Members of Bluegrove Baptist Church in Henrietta and Wichita Archer Clay Baptist Association have been conducting trips to the U.S.-Mexico border at Del Rio where hundreds of migrants have been receiving their help while waiting to be processed, according to the Baptist Standard. With approximately 150 men, women, and children going through the processing center daily, the churches have responded to the U.S. Border Patrol’s request for help. Bringing food, hygiene items, and assisting with paperwork, the church members have improved everyone’s experience at the Del Rio processing center.
Robert Blackmon, pastor of Bluegrove Baptist Church in Henrietta, shared that the interactions at the border are a blessing for everyone. For many of the migrants, they are weary of what to expect at each step along their journey, but being welcomed by the members of the church congregation has helped alleviate some of their anxiety. With the need to communicate effectively with refugees, most of whom have arrived from Haiti, the church members have attempted to learn basic Spanish so that they can break through simple language barriers. Meeting each other has been advantageous for both groups who are sharing in the kindness and blessings that have brought them together.
According to the Baptist Press, “the church has since committed in its budget to support one trip a month throughout 2022 for the border ministry. They typically leave on Sunday after church, with full workdays taking place Monday and Tuesday before returning on Wednesday. Church members also are going through the process of renewing their passports in order to be more involved with ministry opportunities across the border.”
Donations from the churches have included distributing thousands of sandwiches, such as peanut-butter-and-jelly, along with diapers, wipes, and backpacks filled with hygiene items and other essentials. Additionally, members have worked on projects including digging a 100-foot-long trench for a water line that could be used for showering, building a playground, and rebuilding platforms for outdoor sinks. They also distribute Bibles that are in Spanish, and comfort refugees by sharing in God’s Word and love.
Pastor Blackmon, who recently graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 2020, expressed his pride in the border ministry noting that working together, everyone has gained something positive out of the experience. Through the interaction at the border, church members learn about the refugees who share the goals and dreams they have in America, along with the struggles some had to endure on their journey. Praying and working together is bringing much needed hope and comfort to those at the Del Rio processing center, and is warming the hearts of all who have reached out to families in need of support.