Our response to the crisis on the southern border

As you open your daily news feeds, newspapers or watch the various news outlets on television it is not hard to come to the realization that we find ourselves amid a crisis.  Regardless of your political persuasion, your theological bent or even your own personal opinions the pressure that is continuing to mount at our southern border is creating an untold humanitarian need that cannot nor should not be ignored. 

What is fueling the border crisis? At the crux of the crisis is people.  It is the way people, regardless of nationality, religion, or socio-economic status are being treated.  Children on occasion are separated from family members and left in the custody of unfamiliar adults.  Parents and guardians are removed from the lives of children who have traveled countless miles to a “hopeful” new life in our country.  Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents are responsible for the care of children who are fraught with fear and uncertainty.  Finally, those who are responsible to find solutions to policy issues like these seem unable to find common ground to affect the change that is needed.

Tensions flare as we see humanity being treated in a way that is not honoring to the one who created us all.  The Scripture tells us to care for the “least of these” [Mt 25:40 NLT] and we find ourselves at odds with the way families and especially children are being cared for.  We struggle with the thought, what our response should be in this difficult situation.  The Holy Spirit convicts us that things need to change, and our hearts are moved to be at least some portion of the solution.

The Immigration Alliance believes that this can in fact be an occasion to engage in the broader concerns of what the church of Christ should be doing during this humanitarian crisis.  The church not only has a responsibility but a great opportunity to be an active agent of change.  TIA encourages those who claim the name of Christ to:

Pray:

  • Pray for families, and children most affected by these difficult circumstances

  • Pray for a God to move in the lives of those who are serving in positions of influence including The president of the United States (POTUS), members of Congress, Directors of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and other agents, military, civilians serving at the border to have the wisdom and compassion

  • Pray for resolution to the political divide that has hampered real policy change and for a willingness to work together to care for substantive changes in current policies

Call:

  • Call your representatives and express your concerns and your desire to see quality reforms to our immigration system

  • Call the White House and voice care for these “least of these” and the need to keep families together

  • Call ministries that are serving on the border providing real world help to those impacted by this crisis and ask how you can help (We have highlighted a few of these churches and organizations on our Facebook page)

Act:

  • Find a need and fill it, whether it is simply putting personal hygiene packs together and sending them to ministries in need or finding a detention center in your area and inquiring about possible visitation opportunities

  • Stay informed, stay engaged by seeking accurate information to guide your actions and prayers.  One source of information is found at the following link.

  • Be vigilant in your prayers for all those touched by this crisis, the at-risk immigrants and those of the Customs and Border Patrol

 

It is often hard to not draw the lines of animosity and take adversarial positions.  It is important to work toward solutions and not let the rhetoric dictate how God may want to use us to bring the changes that must come.  In conclusion the words of the apostle Paul in his letter to the church in Rome come to the mind.

Do not change yourselves to be like the people of this world but be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect. 
— Romans 12:2 (NCV)

Our prayer for the church and those concerned for the immigrants among us is that we will seek first God’s heart and not be conformed to the pattern of the world around us.  God can fuel our compassion in ways that are honoring to him and can convey his grace to all side of the issue while seeking to do his will in these difficult times.  May his blessings rest on us as we care for the least.