Border crisis: what should Christians do?

By July 29, 2014
The U.S. border fence near El Paso, Texas.

The U.S. border fence near El Paso, Texas.

USA (MNN) — The border crisis is on the forefront of U.S. politics this week as everyone gears up for fall mid-term elections. Politicians across the board are playing the blame game to make themselves more attractive to voters. The U.S. House of Representative is trying to put a border crisis game plan together before Congress goes on recess.

Politics aside, how should Christ-followers respond?

In Leviticus 19, the Lord spoke to Israel through Moses about what to do with refugees, saying, “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.”

Buckner International is putting this command into action. They’re doing what they can to help with the border crisis, in partnership with Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery and Catholic Charities, and they stand ready to do more.

As of last week, Buckner has sent 8,000 pairs of kids’ shoes to front-line responders, who are giving them to families who cross the U.S.-Mexico border near Rio Grande Valley. One was a young mother and her two daughters, Lorena, 8, and Carmen, 6.

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Daniela Cruz (name changed) talks to Javier Perez, manager of missions and humanitarian aid for Buckner, as she waits for her daughters, Carmen, 6, and Lorena, 8, to receive a new pair of shoes collected through Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls®.
(Image, caption courtesy Buckner)

“There is nothing you can do in El Salvador now for employment, and I can’t even be sure my kids will be safe because of Mara Salvatrucha [a prominent Salvadoran drug gang, also known as MS-13],” the mother told Buckner.

“One of my nieces was being harassed by the gangs, and I didn’t want to have my daughters endure the same treatment.”

Read more of her story here.

According to Buckner officials, many children who cross the border have worn their shoes to pieces after an arduous 10-12 day journey. Other trips have taken as many as 40 days.

“Shoes provide the hope and love of Jesus to [refugee children],” says Matt Asato, Buckner’s senior director of ministry engagement.

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Lorena and her sister Carmen, 6, traveled for a month with their mother from their native El Salvador to reach Texas.
(Image, caption courtesy Buckner)

“By meeting their physical needs, we hope they will feel that love, despite any political situation. [We also hope] they will know that people will serve them for who they are: children of God.”

Here are some ways you can help Buckner shine the light of Christ.

Please surround this situation in prayer. Pray for all unaccompanied children who have crossed the border to a strange land and unknown future. Ask the Lord to give endurance and strength to first-line responders. Pray for all the churches, organizations, and groups who are working together to help children and families in need.

More news from Buckner here.

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