Ray is the International Ministries global consultant for Immigrants and Refugees. In this role, he networks with IM colleagues and international partners that serve with refugees and displaced peoples, helping to strengthen their ministries, find needed resources and build capacity. He works to construct bridges between U.S. and P.R. churches and these partners, providing opportunities to serve some of the most vulnerable people in the world. In addition, Ray hosts several teams per year in international cross-cultural settings where they can learn about the struggles of migrants, the realities of global immigration and border policies.
Ray writes – I just arrived last night in Tijuana and will be here for the next two weeks. There are a number of ministries I have been working with here, as they are ministering to the masses of migrants who are waiting for a chance to plead their asylum cases. These ministries are always struggling, playing catch-up to an ever-evolving situation.
Prayers for them, and also for my ability to come alongside them and give them the support they need, are greatly appreciated.
I will be hosting a number of people this week, including Larry Stanton, in a short fact-finding adventure. The UCC’s head of disaster relief and refugee support will also be here, among a couple others.
The short termers leave Saturday, which is when my immigration immersion team arrives for a nine-day experience of learning about the human stories lost in our immigration debate, as seen from both sides of the border. These two weeks will be wonderfully intense, but the Immigration Immersion always leaves me completely spent- physically and spiritually. (Some great tacos will help restore my soul, at regular intervals.)
I am reminded, however, with the events of the last several days, how absolutely vital it is that I continue this work. It reaches only a few people it seems, but it is reaching a few, and they are reaching out to more. My prayer is that we can begin to see our neighbors for the children of God that they are- regardless of how they arrived or what documents they possess- and we treat them accordingly.