Magnolia trees The Danny Sims Blog

Here are my occasional insights, stories, conversations, perspectives, ideas, reflections, theological musings, PLUS observations on Kingdom, spirituality, church, family, and mission with a dash of politics and humor thrown in for good measure.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Border Crisis - What I've Learned and What I Think

After delivering some supplies to McAllen, Texas and visiting with some people there, here are some things I learned & some things I think:

I learned…

Most of the people coming across the Texas-Mexico border are from Honduras, Guatemala or El Salvador. They are coming because they are fleeing violence, they are poor and hope they can make a better life in the U.S., they have family here and want to join them, and/or they believe if they can get inside the U.S. they will be able to stay.

Some of the border crossers are criminals, some are innocent children, and some have been victims of rape and other crimes along the way to the U.S.

All these people are crossing the U.S. border illegally.

Some people are helping the border crossers. This help is about their human need, not their legal status. They are giving them water, food, clothes, prayer and a safe place to rest no matter if they are to be deported or continue their trip further into the U.S.

I think… 

The causes of this crisis are complex and the problems (illegal alien, immigration, or refugee status and response) won’t be fixed anytime soon.

It is possible (important) to set aside your frustration (anger?) over the illegal border crossings and look for ways to help meet the basic needs of these human beings. For the Christian, doing this will help place the actions of Jesus above the inaction of government officials or politicians.

The politics of this crisis are toxic. The politicians involved tend to work against one another. Only patient and genuine collaboration will solve these problems. But cooperation is lost among politicians these days. We need leaders not politicians.

People who take Jesus seriously have to answer for His words: “Whatever you did (or did not do) for one of the least of these, you did (or did not do) for me”.

Helping the border crossers is not going to solve the border crisis. But helping border crossers is not promoting the border crisis. No one is traveling three weeks across the Mexico desert to get a shower, a free change of clothes, water bottles, prayer and a hug.

The complex causes for the crisis and solutions to all the problems are beyond our control. Providing for basic human needs and giving short-term help is simple and easily within our reach.

Fewer lives will be in jeopardy (or lost) making the trip from Central America if our government leaders will work to change the perception that if you cross the U.S. border you’ll be able to stay.

If these people are indeed refugees (I believe many are) the U.S. government simply must make the causes and sustainable solutions to a refugee crisis in our neighborhood a priority in conversation and action. Now.

Some (many? most?) of the people up in arms about the border crossers are descendants of people who took land from native Americans and gained other land in wars for independence. Of course we are not responsible for that. And we can’t go back and change history. But healthy perspective can go a long way in changing the future.

This is my personal blog. Opinions here may or may not reflect the opinions of Global Samaritan Resources, a non-profit organization where I serve as Executive Director.

Real things you can do:

There are many quality non-profits involved in giving help in this crisis. Find one.

I know one! You can “like” the Global Samaritan Facebook page and also follow @globalsamaritan on Twitter to be sure you get future updates.

Global Samaritan is planning to send teams of volunteers. Space will be limited, but let me know if you’re interested and willing to go to McAllen on a three or four day trip in the next few weeks.

We are using cash donations to help trusted partners we have in McAllen. You can give at the Global Samaritan website and navigating to the “donate” page. You can also text GLOBAL (all caps) to 75309 and I’ll send you an immediate link to give $25 via PayPal.

Note to media: Please contact me for permission to use information or opinion in this post. Thank you.