Alex is a native of south Texas. He has advanced degrees in Social Work from the University of Texas and Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He has worked as a church planter, pastor, and bible school teacher, and now serves as the Director of Immigrant Mission and interim Director of All People Ministries for the Evangelical Free Church of America. In this capacity, he has created the EFCA GATEWAY Theological Institute, which provides informal theological training for urban and low-income pastors, and Immigrant Hope. In 2016, he helped to convene the EFCA Refugee Crisis Task Force. Alex is the former Executive Director and current board member for The Immigration Alliance, a coalition of evangelical denominations and organizations mobilizing churches to provide low-cost immigration legal services. He is married to Julie, with whom he has had five daughters (in five years!), and is the proud abuelito of nine grandchildren.
Ben was born in Kenya. He has since lived in São Paolo, Brazil and six U.S. states – including Texas, which should count as a foreign country. He is no stranger to being a stranger in a new place. Ben has a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College in Integrated Philosophy and Theology and was a nationally ranked collegiate debater. He has been working with Immigrant Hope and the Evangelical Free Church of America’s ReachNational since 2010. In 2011 he earned BIA Accreditation to practice immigration law at the Immigrant Hope office in Brooklyn, NY. In 2014 he joined the EFCA’s All People Initiative Team, working to equip, connect, and resource leaders of ethnic, multicultural, and urban churches, and remove organizational barriers to reaching all people with the Gospel, and in 2016 he helped to form the EFCA’s Refugee Crisis Task Force, crafting a denomination-wide, missional response to the refugee crisis. He is married to Sarah, a high school science teacher who graduated from Cedarville University. They live in Crystal, MN with their three sons.
Karla was raised in South Dakota and married her high school sweetheart, Barry in 1975. Let’s just say that’s when the adventure began. Life took them many places within the US as they sought God’s leading. They raised two sons and are blessed to have four grandchildren. After many years serving on Mission boards and doing short-term missions, Barry and Karla served in Mexico City with the EFCA‘s ReachGlobal mission doing church planting, holistic ministry and micro enterprise. Ten years later they have transitioned to San Antonio and joined the EFCA’s Immigrant Mission Staff and the Immigrant Hope team. Karla is the Administrative Assistant for Immigrant Hope and the Logistics Coordinator for IMMIGRANT PATHWAY Institute. Having experienced the time and stress involved with immigrating to a foreign country, she feel that she can bring encouragement to those in the process as well as those learning to serve them.