DALLAS — The Christian Life Commission has called on Texas Baptists to respond in a compassionate way to the influx of unaccompanied immigrant children and teenagers along the southern United States border.
Commissioners approved a resolution Friday, June 27, outlining the current situation involving immigrant minors who are fleeing poverty and violence in Central America. More than 46,000 immigrant children have crossed the border since October 2013. The CLC is the Texas Baptist body which deals with ethical and public policy issues.
In affirmation of the resolution, Texas Baptist Executive Director Dr. David Hardage said, “Texas Baptists have always responded, in Jesus name, to the needs of His creation & we always will.“
Addressing the humanitarian situation experienced across the state, the resolution acknowledges the need for proper care and supervision for the unaccompanied minors as they go through the court system. The CLC encourages Texas Baptists to “remember the many biblical injunctions about caring for the 'stranger’ or immigrant as reflected in the words of Jesus, 'I was a stranger and you welcomed me.’“
“Our hearts are breaking over the situation along the border,” said Ferrell Foster, CLC director of ethics and justice. “These children are victims of poverty and violence, and their families’ desperation has pushed them to this point. These children are our neighbors, and I pray Texas Baptists will lead the way in providing a compassionate response to their need.“
Also, affirming the work of Texas Baptist Men (TBM) and Baptist Family and Child Service (BCFS) in helping care for the children, the resolution asks Texas Baptists to create welcoming communities in the areas where children are being housed.
Other suggested ways for churches to help in the crisis include identifying secure housing facilities in their communities and identify bilingual case workers, licensed clinicians, mental health professionals, and immigration lawyers to serve two-week stints in facilities.
The resolution ultimately encourages Texas Baptists to gather in prayer for the people of Central America and for the children who have traveled to the U.S.
Click here to read the resolution.
To Find out more ways to get involved visit texasbaptists.org/forthechildren.