Dispatch from the Border
 
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Hugo and Eunice Moya run Iglesia Misionera Cristo Vive, a house church founded by immigrants for immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley. Iglesia Misionera Cristo Vive is located nine minutes from the Reynosa/McAllen border crossing, the U.S. Border Patrol’s busiest station for apprehending and detaining migrants suspected of entering the country illegally. For over two decades they have persisted in the slow and unrecognized work of church building, advocacy, and hospitality.

As the number of migrant detainees at the border grows, Hugo and Eunice continue their work of ministering to immigrants—this time on the front lines. Hugo recently visited families and individuals camped out on the bridge between Reynosa, Mexico and McCallen, Texas. Due to long wait times at the border crossing, these migrants cannot move forward and remain stuck in no-man’s-land. The need for blankets, food, and clothing has skyrocketed following the area’s recent rains and flooding.

 
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Hugo reported not just Mexican and Central American immigrants stuck at the border, but also families who traveled from as far as Venezuela, and a smaller group of Somali Muslim refugees seeking asylum.

“Jesus first came near to a people who were suffering, who had been exiled from the people of Israel,” Hugo says.

“I think that it’s a test that God is giving to the church in this time. How the church postures itself before the stranger, before need, before the person passing through difficult times. … The word of God tells us protect, care for, and help the foreigner who comes into our home. In this case the United States is the home.”

Despite President Trump’s executive order to keep families together at the border, families will still remain in detention and will be shipped around the country until their case is heard and they are deported. In addition, there are still over 2,000 children who remain separated from their parents.

The Moya’s church has joined The Immigration Project—an organization that inspires the Church to love immigrants the way God intended—to raise $8,000 to reach two goals at this time:

First, provide Bibles for immigrants located in detention centers. $4,000 of the $8,000 raised will be used to purchase Bibles in both Spanish and English, to be distributed to the following detention centers:

  • Pulaski County Detention Center in Illinois

  • Atlanta City Detention Center in Georgia

  • Etowah County Detention Center in Alabama

  • Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia

  • Wakulla County Detention Center in Florida

 
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Second, provide funding for Iglesia Misionera Cristo Vive Church in Pharr, Texas. Iglesia Misionera Cristo Vive Church partners with an immigrant refuge center in McAllen, Texas that houses families who have crossed the border seeking asylum so that parents and children can stay together. Iglesia Misionera Cristo Vive also provides food and blankets for children detained in the San Benito detention center. $4,000 of the $8,000 will be used for toiletries, blankets, pillows, food, and other essentials.


 
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This blog post originally appeared on NATIONS. Nations Media is the source for missional journalism. They advocate for Gospel-centered reformers through a magazine and documentary films.


Yonathan Moya