Child refugee crisis in USA

By July 4, 2014

USA (MNN) — Unaccompanied minors in the United States.┬áIt’s child refugee problem and it’s a growing problem. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the number of apprehended children who are attempting to cross the U.S. border without a parent is up 92% compared to last year. These children are from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.



The Orphan Outreach Team.

President of Orphan Outreach Mike Douris, says, “They’re coming because of poverty, lack of hope, lack of opportunity. And if we can help Guatemalans or Hondurans take better care of [their] most vulnerable, then it helps the issue of them having to traverse very dangerous territory to get to the United States.”

Douris is one of the founding members of Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO). It’s a group of like-minded Christians formed to educate the church about the need to care for widows and orphans.

Douris says God cares for the orphan, as stated in more than 40 verses in the Old Testament, and more in the New Testament. “In almost every judgment against Israel, it’s mentioned that they didn’t care for the widow and the orphan. [God] calls Himself the Father of the fatherless. And that continues in the New Testament in James.”

Since the heart of God doesn’t change, churches need to take notice. “If you have a mission strategy out of your church, there should be intentional ministry to orphans if you’re where God’s heart is. That’s the heart of the ministry of CAFO: to alert the church to this and equip the church.”

Other CAFO movements have been started in Ukraine, Russia, South Korea, South Africa, Kenya, and now in Guatemala. Last year, CAFO started in Guatemala following an orphan summit which featured more than 250 pastors and leaders.

Much has happened in a year, says Douris. CAFO Guatemala is planning another orphan summit in August. “This year we’re planning on 500-750 pastors and Christian leaders to talk about the issues of orphan care. The day before the summit, the First Lady has agreed to host an influencers meeting.”

Out of that, Douris is hoping influential leaders there will catch the vision for orphan ministry and begin working with organizations who are doing the work well, like Orphan Outreach partners.

Douris says, “Some of the mega churches have caught our vision for this and really want to jump on board and say, ‘What can we do to push the message,” but also get involved with kids.'”

Is this part of the Great Commission mandate? Not according to Douris. “Really, you don’t care for orphans to do evangelism. You care for orphans because it’s God’s mandate. But because of who we are, we also share the Gospel, and many of those kids come to Christ.”

Orphan Outreach is an organization that can help your church establish an orphan ministry. It can include regular trips to care for orphans around the world or supporting children through sponsorship.

Click here for information about CAFO. Or, click here for more information on sponsoring a child with Orphan Outreach.


  • Kerry Melton says:

    I have been sadly watching the events unfold on the Mexican/American border. It’s keeping me up at night worrying about all those children. My husband and I have been trained as special needs foster parents in WV. I also worked for years teaching special needs and kindergarten children. However, we now live in Gettysburg PA. I’m no longer working. My husband supports us in our ( 4, well 5, but I converted one into a sewing )home that’s becoming an empty nest. I’m wondering if there are any opportunities to foster/ sponsor refugees and children who are here and need a place to land and be safe, until they can do what they need to do..
    If there are any organizations, groups, or small pods of people who are helping the people get the hep they need, could you point me in their direction?
    Kerry Melton

  • Katey Hearth says:

    Hi Kerry,

    Bless your heart and thank you so much for reaching out to us! Orphan Outreach, the group this article is about, might be able to connect you with someone who is taking action. Their contact info is at the top of the page.

    Buckner International is another one of our ministry partners and they are based in Texas. They have a lot of great Christian foster care programs and I don’t know if they are doing anything to deal specifically with the border crisis, but they would know who to connect you with.

    I would recommend contacting them, and their office information is on this page:

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