The word “amparo” in Spanish means the protection of a living creature from suffering or damage. Our church has adopted this word as a part of its calling to protect migrant children who are especially vulnerable. This initiative is cleverly called Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities (AMMPARO). AMMPARO was envisioned after witnessing the plight of children who are forced to flee their communities because of complex and interrelated reasons, including chronic violence, poverty, environmental displacement and lack of opportunities in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
Due to our connection to companion churches in the region, and because many of our families have relatives and friends in the region, our church is especially called to help ensure that these vulnerable children are protected.
In a holistic, whole church response that connects international and US outcomes, the ELCA (the Evangelical Church in America) has developed this strategy based on the following commitments:
- Uphold and guarantee basic human rights and safety of migrant children and their families;
- Address the root causes of migration in countries from Central America’s Northern Triangle and Mexico and the treatment of migrants in transit;
- Work toward just and humane policies affecting migrants in and outside the U.S.; and
- Engage as a church body with all of its companions, affiliates and partners to respond to the migration situation and its causes and to advocate for migrant children and their families.
As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are called to bear witness to the conditions affecting so many communities and to work to find solutions that will acknowledge the humanity in all of God’s children. Join us in making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and families.
Here is how you can get involved:
- Pray for the safety of migrant children and families on the journey and for justice as they reach their destinations.
- Join or support our congregation as a Welcoming Congregation to accompany these children and families through their transition to life in the U.S.
- Advocate for justice for migrant children and families. www.elca.org/Advocacy
- Accompany migrant children and families through the Guardian Angel Program as the physical presence of the church in the courtroom. https://Vimeo.com/157458987
- Give to St. James at stjames.ch/donate or donate to AMMPARO to provide opportunities for children and families in Central America and in the U.S. https://community.elca.org/donations/ammparo-donate