José David Rodríguez – Denver, Colorado … The immigration rate has increased to almost 40% in the United States according to 2024 Gallup polls. This means that, currently, the United States is receiving nearly 260,000 immigrants a month.

Such volume creates issues in communities as the local infrastructure cannot support them and they have become viewed as an unwelcome burden: few job opportunities, not enough housing, or not enough “good Samaritans” to sustain that high number.

As a Seventh-day Adventist Church in the United States, we are not ignorant about these issues, Denver, Colorado, notwithstanding. Each Sabbath, the Denver metropolitan and mostly Spanish-speaking churches receive people from Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, and from Venezuela. All are in need of financial help to pay the debts they left behind or the basic needs of now, like simply the need to eat.

Looking at the recent situation, the congregations could help the immigrants with some basic resources: paying for food, providing housing, offering rides, and supplying clothing. However, due to the high demand, churches are struggling with fulfilling their needs. Hispanic pastors and their congregations have been also engaged in allowing some immigrants to stay at their houses, even for months, teaching them how to live in this new land and for eternity.

But lately, we can report good news. It is a pleasure to see new conversions—people that once were desperate but now are living with hope in our Lord Jesus.

Luis and Nancy, a couple from Colombia, after struggling for many years in their native country, decided to take the risk. Luis had built up a savings of 30 million of Colombian pesos (around 7,500 U.S. dollars) enabling them to travel. Together, with their nine-year-old daughter, Luciana, they spent two months crossing through Mexico.

Emmanuel and his five relatives left behind Cuba. They spent five days crossing el tapón del Darién (Darien Gap), which is regarded as a very dangerous jungle. “It is not uncommon to see people dying from exhaustion, others just being abandoned by the group, and yet others drowning in the mud,” reminisces Gerardo. After five months of searching, Emmanuel and his family arrived in the Loveland Hispanic Seventh-day Adventist Church in Loveland, Colorado, and gave their lives to Jesus.

John, Walter, and Christian are three young men of 22, 23, 28 years old, respectively. They were seeking a place to sleep when they were befriended by a pastor and were invited to live in his house for four months. During that time, they learned about Jesus and his love for the humankind. To God be the glory that, while they were eating the spiritual bread, the Creator provided with food, jobs, and everything else according to his promise:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all
these things will be given to you as well.
(Matthew 6:33).

It was at South Aurora Hispanic Seventh-day Adventist Church in Aurora, Colorado, named as “El Refugio del Amor” (Refuge of Love), where Luis, Nancy, Luciana, John, Walter, and Christian met one Sabbath of the last summer. Describing their journey with tears and hugs, they gave courage to each other.

José David Rodríguez, lead pastor at El Refugio del Amor Church, recalled one special evening: “Luis met Jesus at Pecos church where, after one night, he finally decided to enter with his wife Nancy. That night when an altar call was made, Luis came to the front, and I could see the Holy Spirit was upon him. That night was his best night yet, and he knew it. I did too.”

It was at the 2023 Rocky Mountain Conference Hispanic Camp Meeting at Glacier View Ranch (GVR) in Ward, Colorado, with no previous arrangements, that Nancy, Luis, and Christian were baptized and became as active part in the kingdom of God.

There are many stories we can witness around us. We certainly know that, even in this upside-down world, God continues to write in straight letters.

—José David Rodríguez is pastor of three Spanish congregations, including El Refugio Denver Metro Spanish Church in Berthoud, Colorado. Photos supplied.