The Texas border is being flooded with unaccompanied minors coming from Central America, with an estimated 57,000 coming across since October 2013. The majority of the children are from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
“This is an unfortunate, even awful, situation for everyone,” said Dr. David Hardage, Texas Baptists executive director. “So much of what has happened and is happening is out of our control. What we can control is our response to human need. We will try to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need.”
Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery has been tasked with discovering ways our Texas Baptists churches can assist. This gives us the opportunity to impact these children’s lives with joy and a positive Christian influence and fulfill the commands of Jesus in Matthew 25.
How to Help
There is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding this rapidly changing situation. At this time you and your church can help by praying for the children, families and caregivers, giving to the For the Children Fund, and by signing up to receive updates about future volunteer opportunities.
What is Happening Now?
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has announced, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, that no new temporary shelters will be needed in the U.S. due to a significant reduction in the number of unaccompanied minors currently crossing the border. This change was credited to awareness campaigns in the countries of origin, efforts by Mexico to stop border crossings and the summer heat making travel difficult. Plans to bring 2,000 unaccompanied minors to Dallas County have ended.
Judge Jenkins said that had additional shelters been needed, Dallas would have been selected and would have become the first model of cooperation by the faith community and federal government to care for the unaccompanied children. He thanked the faith-based community for their support.
Texas Baptists have started a “For the Children” fund for those interested in donating to assist these programs. Checks can be sent to the following address. Funds that may be collected beyond the requirements of this current situation will be used for other disaster recovery needs.
Baptist General Convention of Texas
c/o Finance & Accounting
333 North Washington Avenue
Dallas, TX 75246
(Please make checks out to “Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery”and memo them “For the Children Fund.”)
For more information on how to volunteer, contact Marla Bearden, disaster recovery specialist, at marla.bearden [at] texasbaptists.org or (214) 828-5382.
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Texas Baptists offer aid for border crisis in Rio Grande Valley. Learn more…
Plans still in the works to bring immigrant youth to DFW. Learn more…
CCDA vision trip to McAllen
by Gerald Davis — August 28, 2014
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things. Romans 10:15
Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery hosted a leadership group of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) on a vision trip to the border which allowed the group to see first-hand the crisis plaguing the unaccompanied minors and family units along the U.S. Border in McAllen, Texas. The group witnessed how God is at work in the midst of the crisis along the border.
Although the situation appears to be bleak and many children, youth and adults suffer through the journey, the hand of God is obviously at work as He carries hundreds of…
For the least of these
by Guest Contributor — August 21, 2014
Johnnie Musquiz serves as Pastor of Iglesia Bautista Houston. Below is a first-hand account of his experience taking a volunteer group from his church to serve Central American family units in McAllen.
Three weeks ago I toured the Catholic Charities in McAllen. I came back and showed pictures to my church about the need and also the opportunity. My son (Timothy) came and shared with me that he wanted to organize a group and go help with the effort at the Catholic Charities. The dates (Aug 15-16) were scheduled and a group of nine volunteers were enlisted. We took brand new clothes that were donated, 200 plastic water…