Word came late yesterday that the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has given final approval to the Olathe Wesleyan Church (Olathe, Kan.) to open an Immigrant Connection, Inc. office. It has been a long, arduous process. Tons of work has gone into the application process and the gears of government sometimes move very s-l-o-w-l-y. This development is worth celebrating because it gives OWC the opportunity to provide the immigrant a much needed legal service regarding their documentation.

Olathe Wesleyan Church has invested deeply to engage in this ministry, which comes alongside other multi-ethnic and multi-socio-economic programs. The Kansas District and its Foundation for Church Growth also invested in the training necessary for Dr. Jim Wood to become recognized as a director for Immigrant Connection. Subsequent to the training, Jim has become a critical player and resource person in getting other Immigrant Connection offices open (through TWC) while waiting patiently for the BIA to approve the one in Olathe. Jim is on the Immigrant Connection leadership team of The Wesleyan Church. With this approval, the Olathe church becomes the second Wesleyan site to offer this service. Other churches wishing to pursue this type of ministry can find out more information here.

“According to a recent survey by the Latino Coalition, one of the greatest needs that exists among immigrants in our community is for affordable immigration legal services,” said Jim Wood, lead pastor of Olathe Wesleyan Church and Board of Immigration Appeals Recognized Representative for Immigrant Connection, Inc. “With the President’s recent executive action in regards to immigration, the need has increased exponentially. Today, the Olathe Wesleyan Church has been given the incredible opportunity to begin meeting some of those needs through the ministry of Immigrant Connection, Inc.”

This news buoys the spirits of all who have been involved in the process and couldn’t come at a more strategic time as immigration issues continue to rise to the top of concerns our country is struggling with. Our immigrant friends, many who are “strangers among us,” will find a needed resource in Immigrant Connection, an affiliate ministry of Olathe Wesleyan Church.