“Stranded at the Border”

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Photos courtesy of Jazmin Francis.

We invite all who love justice and compassion to come and hear about the plight of Mexican families in migration, who, intending to cross into the U.S., find themselves economically stranded in the Mexican border region, and settle into communities of desperate poverty there. Meet the Mexican leaders of a border area ministry that meets needs with the love of Jesus, nutrition, education, and permaculture.

Border Hope, a group of grassroots volunteers in the U.S./Mexico border region, organizes live speaking engagements throughout North America, as well as virtual meetings via Internet, for persons who want to learn more about this ministry. We are interested in meeting with people who have a heart for these matters, in groups of any size – over coffee, in churches, or in other venues. Bigger meetings are not necessarily better than smaller ones.

The meetings will give people in the U.S. the opportunity to:

  • Meet the leaders of a Mexican border ministry that serves the Mexican poor in migration.
  • Learn a way connect to some of those who have been uprooted from their home communities, only to find themselves stranded in the poverty of informal settlements in the Mexican border region.

To learn of already scheduled events, or to inquire into organizing a face-to-face speaking engagement in your area, or a virtual meeting, please fill out and submit the form below.

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Left: A house in Texas. Photo courtesy of Jonathan D. Blundell. Right: A house in our neighborhood of concern. Photo courtesy of Jazmin Francis.

Near the U.S./Mexico border, on the outskirts of a major Mexican border city, lies a particular squatter settlement that our volunteers know and love. It is populated mostly by families who have come from extremely poor communities in southern Mexican states such as Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Veracruz. Many of them have come intending to cross into the U.S. and pursue the American Dream. But, once arrived in the Mexican border region, they lack the resources either to continue their journey to the U.S. or to return to their places of origin, and so have settled into dilapidated makeshift shacks like that pictured above on the right, in a community where most of the residents cannot read or write, many children are malnourished, drug and alcohol addiction is prevalent, and many youth turn to prostitution or crime to make a living. The residents of this informal colonia, like those of countless others scattered from Matamoros to Tijuana, have become stranded at the border.

The Church of Refuge, pastored by an educated Mexican couple who left well-paying jobs to serve this community, engages in the following activities and more:

  • Several church services per week.
  • Daily nutrition for malnourished children.
  • Community meals.
  • Reading and math instruction.
  • Job trainings.
  • Daily family visitation.
  • Permaculture-based gardening instruction and demonstration projects.
  • A daily mentoring presence, inspiring hope in children and youth that another kind of life is possible.

Some families eventually return to their places of origin in southern Mexico, so that what faith, hope, vision, and practical skills they acquire while here will accompany them, and hopefully bless others. In fact, a long-term dream of the ministry is to accompany some of the families as they return home, and, in partnership with other churches and agencies, help them to acquire land, and establish an ecovillage that will further demonstrate the cooperative and sustainable way of life that the ministry seeks to promote in the border community.

To learn more, and to find out how to attend or organize/host a speaking engagement in your area, please fill out and submit the form below. We are eager to get to know you!

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