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By: Phil O'Day, Executive Vice President on: July 18, 2014
Story Type: Story    

Children in Crisis at the Border: How Should We Respond?


The complex challenges associated with immigration are nothing new to the United States, but the current situation at the border is far beyond an immigration challenge. The unprecedented influx of unaccompanied children, mostly from Central America, has created a massive humanitarian crisis. Tens of thousands of children have arrived so far this year, on top of thousands more in the past year or two. Some estimates place the expected number by the end of this year to surpass 90,000 [src].

Difficult political implications and questions surround this issue. There are no easy answers.

Whatever the reasons, however these children arrived in the U.S., and regardless of the complex political issues, we need to ask, “What does Jesus want us to do?” Since these children have endured incredibly dangerous journeys to escape the ravages of drug wars and the violence of murderous gangs, it seems best to view them as refugees in need of care. While Camino Global does not seek to hold a political stance on the issue of immigration, we are clearly compelled by God’s Word to demonstrate Christ’s love with hearts of compassion.

“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me… Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”  (Words of Jesus, Matthew 25, New International Version)

God has given Camino Global at least three unique geographical vantage points: Central America, south Texas, and Dallas. The children have come primarily from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. They are currently detained at the border, many of them in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas. And 2,000 of them may be relocated to Dallas at any time. Camino has missionary personnel and staff in each of these areas, with over a century of experience and strong relationships in Central America, a team in McAllen, TX, and its international headquarters in Dallas. So while the solution may not yet be clear, we are well positioned for involvement.

As Christ’s Church, and as a ministry organization, we will respond to this crisis. The question we are asking ourselves is how. The answer to that question is still unfolding. Community and faith-based organizations have so far not been given access to the children. Like many other organizations based in Texas, we are actively investigating ways to assist with the crisis. But things are still very much in an unclear, chaotic state.

Would you pray with us?

As we gather information and talk with potential partners, we are trying to determine some specific ways that we as Camino Global can serve these children in the name of Jesus. Will the need be for translators? For food and clothing? For volunteers?  We don’t yet know the answers to these questions, so for the moment we invite you to join us in prayer:

  • Pray with a heart of compassion for the thousands of children in desperation, including those who may be currently on the roofs of northbound trains in Mexico or preparing for a dangerous river crossing.
  • Pray for churches and missionaries in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador who are working to transform communities for Christ in a context of drug war and violence.
  • Pray for Camino leaders, missionaries and partners who are together seeking God’s wisdom in responding.
  • Stay attentive in prayer with us for the right time and opportunity to take action.

Thank you for your concern. Together, with your partnership and prayer, we are confident God will guide us to tangible ways we can serve the least of these with hearts of compassion.

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