Hotly political and often deeply personal, the issue of immigration reform is again being considered in Washington D.C. With that in mind, Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Holland, Mich., hosted one of over 400 recent prayer gatherings held across the country as part of the Pray4Reform movement.
Pray4Reform asks people to pray for immigrants and for the U.S. congress. The movement is an effort by Evangelical Immigration Table, a coalition of Christian leaders and organizations promoting broad bipartisan immigration reform.
“I want to know what I can do, and right now I believe what I need to do is pray,” said Betty DeVisser, who attended the vigil at Calvary. She came because of a recent class on immigration she attended at The Intersection Ministries, a joint ministry of the CRC and the Reformed Church in America. “I knew there was a lot I didn’t know [about immigration law],” she said, “but I didn’t know how much I didn’t know.”
Around two dozen people from various Holland congregations attended. In addition to guided group prayer, the evening included a time of singing and Scripture reading. Several speakers shared some of their personal experiences with the issue of immigration, including Sergio Garcia, a pastor at a local Wesleyan church, and Louis Wagenveld, a retired missionary with Christian Reformed World Missions.
Steve Dozeman, associate pastor at Calvary, became interested in the issue during premarital counseling with a couple, one of whom was not a legal resident. The experience was eye-opening for him. He told those gathered, “As a white, privileged male, it is easy not to care about this issue, but as a Christian it is impossible not to care.”