Migrants come to Chile carrying everything—and nothing—with them.
On their backs is everything they can still claim as their own. But it’s only a fraction of what they’ve left behind. They carry the identity of the country they came from, the country they call home, but they may never step foot there again. They carry the weight of brokenness and trauma from the life they are escaping—but have nothing familiar to comfort them as they enter this new land. They carry with them skills, experiences, and heritage, but enter into a complicated journey of starting over from scratch.
Iglesia del Pacto (the Covenant Church) in Chile has been well aware of the difficult challenges that people migrating to Chile face as they navigate legal processes, finding new jobs and schools, and integrating into a new culture. While the church was reaching out to migrants as part of their ministry, they soon realized they needed an organized program in order to meet the needs of migrants holistically. In a region of the country where the influence of evangelical organizations is generally discredited, Iglesia del Pacto began Open Doors to Migration (ODTM) to create space for the church to come to the aid of forced migrants more quickly and effectively.
ODTM seeks to meet people seeking refuge in Chile with Christ-centered, holistic care. The project is committed to bringing justice and reconciling people with God and their neighbor by seeking to address the spiritual, social, emotional, and physical needs of the community. ODTM will include occupational training workshops, a welcoming and approachable legal office where migrants can come for their required procedures, and after-school programs offering academic and music workshops for migrant children.
Iglesia del Pacto’s all-encompassing desire for ODTM is to see families and thus communities transformed by the power of the whole gospel. Will you consider joining our sister church in Chile to be good news to poor, oppressed, and marginalized people?
For the sake of the gospel across cultures and around the world,
AL TIZON, Executive Minister of Serve Globally