Bar of soap opens door for Gospel

By September 4, 2014
(Photo courtesy Buckner International)

(Photo courtesy Buckner International)

USA (BOC) — Buckner International is asking friends and supporters to collect and assemble hygiene kits for distribution to vulnerable children and families who are crossing the Texas-Mexico border in large numbers seeking refuge from ongoing violence in their home countries.

In some cases, families have been traveling for about 30 days upon their arrival in the United States and have ridden trains, walked, swam, and spent nights sleeping on warehouse floors to make the journey.

Families arrive with nothing but the clothes on their backs when they arrive at the Catholic Charities Refugee Center at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, Texas, after being processed by border authorities. The shower they take at the refugee center is often their first opportunity to clean up in weeks, according to Matt Asato, senior director of ministry engagement.

“The center sees between 40 and 200 families a day, on average,” Asato said. “We would like to provide at least one hygiene kit to each adult in a family, so it’s an ongoing, urgent need.”

To contribute to this collection effort, fill a two-gallon Ziploc bag with the following items:

(Photo courtesy Buckner International)

(Photo courtesy Buckner International)

• Toothbrush
• Washcloth
• Shampoo
• Bar soap
• Deodorant
• Comb
• Pocket-size tissue
• Hand-sanitizer
• Feminine hygiene products

“Every family that receives assistance is extremely thankful,” said Javier Perez, Buckner manager of missions and humanitarian aid in the Rio Grande Valley. “Many have asked why we do it, and that is when we tell them about Jesus’ love. One thing is for sure: when delivering aid to these children and families, James 1:27 is in our minds.” Hygiene kit collectors are invited to include a note inside each kit with simple, encouraging words such as, ‘God loves you,’ or a Bible verse written in Spanish.

You can also aid in this ongoing humanitarian aid effort by donating online to the Buckner Disaster Relief Fund. Donations to this fund will be used to meet the most immediate and urgent needs of unaccompanied children and vulnerable families as they arise, such as shoes, hygiene kits, and shipping of supplies. Click here to give now. Pray that these hygiene kits will open doors for the Gospel.

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