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A Clear and Present Mission

Two churches point the way for providing needed legal services—and Christian outreach—to immigrants.

Several years ago, as Elmbrook Church's leaders assessed their outreach to the neighbors surrounding their suburban Milwaukee location, they sought to answer two questions: If our church were to disappear, would the community beyond our congregation weep? And what were the gaps in services to the under-resourced in their community that their church could help to fill?

Aware of a growing Latino immigrant population in nearby Waukesha, the church tasked Paco Cojon with finding answers to these questions. Cojon was a recent immigrant himself. His wife, Jenni, whom he had met in his home country of Guatemala while he was in seminary and she was a missionary, had filed an immigration petition so that they could move together to her hometown in Wisconsin.

After spending a year befriending and listening to members of Waukesha's Latino community, Cojon reported back to the Elmbrook Church leadership that, at that point, few of Waukesha's Latinos would likely even notice if the ...

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