A ministry that provides low-cost legal services to immigrants has found a new home with Fellowship Southwest.
Immigration Service and Aid Center, known as ISAAC, has been housed in the Baptist General Convention of Texas Christian Life Commission since 2010. It has been led by Jesús and Elsa Romero, who now have joined Fellowship Southwest, an interdenominational ministry with ties to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship that serves Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Nevada.
CBF’s new ministry will be called Educational and Legal Immigration Ministries, or ELIM. BGCT plans to continue operating ISAAC.
This month, the U.S. Department of Justice recognized ELIM as an accredited immigration service provider under the umbrella of Fellowship Southwest. The ministry will offer low-cost immigration counseling and legal services, as well as immigration training for churches and individuals.
The name ELIM refers to Exodus 15:27, “Then the children of Israel came to Elim where there were 12 springs of water and 70 date palms, and they camped there beside the waters.” Elim was not the final destination, but a life-giving stop between where they had left and where God was leading.
The Romeros will continue to run ELIM primarily at their San Antonio office on the campus of Trinity Baptist Church. ELIM also has begun seeing clients on the campus of Woodland Baptist Church in North Central San Antonio, with plans of acquiring federal recognition as an ELIM Center by the U.S. Department of Justice later in the year. Both Trinity and Woodland are partner churches of Fellowship Southwest.
“I’m so excited to have Jesús and Elsa join the Fellowship Southwest family,” said Stephen Reeves, executive director of Fellowship Southwest. “I’ve known them and admired their work since we served together with the CLC. Their ministry fits perfectly with Fellowship Southwest’s mission and I believe will help expand our immigration work to communities and churches far from the border.”
Jesús Romero said: “Elsa and I are grateful to the BGCT for trusting us with pioneering an immigration ministry more than a decade ago. The seeds of love and care for the strangers among us that were planted then have grown immensely. We are excited about those seeds growing exponentially in Texas and beyond through our partnership with Fellowship Southwest.”