Brandon Fitzsimmons, who serves as the Program Manager for IJP, acknowledges the hardships faced by immigrants who come to this country. He says, “There is a sacrifice taking place on the side of the client, because they are leaving their homeland, the place where they were born and have their earliest memories and deepest cultural sensibilities.” Considering the hardships faced by immigrants helps to spur on their work, day by day. Rachel adds, “I like to remind people of how hard working immigrants are—that they are not taking advantage of our system. They’re not criminals; they’re not rapists; they’re not horrible people. They’re just trying to make a better life for themselves.”
Despite his positivity, Art is no stranger to hardship. Last year, he successfully underwent treatment for prostate cancer. Recently, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. But he maintains an attitude of gratefulness. He says, “If I look at God’s grace, I have it in orders of magnitude.” He counts off his blessings: his career, getting to go to Law School, and, most of all, his wife, Penny. “No matter what happens, I’m blessed,” he says. “The Parkinson’s thing? That’s God’s will. He knew this was coming before I was born. And it’s just part of the deal.”
January was a busy month here at the Clinic. As we started the new year, we welcomed two new staff members and held a training for volunteer intake attorneys. We […]
Rachel says that although this kind of complex immigration process is often taxing on both her and on the clients she assists, outcomes like this are great learning experiences and serve as important reminders. “It taught me that we always have to be patient and sometimes the answer isn’t revealed to us right away, but as long as we endure, we’ll be okay.” Now, Ko Mya Aye and his family have finally been reunited here in the U.S. He told Rachel, “My family is complete again.”
But look beyond the humor, look beyond the “human, all too human” side of resolutions and you’ll see something that is precious and thick. We long for something transcendent. We hope for some final resolution of all of our worn-down hopes and teary-eyed dreams. That resolution to lose 15 pounds may be a longing for a new body, one that will never be corrupted or see decay. That resolution to read 12 books may be a longing for a renewed mind that is perceptive and wise. That resolution to treat people better (Lord, help us) may be a longing for people to live in peace with each other, for us to not learn war anymore (Isaiah 2:4).
This blog will also go through some exciting changes in the coming year. We will start by honing in on the many different facets of the Lord’s Abundance. This January, we’re thankful for Abundant Life.
Join us next month as we focus on Abundant Love and as we launch our first-ever podcast!
Part 3 looks to the future of Indianapolis–where are we headed as a city in terms of providing services to those experiencing homelessness? Where do we hope to be? What will it take to make that vision a reality and what are the potential pitfalls?
Part 2 takes a deeper look at the services available to those experiencing homelessness, and highlights the importance of building trust and lasting relationships in order to be effective.
This holiday season, Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic presents a new video series on homelessness in Indianapolis, highlighting various partners and the work we’re doing together to give hope to our city’s most vulnerable populations.