ministry leader. (Matthew 9:35-38; I Peter 2:9-10; II Timothy 2:2; Ephesians 4:11-16)
The Means of Grace
God transforms our hearts and lives through Word and Sacrament. (Romans 10:17)
We value good stewardship. Mission churches must follow stewardship principles leading to sustainable and dynamic growth. (II Corinthians 9:6-11; Proverbs 11:24-29)
The presentation of the Gospel through outreach, teaching and worship must be tailored to reach the hearts and minds of the target community. (Matthew 1:23; I Corinthians 9:19-23)
Through the love of Christ both Anglo and Hispanic believers can and must grow in love and service to all in need. (Ephesians 2:11-20; John 13:1-20)
God calls all Christians to respond to his Gospel with steadfast prayer, praise and thanksgiving. He can overcome all obstacles to accomplish His gracious will in our lives. (Philippians 4:7; I Timothy 2:1-4; Ephesians 3:20-21)
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We help thousands of families annually who come here seeking refuge from persecution and lack of opportunity, hoping for a better life for themselves and their children.They desire to be productive citizens of our country, and our goal is to help them attain the education, skills, and resources necessary so they can succeed. We accomplish this through our programs:
Our Spanish and Creole churches allow people to worship and fellowship in their native language, grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ and be a part of a healthy and loving family based community.
Our Immigration Specialists provide low cost legal family based immigration services. We help families reunite and stay united, moving them along the pathway toward permanent residency and citizenship.
We strive to meet peoples’ physical needs and show God’s love by giving:
— Assistance of food and clothing.
— Education through English classes, seminars, crisis pregnancy counseling, and referrals.
— Advocacy services allow us to network with community organizations to best serve the community.
Amigos Center Immigration Specialist, Eulalia Troncoso, received a call from 88 year-old Jose and his 83 year-old wife Rosa. They had been referred to the Amigos Center by a local notary public. They lost their immigration papers and needed help. With no money and no means of transportation they were in trouble.Due to their advanced age and transportation problems, Eulalia went to their house. She helped them gather the necessary support documents that were scattered about the house and then filled out the proper immigration forms. Our staff was even able to make transportation arrangements for them to get their fingerprints taken.Thanks to Amigos Center and Eulalia’s extra efforts, we now have two new and grateful friends in Christ.
Thanks to the volunteers of Amigos Center and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans chapters in Lee and Collier counties “Change for Change Program” we were able to make a significant improvement in the Bonita Springs home of a single mother and her two kids. Over a two week period, nine volunteers worked over 200 hours to completely refurbish a bedroom and bathroom. The home had been damaged in the flood following Tropical Storm Fay in August of 2008. The volunteers worked under the supervision of contractor Paul Garcia. This was a moving spiritual experience for Paul since he felt certain that, through a series of events, God had called him to help this long-suffering family of three.