Immigrant needs multiply in Matamoros

A surge of refugees and falling temperatures have created a new set of needs for churches ministering on the border at Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros, Mexico, reported Fellowship Southwest immigrant ministry volunteer Ray Furr.

Furr and his spouse, Jeni Cook Furr, coordinate volunteers for Fellowship Southwest’s Immigrant Relief Ministry. This week, he traveled to the border, where he met with two pastors who provide significant ministry to asylum seekers on the border—Carlos Navarro of Iglesia Bautista West Brownsville and Rogelio Pérez of Iglesia Bautista Capernaum. 

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Jay Pritchard
Fellowship Southwest supports Ortiz’s immigrant ministry in Nuevo Laredo

The level of dire human need—and opportunity for gospel ministry—has expanded in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, just across the border from Laredo, Texas, reported Jorge Zapata, director of Fellowship Southwest’s Immigrant Relief Ministry.

In fact, the border itself—the bridge over the Rio Grande between Laredo and Nuevo Laredo—has become a focal point of need, explained Zapata, associate coordinator of CBF Texas.

That’s because so many asylum seekers have clustered in Nuevo Laredo, they have overwhelmed the local immigrant shelters, and they’re sleeping on the bridge, he said.

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Jay Pritchard
Fellowship Southwest Steering Committee reflects on resurrection

The Fellowship Southwest Steering Committee held its fall meeting this week at First United Methodist Church in Dallas. Two members (pictured below)—Andy Stoker, senior minister at the host church, and Victoria Robb Powers, senior associate pastor at University Park United Methodist Church in Dallas—offered devotional reflections to start each session.

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Jay Pritchard
Update on ministries at the border

Because of your help, here are some things happening on the border, and some ways you still can pitch in.

  • Iglesia Bautista West Brownsville was able to update and improve their outdoor showers. IB West Brownsville is one of Brownsville's best refugee shelters. Pastor Carlos Navarro specifically credits Fellowship Southwest for these improvements.

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Jay Pritchard
Fellowship Southwest distributes more than $10,000 for immigrant relief

Refugees all along the Mexico-U.S. border feel the love of Jesus, thanks to you. 

This week, Fellowship Southwest sent more than $10,000 in aid to six ministries serving immigrants from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. FSW’s Immigrant Relief Ministry supports border congregations that provide food, shelter and gospel hope to refugees crowded on their doorsteps.

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Jay Pritchard
Shoes for refugees

This photo is from our trip to Piedras Negras, Mexico. A mother washed the shoes her children wore on their journey from Central America and hung them to dry so they can be worn again. We saw men wearing too-small women's flip flops. We saw women with blistered feet wearing shoes unfit for walking. And we saw many barefooted children.

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Jay Pritchard
Ministering to “four types of refugees”

Lorenzo Ortiz, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Buen Samaritano in Laredo, Texas, is one of Fellowship Southwest’s close partners in ministry to refugees on the border. 

Pastor Lorenzo lost his previous church when the congregation he pastored grew weary of serving immigrants in their community. But he and his wife, Oralia, felt called by God to continue. So, they fed more than 6,000 refugees out of their Laredo home across three months. Fellowship Southwest, which already was working with them, continued its support. And Samaritan’s Purse also came alongside to keep the ministry going.

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Jay Pritchard
Te presento a quienes conocí en la frontera

Saludos desde la frontera entre Estados Unidos y México, donde un equipo de Fellowship Southwest ha cruzado de lado a lado esta semana conociendo tanto a los refugiados como a quienes les sirven. Hemos escuchado sus historias; reflexionado, soñado y orado juntos sobre la mejor manera de apoyarles. 

Nuestros corazones están llenos de dolor, gloria y gratitud mientras procesamos todo lo que hemos visto y oído. Nos apenamos por los refugiados, por la violencia y el sufrimiento que los llevó a huir de sus países de origen. Nos hemos deleitado en la gloria de verdaderos santos que se sacrifican para ministrarles en el nombre de Jesús, día tras día, semana tras semana, mes tras mes. Y estamos agradecidos por cómo Dios está trabajando incluso a través de esta horrible crisis para acercar a gente a experimentar la fe y el amor de Jesús.

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Jay Pritchard
Meet the people we met on the border

Greetings from the U.S.-Mexico border, where a Fellowship Southwest team has spent part of this week crossing back and forth—meeting the people, both the refugees and those who serve them; listening to their stories; and thinking and dreaming and praying about how we can help them. 

Our hearts are full of grief, glory and gratitude as we process all we have seen and heard. We grieve for the refugees—for the violence and suffering that prompted them to flee their homelands. We have basked in the glory of saints who sacrifice to minister to them in Jesus’ name, day after week after month. And we are grateful for how God is working even through this horrible crisis to bring people to faith by experiencing the love of Jesus.

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Jay Pritchard
Anchored Love Ministries shares Christ with refugees on the Mexico-U.S. border

The love of Jesus anchored a weekend mission project that served immigrant refugees on the Mexico-U.S. border Aug. 9-10. Anchored Love Ministries, founded in 2003 to reach and minister to women and their families, particularly Hispanics, sponsored the event. Last weekend marked Anchored Love Ministries' third project in the Rio Grande Valley, noted Executive Director Sandra Dubon Cisneros. Previous trips took the group to Guatemala, Peru, Spain, Mexico, North Carolina, elsewhere in Texas, and other parts of the United States.

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Jay Pritchard