AMMPARO Migrant Children

“Dios es nuestro amparo y fortaleza,” (“God is our refuge and strength,”) – Psalm 46:1

AMMPARO is a holistic, whole church commitment by the ELCA, as a church in the world, to accompany children today and in the future.

In 2017 Good Shepherd became an AMMPARO Welcoming Congregation, the first designated as such in the Northeast Iowa Synod.  The congregation’s commitment to supporting migrants is long-standing, beginning with active assistance for migrants from southeast Asia in the 1970’s.

6 Minute Video Link from the ELCA about AMMPARO

AMMPARO is an ELCA program serving young people from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, countries in Central America’s “Northern Triangle”, with some of the highest murder and violence rates in the world. AMMPARO stands for Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation, and Opportunities. In Spanish, the word “amparo” means protection, refuge, or shelter.

AMMPARO GRANT:  Most recently, an ELCA grant for $4,217, entitled “Spread at the Word”, was received for 2019.  It is specifically designed to provide seed money for four fund raisers (help with advertising, food, rent, music) that the Decorah Area Faith Coalition will help AMMPARO plan and which will benefit the Neighbors Helping Neighbors fund.  It also will be used for phone cards which Marty Steele will distribute on a monthly basis to 5 designated unaccompanied minor immigrants to help them stay in touch with school, family, attorneys, guardians, etc.  Other sources of income for the fund raisers will need to be raised as the amount for seed money is quite small, but the idea was to give some grant related support to an already very generous community. 

At Good Shepherd, a memorial fund from Justine Lionberger for seed money for fundraisers has been used but most of that has been spent.  We continue to spend last year’s grant and the 2018 Sunday school Lenten gift for the medical needs of immigrant youth and children.  Because of the government slowdown we have not had to pay for the very expensive immigration physicals we had anticipated so have been able to use the monies for immunizations, dental care, urgent medical needs, etc.

Coordinators:  Marty Steele and Pastor Marion Pruitt-Jefferson are the AMMPARO coordinators at Good Shepherd, and coordinate closely with the Social Concerns Committee at Good Shepherd and other local immigration advocacy groups.