In the Latino culture, “familia” is everything. It is the place where we find security, comfort, acceptance, laughter, joy, loyalty, and identity. It is the one place where we can be free. In a country and time where Latinos are treated as strangers and threats to the “American Dream”, we can run back to our families and find refuge and love. What happens to young Latinos who choose to leave their families in order to get a higher education — the kind of education that most of their families have been denied? They find themselves lonely, isolated, gripped with sadness and fear, and lost in the university world. Add that to the rising number of Latinos who no longer consider themselves “religious”. They search for identity, for purpose, and a place to belong, but instead, find frustration, confusion and defeat as their companions.
The Latino Fellowship (LaFe) was birthed out of a desire to create a place where Latinos can find a “home away from home” — a place where “familia” is possible. LaFe is also the place where Latino students are free to explore the answers to the most pressing questions: “Who am I and what was I made for?” We are committed to studying the life and teachings of Jesus through small group bible studies that meet once a week on campus. In these small groups, Latino students can discover how Jesus defines them, who he says they are, and how they can be challenged to follow Jesus with their whole lives and invite others to do the same.
If you visit a LaFe bible study, you will immediately be welcomed with a hug and kiss on the cheek. More than likely there will be some sort of food and lots of laughter. There may be spontaneous Salsa lessons at any point in the night. There is joy. You will be accepted, and feel wanted. We are devoted to seeing students embrace their ethnic identity as a gift from Jesus to bless the nations. We create space for students to encounter Jesus so that they can be healed of their hurt and set free from their sin. Together we challenge — and encourage — each other to be agents of change on our campus, in our families, communities, the church and the world in the name of Jesus. Welcoming the outsider and loving our neighbor: We are familia.
Contact Information: Adrianna Abuchar