This past Monday morning, 280 people gathered at Holden Convention Center in Gladstone, Ore. in anticipation of welcoming family members they hadn’t seen in 10, or more years.
Years before they had immigrated to the United States, leaving loved ones behind. With the help of the non-profit, Uniendo Corazones (Uniting Hearts) and Hillsboro Spanish Adventist Church, these residents of the Portland area were able to reconnect with their relatives from afar. By Monday afternoon, 22 people had landed at Portland International Airport and made the short van ride to the Holden Convention Center for a special welcome celebration organized by the Hillsboro Spanish Church. Pastor Juan Pacheco shared a message about the spiritual beauty in reuniting loved ones and the hope of reuniting hearts again at the second coming of Jesus. Guests were introduced to cheers, gifts, and applause as they reconnected with their families. Throughout their 2-week stay, Hillsboro Spanish church members will continue to connect with gifts and care, hoping to make eternal connections with these families.
"We recognize that people in our community need love,” says Pastor Juan. "One way we express that is to help them reconnect with their loved ones. We’re thankful for the opportunity to express the love of Jesus and love our community well.” The next Welcome Party for foreign guests is being planned now for this spring.