For an immigrant, arriving often means leaving everything they know behind: family, loved ones, or what they once called home with no one to tell them what the next step is or guide them in the right direction. This could be the case for many undocumented immigrants arriving in Aurora, Colorado; however, Mosaic Church has been called to empower and connect immigrants by providing long lasting resources and helping them connect to the right people.
The resources available to immigrants in Aurora, Colorado, are very limited. Many immigrants lack money which makes it hard to provide food and shelter for their family. Mosaic works with a group of day laborers who stand around all day waiting for any job opportunity to show up. The church will begin conversations with the immigrants as they wait, develop relationships, and help them find better jobs which leads to better provision for their families. Mosaic states: “It’s time to offer long-term solutions and help people help themselves rather than provide more and more hand outs that enable poor choices and foster a sense of entitlement.” By giving immigrants the adequate tools to prepare for, find, and obtain good jobs, Mosaic is having an exponential impact on entire families. Mosaic’s Lead Pastor Reid Hettich shares, “We do this for two reasons, first, the neighborhood has a high number of immigrants who lack many resources. Secondly, it is to provide justice. We see so many people taken advantage of, and its time we turn that around.”
The majority of the immigrants coming to Aurora are Hispanic, but they are also seeing an increase in refugees from around the world. Pastor Reid says, “Something that is really important to us is for the people to have a real church experience. An experience that often requires the church to speak their native tongue.” Connecting immigrants with church services in their native language allows them to encounter God in a very personal way. In the Bible, John describes worship in heaven by writing, “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9). The heart of Mosaic mirrors this; their desire is to practice and prepare for the worship we will all partake in one day by allowing people to encounter God in their heart language and, after they have encountered Him, to worship Him in their heart language as well.
Even as Mosaic currently ministers to immigrants on several levels, their desire is to engage even more. Almost every immigrant population has a deep felt need to have trained individuals guide them through the difficult labyrinth of immigration law. Yet the reality is that in most communities and regions in our nation there are very few places an immigrant can go to in order to find this service. Many immigrants cannot afford the high cost of an immigration lawyer who may charge from $1000 to $6000 for help with forms. Other immigrants are preyed upon by notarios who are only looking to make money from immigrant cases even though they are not authorized to help and, many times, hurt the immigrant’s legal case. In order to meet this need, Mosaic has sent a number of its members to receive training in immigration law. After obtaining experience, Mosaic will be able to apply for recognition and accreditation through the BIA (Bureau of Immigration Appeals) and open an Immigrant Connection legal help center which will offer low cost legal services to immigrants throughout the region.
Mosaic is living out their belief that God can put different people and neighborhoods together and turn it into something incredibly beautiful.