Concerning the detainment of migrant families and individuals on the border: We stand with vulnerable people and those who transcend politics to embody the love of God. Nations believes that all political solutions fall short in some capacity, and that the true solution to injustice is not ultimately in policy, but in the Gospel. There are reformers living out this Gospel love even now on the U.S.-Mexico border, and we are honored to advocate for them and tell their story.
Tomorrow we will publish a feature on Hugo and Eunice Moya, who run a house church on the Texas-Mexico border. This story appears in Nations Journal Vol. 4, but given current events we felt it was essential to share it here. The Moyas are currently serving migrant detainees in Pharr, TX, where they have ministered to immigrant families for twenty-five years.
You can support the Moyas through their current fundraising campaign, highlighted below. We will also be adding to this dispatch in real time as we receive updates from the Moyas. Thank you for standing with reformers in the world’s most difficult places.
Hugo and Eunice Moya run Iglesia Misionera Cristo Vive, a house church founded by immigrants for immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley. Iglesia Misionera Cristo Vive is located nine minutes from the Reynosa/McAllen border crossing, the U.S. Border Patrol’s busiest station for apprehending and detaining migrants suspected of entering the country illegally. For over two decades they have persisted in the slow and unrecognized work of church building, advocacy, and hospitality.
As the number of migrant detainees at the border grows, Hugo and Eunice continue their work of ministering to immigrants—this time on the front lines. Hugo recently visited families and individuals camped out on the bridge between Reynosa, Mexico and McCallen, Texas. Due to long wait times at the border crossing, these migrants cannot move forward and remain stuck in no-man’s-land. The need for blankets, food, and clothing has skyrocketed following the area’s recent rains and flooding.
Hugo reported not just Mexican and Central American immigrants stuck at the border, but also families who traveled from as far as Venezuela, and a smaller group of Somali Muslim refugees seeking asylum.
“Jesus first came near to a people who were suffering, who had been exiled from the people of Israel,” Hugo says.
“I think that it’s a test that God is giving to the church in this time. How the church postures itself before the stranger, before need, before the person passing through difficult times. … The word of God tells us protect, care for, and help the foreigner who comes into our home. In this case the United States is the home.”
Despite President Trump’s executive order to keep families together at the border, families will still remain in detention and will be shipped around the country until their case is heard and they are deported. In addition, there are still over 2,000 children who remain separated from their parents.
The Moya’s church has joined The Immigration Project—an organization that inspires the Church to love immigrants the way God intended—to raise $8,000 to reach two goals at this time:
First, provide Bibles for immigrants located in detention centers. $4,000 of the $8,000 raised will be used to purchase Bibles in both Spanish and English, to be distributed to the following detention centers:
- Pulaski County Detention Center in Illinois
- Atlanta City Detention Center in Georgia
- Etowah County Detention Center in Alabama
- Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia
- Wakulla County Detention Center in Florida
Second, provide funding for Iglesia Misionera Cristo Vive Church in Pharr, Texas. Iglesia Misionera Cristo Vive Church partners with an immigrant refuge center in McAllen, Texas that houses families who have crossed the border seeking asylum so that parents and children can stay together. Iglesia Misionera Cristo Vive also provides food and blankets for children detained in the San Benito detention center. $4,000 of the $8,000 will be used for toiletries, blankets, pillows, food, and other essentials.
Thank you for standing with the Moyas and those serving migrants on the border. Find the GoFundMe campaign HERE. We will update this dispatch as we receive more news.
All photos by Yonathan Moya.