Detailed in the graphics with this article is the extent to which the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church is reaching out every day to help immigrants and refugees through the service of a hard-working staff at Justice for Our Neighbors.
The team of four attorneys: Brynne Howard, Ann Naffier, April Palma and Emily Sohn Rebelskey, augmented by the two BIA-accredited reps Grisell Herrera and Laura Mendoza, along with the able efforts of legal assistant Racheal Duang is bringing transformation to the lives of our new neighbors.
In Decorah, in Storm Lake, in Ottumwa, in Columbus Junction, in Cedar Rapids, in Des Moines and in our newest site at Marshalltown, there are United Methodist Churches opening their doors on a monthly basis to help immigrants and refugees. Our main focus is families--we keep families from being separated. We help to reunite families that have been separated. We help families torn apart by violence to achieve peace and stability. We help families that need stable income by obtaining employment authorizations. We help families to transform their lives so they can achieve brighter futures in the U.S.
You can read many stories of our clients at www.iaumc.org/jfon. However, there are times when numbers are important, too. For the size of our staff, it is amazing that they have touched the lives of so many refugees and immigrants here in Iowa. There are clients from 49 countries represented. The first circle graph entitled TOTAL cases includes those that rolled over from 2016. NEW Cases are those that began after January 1, 2017.
We offer to you, those of you who pray for this ministry, those of you who donate to this ministry and those of you who volunteer for this ministry, the fruits of our labor.
Click here to view Iowa JFON Case data charts.