Mercy & Justice Round-Up: July 2019
What does the role of lament play at the crisis at the border? What is it like to live every day in fear of deportation? What are the factors that cause NYC families to enter homeless shelters? You’ll find articles and audio that speak to these questions and more in this month’s Mercy & Justice Round-Up
As always, this is a collection of content that got us thinking lately and includes a range of perspectives— some we agree with, others we might not. We hope you’ll read, listen, learn and love better with us.
- In Christianity Today, Christian leaders working along the U.S./Mexico border—including Max Lucado and Matthew Sorens—provide prayers of lament and grief as they reflect on the border crisis affecting immigrant children. “The world, aching under the power and weight of sin, is grieving and we have always been called to weep with those who weep.”
- What is it like to live every day in fear of deportation? The Daily podcast of the New York Times interviews a woman living in the United States as an undocumented immigrant about the fear and uncertainty she and her family face on a daily basis. “I’m going to try to live my life,” she says. “I’m going to try to work, feed my family, and try to be calm until one day we see the light… the fear is there every single day.” The episode was recorded in anticipation of July’s scheduled ICE immigration raids.
- Curbed reports that a new study by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness (ICPH) found that the leading causes of NYC families entering a homeless shelter were domestic violence (30 percent), eviction (25 percent), and overcrowding (17 percent). The study suggests that rent burden (including disappearing affordable units) was a key neighborhood dynamic in contributing to family homelessness. Read more about the study here, and check out the interactive map that shows the percentage of severely rent-burdened NYC households in each borough.
- An op-ed in The Week argues that American churches are neglecting to meet the needs of children with special needs. One study concludes that children with special needs are “unseen” in the church because "they never show up, or when they do, they have a negative experience and never return." The author, who has two children with Down Syndrome, argues that this is contrary to one of the callings of the Church: “When my son or daughter with Down syndrome steps inside any church in the world, they should not be treated like compassion projects or objects of pity. They should be embraced as bearers of the image of Almighty God who are bursting with unique spiritual gifts.”