For the past two years, our team in Piedras Negras, Mexico has been building relationships and ministering to the refugees that have come to their city on their way to seeking asylum in the United States. Our field leaders in Piedras Negras quickly moved their focus to refugee relief – helping to find shelter, provide food, and give the refugee population a safe place to gather and join local churches. After the outbreak of COVID, applications for asylum were put on hold as quarantine began, leaving many families and individuals in limbo on the border.
Read more about our Refugee Ministry
Volunteers that have served in our Mexico field have been able to participate in the new Refugee Ministry. Two dedicated volunteers, Karen and Becky, have come back to serve multiple times over the year and brought needed donations with them. When we asked them about their service Becky responded, “I just want people to know that this is not me and Karen, we’re just being obedient. We’re not perfect, we are just trying to be obedient and love on God’s people.” And Karen agrees, “That’s what we want, this is His deal, we’re just the foot soldiers doing things for Him. It’s all for His glory, not ours. We just enjoy the work that we are doing for Him.”
Over the course of the year they have brought donated clothes with them every time they have come to serve in the field. Once they even filled a 15-passenger van full of donations and made the 19-hour drive to deliver the items, and the donated van, themselves. “So there was this little thrift store that had closed down,” Karen explains. “And I could see clothes hanging up inside there. Every time I drove by there, it had to be God, it was gnawing at me that those clothes were being wasted. So I finally worked up the nerve to talk to the owner and told her about the mission.” The owners were excited by the mission and donated all the leftover clothes to the Refugee Ministry.
In addition to filling the one-time need of warm clothing, Karen and Becky brought cleaning supplies, toiletries, and other much needed items. These went into hygiene care packages that they helped pack and deliver. “It’s a neat ministry they have because they had a lot more people coming to church after that,” Karen explained about the aid packages. “It is an amazing outreach that they were able to connect to people they didn’t even know some of them were out there.” At the beginning of December, Mexico intern Brenna Logsdon sorted those clothing donations and the team hosted a clothing drive in their community center. 47 families, totaling 155 people, got new clothes to help them through the winter in Piedras Negras.
Becky and Karen take time out of their busy work schedules to serve in Piedras Negras, and they want to encourage others to step out of their comfort zone and follow where God is leading. “You don’t have to be some special person, you don’t have to be perfect (nobody’s perfect anyways), you don’t have to have your life together in order to do this. You just have to trust God and step out,” said Becky. Karen added, “Step out – if you’ve got any interest, step out and do something, whoever is reading this. Even if it is not in Mexico, there are all these different [crossroads] fields, even in your own community, step out. Take the risk. Yeah, it’s a little scary doing things you’ve never done before, but it is so, so cool to see God lay the steps.”
The need for clothing has been filled, but the need for food and shelter continues. Our Refugee Ministry provides aid packages, housing at The Ranch, food and spiritual support at the Good Samaritan, and transportation to church and the grocery store. But they need your help to continue this ministry. Text GIVEHOPE2020 to 71777 to donate now!
$10/month = ONE aid package for a refugee family
$35/month = food for ONE resident at The Ranch
$50/month = food and support from ONE person at the Good Samaritan Soup Kitchen
$75/month = fuel for ONE 15-passenger van to transport refugees to/from church and grocery shopping