Texas Baptists Respond to Crisis at the Border

As the United States Customs & Border Control continues to grapple with the largest surge of migrants in decades, Baptists across the state of Texas are seeking to respond to the humanitarian crises emerging.

Beginning in January, the Baptist General Convention of Texas and its River Ministry began a series of preparations designed to assist families and minors.  After meetings with leaders in South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley Baptist Association, the state began to allocate resources for a potential surge of migrants.

When the surge came, the groups agreed the best organization to respond was River Ministry personnel who already are working in the area to assess needs and identify ministry opportunities.

One of the River Ministry missionaries/volunteers is Cristiana Lambarria, a registered nurse working in Matamoros. In addition to teaching English-as-a-Second-Language classes, she and her colleagues provide hygiene kits, food and medical consultation with the help of local doctors and dentists.

Lambarria wrote in a February report: “We certainly saw the hand of God on us and his protection. This month, I was able to say goodbye to many of our migrant brothers who have fulfilled their dreams of being able to legally cross into the United States and be able to reunite with their families. We were able to pray and cry together, as well as share how God has been good and faithful.”

According to Josue Valerio, director of the Center for Missional Engagement, River Ministry missionaries serve from the Brownsville/Matamoros area to San Diego/Tijuana working to provide food, hygiene items and other assistance.

Valerio said, “We have seen God at work through all these movements of people in the past…So, today we stand before God with the assurance that the Lord has a plan for us as we minister God’s word to the people that have come to our border and our communities.”

Ways you can help include:

  • Volunteer. The River Ministry needs volunteers to serve in Laredo, the Rio Grande Valley and Eagle Pass. River Ministry missionaries are coordinating mission trips for churches to assist border ministries. For more information, email gloria.tillman@txb.org or click here.
  • Hygiene kits. Migrants need toiletry items as they travel to their final destinations. Each quart-sized clear Ziploc bag can include items such as travel-size soap, shampoo, lotion, toothbrush and toothpaste. For more information, click here.
  • Care Box Kits. Each $25 donation will enable River Ministry missionaries to provide a church on the border a box of food that can feed a family for a week. Click here for more information.
  • Give. To support the River Ministry, click here. To support Buckner, click here. To support Fellowship Southwest’s Border Relief Fund, click here.

Source: Baptist Standard