Children from Hope Lutheran Early Learning Center collected a truck load of food for our Amigos Center food bank. The kids said that they wanted to get “food for our friends.”
D’Latinos and Gulfshore Business magazines launched the Face Awards in 2011 to recognize businesses and outstanding individuals who reflect and celebrate positive values and the ethnic and racial diversity within the community. The awards honor outstanding nominees in each of the following categories: Large Company, Small Business, Nonprofit/Philanthropy, Medical, Education, and Arts and Culture.
For the year of 2012, Pastor Selle was selected amongst many candidates to receive the FACE Award, Non-Profit/Philanthropy. He, and Amigos Center, will get an article in the magazine as well as recognition at their Gala in January of 2012.
October was a very eventful month. Justina came on board and is doing great. We have improved upon the English program and are seeing students gain confidence. It is a joy to also see them helping one another. Some of the people we have seen include Juana, who has attained skills and confidence she had never had before. We have seen the joys of families united and families rejoice over furthering their education. Yet we have also seen clients like CeCe who struggles to send money home to her mom in Haiti and ten orphan kids who are abandoned. We have seen one student break down because she couldn’t afford the $36 for medications needed after a visit to the emergency room. Yet we have watched how God has blessed the center, providing what we need and helping to provide for what others need.
Karl, Immokalee Service Director, says, “It is so easy to lose focus on what is important in life in this fast paced world. Being in Immokalee has allowed me to see what is truly important in life. Christ and family.”
Thank you to all of our partners who make this changing of lives possible.
Thank you to State Farm and the Hispanic Chamber of Southwest Florida for your generous school supplies donation to help families in need. The Immokalee families who received the supplies are extremely grateful as are we. Thank you for your support of the community!
Thank you to Pastor Jerry Lawson of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in North Fort Myers for leading our youth in confirmation classes again this year. Last year, most of the youth group participated in weekly Confirmation Classes led by Pastor Lawson and we are thankful that he has again made this great commitment to teach this year.
Although it’s great to think of our pass successes, it is also important to cast the vision for the future. There are endless opportunities for expansion of the ministry, and to reach more families and impact the community in a greater way, there will be a team working together to design an achievable action plan. It will be a lot of work and will require a lot of prayer and planning as well as the time, talents and treasures of everyone involved with the ministry.
Today, Sarah Owen led a group of leaders in the Amigos en Cristo ministry to begin the conversation and to think through the strategic plan for growth. Although growth is challenging, it is extremely exciting. If you want to know more about the vision for growth and expansion of the ministry, contact Pastor Robert Selle or Leah McCann for more information.
At our Kingston Center in Bonita Springs, Amigos en Cristo church member, Rosi Perez, teaches a sewing class weekly to women and youth. The class is intended to teach them a trade that can help them make clothes and supplies for their family as well as possibly provide added income, which is extremely important for many of these families who are struggling just to meet their basic needs.
It wouldn’t be possible to serve the hundreds of families served each week in Immokalee without our faithful staff and volunteers. Here’s a picture of the staff who makes it happen!
Justina Ruiz (Case Worker), Karl Glander (Service Director), Robert Selle (Pastor), Andre Mezilus (Vicar)
Today Amigos Center had the distinct joy of handing a client her green card after 22 years in the United States. The client had been referred to our office ten months ago from Florida Equal Justice Center to file her adjustment of status case based on a U Visa, victim of a serious crime. She had been the victim of domestic violence at the hands of her now ex-spouse and back in 2007 she had been granted the U Visa. Upon waiting the required three years, she was now ready to file for her legal permanent residence, namely the green card.
Amigos Center started meeting with the client in December of last year to prepare the required documents and in January we submitted all the necessary applications/documents/fees. In August we received a request for additional evidence from immigration and immediately called the client and responded to immigration’s request. Today, October 3, Amigos Center received the green card on the client’s case. We immediately called the client with the good news and within a few hours she was in our office to pick up the mail. She started crying and shaking and said that she finally got her freedom back. She left our office to call her mother and tell her the wonderful news. Now our client will be able to travel to her native country and visit her family after 22 years in the United States.
First Communion is a very important rite of passage in the Latin and South American countries. Amigos en Cristo strives to serve the needs of the whole person: mind, soul and spirit.
On Sunday, October 2, Khamila Pérez-Abrajim, joyfully celebrated her first communion through the ministry of Amigos en Cristo Lutheran Chruch, Bonita Springs.