In November 2023, evangelical leaders from across the country gathered in Houston, Texas, home to nearly 700,000 immigrants and many vibrant evangelical churches, to hear from thought leaders who have reflected deeply on how our Christian faith should inform the U.S. church’s response to immigration, from policy experts who provided updates on the current policy landscape, to local leaders who are leading vibrant ministries to and with immigrants in Houston and from immigrants themselves, including many who are brothers and sisters in Christ. The Convening included panel discussions, Q&A sessions and facilitated table conversations, all through which leaders spurred one another on as we seek to respond faithfully to the challenges and opportunities of immigration. 

Convening Moderators

Myal Greene has a deep desire to see churches worldwide equipped, empowered, and engaged in meeting the needs of vulnerable families in their communities.  In 2021, he became President and CEO after serving for fourteen years with the organization.  While living in Rwanda for eight years, he developed World Relief’s innovative church-based programming model that is currently used in nine countries. He also spent six years in leadership roles within the international programs division.  He has previous experience working with the U.S. Government. He holds a B.S. in Finance from Lehigh University and an M.A. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Global Leadership.  He and his wife Sharon have three children.

Liz van Zyl is a justice-motivated attorney, advocate, and policy professional serving as the Vice President of Government Relations at Bethany Christian Services. With a proven track record in public policy and human rights law, Liz develops and implements legislative strategies that promote policies benefiting vulnerable children, youth, and families. Liz holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) from Golden Gate University School of Law, with distinction, and a B.A., cum laude, in Political Science from Gonzaga University.

Panel I: Current Policy Landscape


Eric Black is executive director, publisher and editor of the Baptist Standard, editor of the article series-turned-book Justice Looks Like…, and a former seminary professor, pastor, associate and youth pastor, collegiate missionary, and manual laborer. He holds a bachelor’s in criminal justice, a master’s in education, and a Ph.D. in philosophy of education.




Galen Carey, NAE vice president of government relations, is responsible for representing the NAE before Congress, the White House and the courts. He works to advance the approach and principles of the NAE document, “For the Health of the Nation.” He is also co-author with Leith Anderson of “Faith in the Voting Booth.” Before joining the NAE staff, Carey was a longtime employee of World Relief, the relief and development arm of the NAE, serving in Croatia, Mozambique, Kenya, Indonesia and Burundi. He received an M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a Doctor of Ministry from McCormick Theological Seminary.

Phillip Connor is Senior Demographer at, a bipartisan advocacy group focused on immigration and criminal justice reform. Prior to this position, Dr. Connor was a statistician at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as well as a researcher at the Pew Research Center. His Ph.D. in sociology, where he focused on immigration studies, is from Princeton University. He is also a graduate of Gateway Seminary (formerly Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary). Dr. Connor’s research has been published in leading academic journals and media outlets and is the author of Immigrant Faith with New York University Press. 

Hannah Daniel serves as the ERLC’s policy director, representing the policy interests of Southern Baptists to government through advocacy and education. Originally from Tennessee, she graduated from Union University with a degree in Economics in 2020. She currently lives in Washington, D.C., where she is a member and small group leader at King’s Church.


Kathryn Freeman is the Texas Advocacy Strategist for World Relief Texas. She previously worked as the Director of Public Policy for the Baptist General Convention of Texas and for several public policy non-profits on issues affecting low-income families, such as immigration, juvenile justice reform, maternal health, and the school-to-prison pipeline. She is currently working on a Ph.D. in Religion at Baylor University, where she is interested in the intersection of virtue, ecclesiology, diversity, culture, and democracy. Kathryn also writes on these topics, and her work has appeared in Christianity Today, Christ and Pop Culture, and Think Christian.

Panel II: Houston Voices

Due to security reasons for one of the panelists (not mentioned below), this panel was not recorded.


Cindy M. Wu is co-founder and co-director of Mosaic Formation, a non-profit serving Christian leaders in underserved contexts. She is director of Ride with Refugees, prayer coordinator for Refugee Highway Partnership North America, board member of Abba’s House, leader of a Houston-based refugee ministry network, and author of A Better Country: Embracing the Refugees in Our Midst.



Rev. Andrea Castaneda-Lauver currently works for the National Immigration Forum as a Business Engagement & Inclusion Programs Associate, engaging businesses to utilize the Forum’s workforce inclusion programs that enable immigrant employees to thrive in the workplace. In her spare time, she continues to be a volunteer Pastor to students. Born in San Salvador, El Salvador, and raised in Houston, Texas, her conviction to advocate for immigrants comes from her own immigrant story, her family’s personal experience as Temporary Protected Status Recipients, and her strong desire to embody Christ to the world around her. Andrea is passionate about seeing the church embody biblical hospitality to vulnerable communities through advocacy and action.

By God’s providence, Roman Khripunov found refuge in Houston as a religious asylee following deportation from his homeland of Uzbekistan. Currently, leads Revival Sport, an organization that uses sport, play, and fitness to make disciples of all nations. He is married to Loryn, a native Houstonian, and they are expecting their first child.

Panel III: The Border


Addie Offereins covers poverty-fighting and immigration for WORLD, a Christian news organization producing Biblically sound, daily coverage of global, national, and cultural current events. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Ben.




For 15 years, Julie Mirlicourtois produced award-winning breaking news coverage and human interest stories viewed by millions for CBS News, The Oprah Winfrey Show and OWN. Today, she is the Executive Producer of the highly-rated Maybe God Podcast and the Media Director of The Story Church in Houston, Texas. ACROSS, which follows three families that escaped abuse and violence in Central America, is her first documentary film series.


Michael DeBruhl is the Director of Casa del Sagrado Corazon known as Sacred Heart Shelter, which is located just blocks from the United States, Mexico border in El Paso, Texas. He is well known in the local migrant community as a thought leader and the architect of El Paso’s Downtown Shelter Network. Mr. DeBruhl is a retired Border Patrol Executive who spent 26 years first as a field agent then as a Special Operations Supervisor with DHS’ storied Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC). In that role he was deployed to South and Central America, Haiti, the Republic of Georgia, and worked high risk operations all along the 2,000-mile southwest border. He was then selected as Assistant Chief working under the Chief of the Border Patrol in Washington, D.C. and was eventually selected Chief Patrol Agent in charge of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Michael’s varied depth of experience has made him a sought-after speaker for immersion groups visiting the southwest border and religious and social groups interested in the discussion of immigration and the southwest border of the United States.

Yonathan Moya has spent his life serving in ministry throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. He has been involved in community development projects in Costa Rica, Belize, Mexico, Honduras, Haiti, and Cuba. Yonathan is the Founder and Executive Director of Border Perspective. In 2017, Yonathan embarked on a 2,000 photographic journey to document the reality of life and ministry on the U.S. and Mexico border. This journey changed the trajectory of his life and was the inception of a ministry that now serves border communities.

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