Visiting a potential site in Wisconsin

Apr 9, 2014   //   by Ben Johnson   //   Ben Johnson, Immigrant Hope Centers, IMMIGRANT PATHWAY Institute  //  Comments Off on Visiting a potential site in Wisconsin

I had a cool first-time experience this month – seeds that we planted a few years ago grew up and bore fruit in an unexpected way.  Several people from Elmbrook Church in Wisconsin attended our first IMMIGRANT PATHWAY Institute class in July 2011.  We lost contact with them, but they went on to create a church-based immigration legal clinic called James Place in Waukesha, WI.
Meanwhile, Crosspointe Community Church, less than an hour away in south central Wisconsin, had to close down their immigration program because they didn’t have the setup and support they needed.  They reached out to James Place, who recommended…Immigrant Hope!
CrossPointe sent two ladies to the Minneapolis IPI class in November and applied to become an Immigrant Hope site in December; I spent two days with them last month month.  CrossPointe is a multi-site church with campuses in Whitewater, Jefferson, and Milton, three small cities between Milwaukee and Madison, WI.  The three campuses together have a vision to reach their entire tri-county area in south central Wisconsin.  They have a history of partnering with other local churches to both spread the gospel and serve their community in tangible ways.  The church runs a nonprofit outreach called the Wisconsin Dream Center that provides counseling, addiction recovery, transitional living, and family services.  The Dream Center would also run the Immigrant Hope program.  If they’re able to open, they will be the only immigration legal provider – attorney or non-profit – within 35 miles.  That’s a region with over 17,000 foreign-born residents and no one able to give reliable immigration advice.
This would not be the first center that has come out of IPI: we met both Tim Isaacson and Tim Campbell from IH-Atlanta at IPI classes.  But this is exciting in a different way.  We were able to invest in and catalyze some folks who built a program that inspired and resourced others to get involved, leading back to us.  It is the kind of natural, sustainable multiplication that we were so excited to see at Immigrant Hope – Clifton, but coming from a direction we never expected.  Like I said, it’s cool to see God working behind the scenes.

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