(KGW) An Oregon pastor and an exotic dancer have struck up an unlikely friendship to help children of undocumented immigrants in Mississippi.
“The biggest thing I want people to know is they’re loved by God,” said Pastor Adam Ericksen of Clackamas United Church of Christ.
Ericksen has gained recent notoriety for his thought-provoking, often political reader board messages promoting inclusion and diversity.
One that read, “Our transgender siblings have heartbeats,” caught the eye of Dawn “Blu” McCall, a stripper and self-proclaimed atheist who dances at Casa Diablo in Northwest Portland. The sign compelled Blu to send Ericksen a message via Facebook.
“I just kind of reached out to him and said, ‘Keep going, what you’re doing is important, even though it’s not my stuff, it’s your weird,’ you know?”
A couple weeks ago, the pair traded messages about recent activity involving undocumented immigrants.
“She said that her heart was breaking for these kids in Mississippi,” said Ericksen.
Federal immigration officials had just arrested 680 undocumented workers in Morton, Mississippi, separating kids from their parents.
“These are human beings,” said Ericksen. “In my tradition, we would call them people created in the image of God.”
Blu, a mother of five boys, said she couldn’t stop thinking about it.
“It’s too hard to talk about without me crying,” said Blu. “It’s colossally awful.”
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