A Methodist Border Ministry: Cubanos en la Frontera

Read more from United Methodist News Service: Offering solidarity to Cubans stuck at border.

Through Holding Institute Community Center in Laredo and in collaboration with the Rio Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, our local partners in Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, we are supporting the preparation and serving of hot meals to desperate people on a daily basis. This ministry began in late January and continues now.

Your donations are making a difference in the capacity to purchase grocery items in Mexico such as meat and dairy products, along with hygiene items and supplies for partner kitchens. Rice and beans are being donated by compassionate persons in Mexico.

Rev. Jaser Davila posted these pictures along with his comments on March 3, 2017 from Nuevo Laredo, Texas. The people you see standing in line to receive a hot meal are primarily Cuban refugees who were stranded in Mexico when the USA entry policies for Cubans changed in January.

The current estimate of Cubans in Nuevo Laredo is approaching 1300. Most are sheltered. Churches and other immigrant centers are beyond capacity.

As the Cubans now realize that a crossing into the USA is very unlikely, many are investigating avenues to stay in Mexico and obtain temporary work while pursuing their immigration options in Mexico.

In Nuevo Laredo, our pastor and church partners are continuing to feed the hungry. Several new elements of this ministry are now being revealed that we want to share with you.

First, some of the people in line for food are Mexican. Some are local and some are recently repatriated into Mexico from the USA. As the number of persons being deported from the USA is on the rise, several Mexican cities are the outlets for this repatriation. Nuevo Laredo is one of these cities.

Second, compassion is transforming all of us. Cubans are cooking and sharing in daily tasks in this ministry. A small group of Cubans staying with one pastor partner are now forming a worship team. Another group is accompanying their supporting pastor to feed hungry persons in other parts of Nuevo Laredo.

Third, Christ is being offered in daily living. One of our partner pastors recently shared, “These Cubans were angry when their access to the USA was stopped. Now they are beginning to return to happiness. They are now asking about God and faith.”

Fourth, there is a need for BUNK BEDS in several of our partner locations in Nuevo Laredo. We seek the assembly plans of bunk beds that other border ministries have used in the past. If this caught your attention, pray about this and call me.

This is a very brief update on a very complex situation. Your partnership in ministry is very important to us and we appreciate your donations and your prayers. May God Bless You!

This article was written by Rev. Paul Harris, Pastor at First United Methodist Church, Laredo
If you or someone you know would like to donate Bunk Beds, please contact Rev. Harris at pharris@riotx.org