Larry travelled to Tijuana, Mexico in August and witnessed the great love being shared with refugees by the local churches.
Larry was invited to Tijuana by International Ministries’ global consultant for immigrants and refugees, Ray Schellinger. They stayed at Deborah’s House and visited several churches that are reaching out to refugees.
These mission-minded churches are excited by the possibilities: while they can’t “go to all nations,” the nations are coming to them! They see a great opportunity to share Jesus’ love with people. Pastors and members provide food, shelter, daycare and legal services.
One of these churches is a small congregation of 50, and through the week they push back the chairs and welcome refugees to sleep in the sanctuary!
They provide daycare services for those who have gotten jobs as they wait to go through the immigration process. They are working to buy an empty lot next to the church to build a playground for the kids. The church itself has sent missionaries to 6 different countries—you can see the flags on the rafter.
Larry sees these churches living out the message of 1 John 3:16-18
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and truth.”
While there, Larry heard heartbreaking stories of people fleeing death threats, gangs, human trafficking, poverty and disease. But he also saw happy children, gave and received hugs, and prayed with people who were relieved to get to tell their stories to someone who would listen with compassion.
Larry’s overwhelming conclusion is that we must do better. Not the nation or the government, but we as Christians must do what Christ commands us.
The issues surrounding the border aren’t new, nor is only one party or administration to blame for the mess. Governments aren’t holy; only God is. And only He can fix this mess. And as his children, we can be part of the love and care needed. This begins, of course, with prayer. Please join us in praying for the refugees, those serving them, and the entire broken system.
We must pray and ask God for wisdom. And then be willing to do and go where the Spirit gracefully leads us.