A Heart For Labor Workers
Dustin has seen first hand the challenges that migrant workers face, and wants to help. He sees a middle class gap. “The cycle bar is in Midland. The YMCA is in Odessa, and that’s where the workers live.” Also, supporting extended family, the fear of deportation, and the language barrier are challenges that they face. Dustin wants to help the church and business partners create a program that makes opportunities for migrant workers to meet these challenges:
Sending Money to Families: They must work twice as hard: 1) to support their own household in the US, and 2) often to support their extended family in other nations. According to Manuel Orozco, two-thirds of Mexican migrants send an average of $300 home to their families 14 times a year, via Western Union money transfer. In his report by the Inter-American Dialogue, these annual “remittances” to Latin America and the Caribbean topped $69 billion in 2016.
ICE / Immigration: ICE’s mission is to protect America from cross-border crime and illegal immigration that threaten national security and public safety. This creates the fear of deportation, preventing workers from accessing help and resources that to get them started on the legal process of Immigration. According to Beaubien, when ICE was deployed to help with the relief efforts for Hurricane Florence, “people were afraid they were carrying out immigration raids.”
Language Barrier: Pew Research Center has published statistical reports on immigration since the ‘60s. Based on these reports, here’s some statistics on the Language barrier as of 2018. Overall, 11% of US’ 43.7 million immigrants live in Texas. Immigrants from Mexico and Central America have the biggest language gap, with 32% and 33% English proficiency.
A Ministry of Hospitality
Dustin believes in building a Kingdom-minded work environment for migrant workers. Labor of Love is a program that operates as a ministry of hospitality. With the right structure, we can create opportunities for ministry and to break down the barriers that would keep migrant workers from transforming their lives.
Love Kit: On day one we’re going to welcome workers to the job site. These kits, sponsored by the local churches, represent a gesture of gratitude from the community. They could contain simple supplies to take care of day-to-day needs. It could be as simple as a gift card to the local restaurant and a genuine “Thank You” card signed by the team. This is a simple way to pour out gratitude and appreciation.
Hospitality tent: This is one place at a job site where workers, ministers, and site managers will come together in fellowship. Everyday, it will be there as a symbol of hospitality. It’s a place to come together and share a conversation about family. Also, at least 1x a week, everyone can get together and share a hot meal as a team.
Long term—Seminars and Education: We’re starting off with the Love Kit and Hospitality tent to extend a hand as a community. Looking forward, let’s break down barriers. We want to connect workers with seminars, educational papers, and language classes. Let’s give them the opportunity, love, and trust to transform their way of life. The Labor of Love program is all about connecting the church and business organizations to the working force to make this opportunity a reality.
How to Get Involved
Dustin is on a mission to partner with churches and transform the lives of migrant workers. This is about the Kingdom, partnership, and building a work environment of hospitality and generosity for migrant workers. If you would like to learn more about the Labor of Love program: