The United States government is calling it a “humanitarian crisis”. Over 50 thousand children have crossed the border since October.
These children are coming over in droves, unaccompanied by parents or family members. That number is expected to double by Christmas. Can you imagine? 100 thousand orphaned children crossing the border looking for an escape from the violence and the poverty of Central America. The US government doesn’t know how to respond. They are doing the best that they can, but they are also looking toward the Church for help.
It was no accident that I was there last week leading a team in home repair projects. While there I also scouted out different areas of need in the city of McAllen. Right now, there are many opportunities that Mission Discovery can get involved. God spoke to me in a very powerful way as I was developing these ideas.
Last Sunday I went to volunteer at the Catholic church in McAllen. This is the church that is taking care of many of the migrants that are being dropped off at a local bus station with no food, water or clothing. These are people that have been traveling through the desert for at least a month. Many of them haven’t showered for that long, maybe longer. One boy showed up covered in cactus prickers. The church is set up with medical help, showers, tents to sleep in, and donations to give to these people.
Many of the stories are unbearable to listen to. As I watched one woman who was helping a family move through the process of eating and collecting donations, I noticed her face changing. The family was telling her what they had just been through. Later I saw her in a corner, trying to find a place to be alone and process through what she had just heard. Of course she was crying, it’s impossible not to feel the pain of our neighbors when you hear their stories first hand, and when you are looking at the despair in their eyes.
In the first hour of being at the church, I prayed with a sobbing woman who was looking for freedom from a drug addiction, and found her a place to stay at the salvation army. And I was able to help find shelter for another woman who, with one arm was carrying everything she owned in a box, in the other arm she held a baby, AND she had a son by her side who had walked miles on hot pavement with no shoes.
I was meeting these people in their most vulnerable state. God was using me in different ways than ever before, and He was stretching me. My heart is entangled with them, and I am excited about the opportunity I have to develop these projects and bring more aid to the crisis on the border.
Our team worked so hard painting, and replacing siding on four houses. As always, I think everyone enjoyed the new friendships that were made with those that they served. We also had a VBS at a nearby park where the group played with a bunch of kids. I’m super proud of these guys!