• Christian Groups Suggesting President’s Border Policies Might Be Working — and Serving Desperate Need There as Well

    CBN’s Heather Sells brings updates that good-hearted communities of faith are offering to help the needy on the US southern border — and returning with reports that the president’s policies might be working as advertised to stem the tide of those crossing illegally.

    In fact, it’s

    believers on both sides of the Rio Grande [who] are coming together to care for the thousands of asylum seekers hoping to receive a legal pathway into the US.  

    Sami DiPasquale, the executive director of El Paso’s Ciudad Nueva,

    a faith-based community outreach center, says 30 local churches have united in recent months to care for as many as 1,000 new migrants released by US Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) every day. “They’ve been hosting. They’ve been donating materials. They’ve been activating their denominations,” said DiPasquale.

    In mid-June, El Elyon, a local El Paso congregation which had been taking in 70 migrants every night for months, and other shelters in the city, abruptly learned their daily pattern would be changing: ICE would no longer be dropping off migrants at their front door.

    Faith leaders in El Paso believe that President Trump’s new “Remain in Mexico” policy may be the reason why El Paso is now just receiving several hundred migrants a day. The policy has encouraged Mexican police to deter immigrants from entering the country’s southern border and from trying to cross the US-Mexico border. It has also led US authorities to send asylum-seekers back to Mexico to wait on their immigration court hearings.

    Leaders from the Evangelical Immigration Table (EIT), an organization made up of assorted denominational and major faith-based non-profits (World Vision, World Relief, Bethany Christian Services, etc.), recently visited the area, and believe they are witnessing

    a turning point as El Paso ministries began to realize they may no longer directly serve immigrants at the emergency scale with which they had become accustomed.

    Consequently, DiPasquale says these ministries are now redirecting their focus to churches in El Paso’s sister city Juarez, Mexico. “Our intention is to shift efforts and be able to support the efforts right across the border”

    “What we know about this situation is it’s fluid. It’s changing all the time,” said World Relief president Scott Arbeiter. “It’s now shifting back — we’ll see what happens.”

    What anyone paying attention will recognize is people of faith choosing to be flexible and poised to assist in this urgent situation in practical ways — “to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful,”, as the Apostle Paul urged Pastor Titus two-centuries ago. (Titus 3:14)

    In the thick of the political drama and emotional racket broiling around this border/immigration issue, it’s exciting to detect an opportunity for God’s people to shine, for the Gospel to be “adorned” by their works of mercy. (Titus 2:10)

    “God is calling us to step into a gap,” Arbeiter said.

    “A gap that can’t be filled by the Border Patrol, and they acknowledge that. It can’t be filled by the US government — and they acknowledge that. The churches are stepping into desperate need.”

    His declaration reminds me of other sublime, heavenly minded sentiments regarding the demanding border dilemma uttered lately by Pastor Samuel Rodriguez:

    “It is the job of the government to decide who gets in their country,” Rodriguez explained. “It is the joy of the church to serve those who do.”

    Believing Christians responding to a crisis as “salt and light”? Amen. So be it.  (Matt 5:13-16).

    Image: Image by kai kalhh from Pixabay 

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