I see pictures and hear a lot about the crisis of migrants coming to the U.S. border. If you are human (especially a Christ-follower) you probably care about these children and adults created in the image of God. They are not the enemy to our country but men, women and children who have no place to go that seems safe. So they end up at our border hoping to get food and shelter. The massive amount of migrants coming to our immigration facilities is overwhelming our agencies at the border. This is why it is such a crisis. What can we do as a church or individual Christians? I want to share a few things we all can do. First, we can pray. Second, I have included some information from the United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR), which is our official hands and feet on the ground. There are some helpful links you can follow to support the UMC efforts already in progress.
A Prayer for Suffering Children
God of All Children Everywhere,
Our hearts are bruised when we see children suffering alone.
Our hearts are torn when we are unable to help.
Our hearts are broken when we have some complicity in the matter.
For all the times we were too busy and shooed a curious child away,
forgive us, oh God.
For all the times we failed to get down on their level and look eye to eye with a child, forgive us, oh God.
For all the times we did not share when we saw a hungry child somewhere in the world, forgive us, oh God.
For all the times we thought about calling elected officials to demand change, but did not, forgive us, oh God.
For all the times we thought that caring for the children of this world was someone else’sresponsibility, forgive us, oh God.
With Your grace, heal our hearts.
With Your grace, unite us in action.
With Your grace, repair our government.
With Your grace, help us to find a way to welcome all children everywhere,
That they may know that Jesus loves them,
Not just because “the Bible tells them so,”
But because they have known Your love in real and tangible ways,
And they know that nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate them from Your love.
We encourage you to act on behalf of children. While we cannot take UMCOR hygiene kits to the U.S. government holding centers, we are distributing UMCOR hygiene kits at transitional shelters all along the US-Mexico border. In the last three months, UMCOR delivered 46,128 hygiene kits to six church-run transitional shelters. Instructions on how to make and send these kits are available at this webpage: Hygiene Kit
You can also act by calling your U.S. elected officials. The following link to the General Board of Church and Society, our sister United Methodist agency responsible for advocacy, will give you some suggestions on issues to raise with these officials. Click Here
Finally, we encourage you to give on behalf of children. Through the Global Migration Advance, UMCOR provides grants to organizations along the U.S. border and elsewhere around the world that are working to fill gaps in the needs and rights of migrants.
None of us have all the answers. But we cannot fear loving our neighbor, especially those who are in need. Most likely a healthy political solution to this problem will take longer than we want or expect. As followers of Jesus, we are called to see the immigrant as a friend, neighbor and child of God. This must be our reaction. We worship a God who asks us to love our neighbor and leave provisions for the immigrants. (Just read the book of Ruth)