Thousands of people try to cross the southern borders of our country every day in search of a better future. Full of hope, they decide to risk their lives, crossing the waters of Rio Bravo or the arid desert where coyotes bring them to the harsh reality of their new lives. These families, that are processed as "child refugees" by ICE, are released on American soil and attempt to initiate their dream life without knowing where to go, without proper hygienic conditions, and restricted access to food. That's where the church comes in, being the hands and feet of Jesus and illuminating the dark moments of dozens of families that come to our cities. We are called to be "one with Christ in his plan of mercy."Every Christian must understand that "everyone who has received the divine illumination must light up the path of those who do not know the Light of life"and thus, help fix the gray dreams of several families.
On the first and last Thursday of each month, our church joins the Guatemalan Consulate in Phoenix in carrying out the following tasks:
1. Families are picked up by an equal:Our members pick up the families that ICE releases to take them to the church and help them reach their desired destination. Seeing the face of an equal and listening to a known language reassures and comforts them.
2. The families are taken to the church:When they arrive at the church, they find fresh food and the possibility of cleaning up. Members of the church provide clothes for parents and their children. They are also provided with a place to sleep until transportation arrives that will take them to their destination.
3. Families contact their family members:We communicate with their families within the United States and in their countries of origin. Their family members provide tickets for their transportation to their destination and they are taken to the place of transportation.
4. Families find an appropriate environment: During their stay, our children play with their children creating an emotionally safe environment adapted to their ages.
5. The family becomes a missionary contact:The pastor of the destination city is contacted to follow up with the family that has been staying with us.
We find new ways to help these families every day to attend to their needs such as: basic medical assistance, basic guidelines on culture and the country, family orientation talks, etc.
If you belong to a church in some of the border states, I invite you to make a difference in your community, being the hands and feet of Jesus and showing true compassion for those Jesus died for.
Ellen G. White emphasizing the actions of mercy arguing: "When hearts sympathize with hearts burdened with discouragement and grief, when the hand dispenses to the needy, when the naked are clothed, the stranger made welcome to a seat in your parlor and a place in your heart, angels are coming very near, and an answering strain is responded to in heaven. Every act of justice, mercy, and benevolence makes melody in heaven. The Father from His throne beholds those who do these acts of mercy, and numbers them with His most precious treasures. "
Let mercy fill our hearts and let our deeds become the treasure of God.
Doctor Elvis Diaz is a Pastor in the Arizona Conference of SDA Church.
Ellen G. White, Christian Service, p. 12.
Same, p. 11.
Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church 2.25