The House That Love Built

Why I Opened My Door to Immigrants and How We Found Hope beyond a Broken System

by Sarah Jackson, Scott Sawyer

On Sale: 2020-07-14

Price: $17.99

Book Summary

The House That Love Built is the quintessential journey of one woman questioning what it means to be an American--and a Christian--in light of a broken immigration system. Through tender stories of opening her heart and home to immigrants, Sarah Jackson shines a holy light on loving our neighbor.

About the Book

2021 Christian Book Award Finalist

"Jackson's visionary account is a beautiful model of sacrificial love." -- Publishers Weekly Starred Review

The House That Love Built is the quintessential story of one woman's questioning what it means to be an American--and a Christian--in light of a broken immigration system. Through tender stories of opening her heart and home to immigrants, Sarah Jackson shines a holy light on loving our neighbor.

Sarah Jackson once thought immigration justice was administered through higher walls and longer fences. Then she met an immigrant--a deported young father separated from his US-citizen family--and everything changed. As Sarah began to know fractured families ravaged by threats in their homeland and further traumatized in US detention, biblical justice took on a new meaning.

As Sarah opened her heart--and her home--to immigrants, she experienced a surprising transformation and the gift of extraordinary community. The work she began through the ministry of Casa de Paz joined the centuries-old Christian tradition of hospitality, shining a holy light on what it means to love our neighbor.

The dilemma of undocumented people continues to hover over America, and it raises urgent questions for every Christian:

  • What is our responsibility to the "stranger" in our midst?
  • What does God's kingdom look like in the global-political reality of immigration?
  • What difference can one person make?

Sarah engages these questions through profound and tender stories, placing readers in the shoes of individuals on every side of the issue--asylum seekers torn from their families, the guards who oversee them, ordinary people with lapsed visas, the families left to survive on their own, the unheralded advocates for immigrants' rights, and the government officials who decide the fates of others.

Ultimately, Sarah's journey illuminates how hope can be restored through simple yet radical acts of love.


Sarah Jackson reminds us that one of the holiest things we can do is welcome the stranger. In fact, Jesus says that when we welcome the stranger, we welcome him. And Paul writes in Hebrews that when we show hospitality to foreigners, we may very well be 'entertaining angels.' But there is a war between faith and fear happening inside each of us. In this dazzling gem of a book, Sarah Jackson dares us to love as big as God loves. She is convinced that the Bible is correct when it says that 'love casts out fear.' Sarah has chosen love. And she will inspire you to do the same.

Our community's diversity is our strength, a value that I've seen Sarah Jackson lift up every day in her work at Casa de Paz. Casa de Paz has provided a safe harbor for hundreds of people cast aside by our nation's broken immigration system. The story of Casa de Paz is a story of leadership, empathy, and our shared humanity. It's a story about how we have shared obligations toward one another and how we are all better off when we take care of those who need help. As we work to build a more inclusive community, Casa de Paz reminds us what we can achieve when we come together.

I have met scores of restless young adults, and my first impression of Sarah was that she was probably just a salsa-dancing idealist. Sarah proved me wrong. She is an incarnational visionary, and this book bears witness to the mustard-seed power of gospel hospitality. Oh, Sarah's still a salsa-dancing idealist. She's just so much more.

Fair warning: you will be changed as you read these pages, because the words themselves are fueled by the unstoppable and upending love of the one who is for, with, and in each and every person on the planet! This story shouts from the rooftops the invitation to follow in the steps of Jesus, with hands reaching and eyes glistening with extravagant and tangible love for all. This book has been crafted for such a time as this!

Most Americans probably do not realize that our country has an immigrant detention system. They certainly don't know the millions of individuals whom it has entangled in recent years. Sarah Jackson has welcomed thousands of these asylum seekers and other immigrants into her home. This book is the compelling, faith-stretching story of how Sarah founded Casa de Paz and of the remarkable people--both immigrants and native-born Americans--whom God has brought into her life along the way. It's also an urgent wakeup call for the American church to heed Jesus' call to practice hospitality.

This book reminds us that immigration is about immigrants and that immigrants are people deeply loved by God. Sarah Jackson demonstrates with her life how we, as followers of Christ, stand with all people wherever they may be--from the womb to the tomb, from the belly to the border!

My visit to Casa de Paz taught me how to translate American values into concrete actions. I am impressed by Sarah's passion for and dedication to welcoming immigrants with unconditional, nonjudgmental love and care. This book shows perfect examples of how welcoming the stranger is meant to be.

I have known Sarah since she started Casa de Paz in her apartment several years ago. I am recommending this book because her story of helping immigrants is unique and fascinating and everyone needs to know it.

With passion and candor, Sarah Jackson takes us on her faith-based journey to open the doors of Casa de Paz, a Denver-area nonprofit that provides shelter and support to immigrants recently released from detention. The journey Jackson shares is about the true meaning of hospitality--treating our immigrant neighbors with dignity and respect, and seeing in their experiences family ties that should be strengthened and fostered, not broken.This book is a call to action that highlights the heartwrenching, beautiful stories of the immigrants that Sarah and Casa volunteers assist and learn from, and how daily acts of kindness can change the world. The best of humanity is found in these pages.

The commandment to love our neighbor is easier said than done. Sarah and Casa de Paz can say it's easy to do because they are doing it and showing all of us that it is possible to be hospitable and loving and caring. Love knows no borders.

I've known Sarah for a while and one of the things that hits me is her passion for immigration and pragmatism. In this book you will get to know someone who responded to a call and went through a process of transformation. This call is not something to be taken lightly, and it's also for a few. We can educate and advocate for a compassionate approach to the complex subject of immigration, but what will make a real difference in the world is having people like Sarah as a witness of compassion and care for the stranger. Thanks, Sarah, for your witness and commitment!

Against so many odds, Sarah Jackson has built not only a house of peace but also a powerful movement of healing and hope. This movement is about not only restoring immigrants' dignity where it has been lost but also helping people break through misconceptions and damaging narratives and move toward living out our greatest call: love God, love others. I have known Sarah since she started Casa de Paz and have watched the inspiration she's catalyzed across different groups of people in deep and transforming ways. Her book will inspire, challenge, and stir hearts into action, which is exactly what the world needs right now more than ever.

Sarah Jackson's commitment to welcoming and caring for immigrants is not based on platitudes but is lived out in daily care and concern for immigrants' welfare. At a time when the vitriol around immigrants and immigration--rooted in deep partisan divides--is at an all-time high, Jackson's story crafts a new narrative that can lead us to live out the call of Christ to love our neighbors and welcome strangers. We need new voices, new leadership, and a new way forward to be the people of God, ready and willing to deeply engage a hurting world. Sarah Jackson is that new leader.

'In this eye-opening debut, Jackson, executive director of immigrant hospitality organization Casa de Paz, explores the second commandment--'Love your neighbor as yourself'--as it relates to the fraught topic of immigration. With only a firm conviction that love makes a difference and her 600-square-foot Denver apartment, Jackson opened her home in 2012 to immigrants separated from family due to their immigration status. Casa de Paz (House of Peace) has since expanded to a three-bedroom home where Jackson has provided nearly 3,000 strangers with meals, rooms, and transportation. Jackson shares encounters with people like Agustin, a loving father who has been separated from his children for over a year, and Alejandro, whose wife was arrested after returning from her brother's funeral in Mexico. 'I met beautiful families and saw the indignities they endured, the tears they cried, the absence of their parents or spouses, and I wondered: What does God think?' In the end, she challenges Christian readers to similarly open their hearts and address immigrant rights head-on. Jackson's visionary account is a beautiful model of sacrificial love.'

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780310355625
  • ISBN 10: 0310355621
  • Imprint: Zondervan
  • On Sale: 2020-07-14
  • Pages: 240
  • List Price: $17.99
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2020-07-14
  • Trim Size: 139.000mm x 211.000mm x 17.000mm
  • Weight: 222.000gr
  • Category 1 : RELIGION / Christian Life / Inspirational
  • Category 2 : RELIGION / Christian Life / Social Issues
  • Category 3 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Social Activists