This dispatch is a continuation of our first Border Dispatch and includes updates from reformers Hugo and Eunice Moya (featured in Nations Journal Volume 4.) The Moyas are currently serving migrant detainees on the Texas-Mexico border, where they have ministered to immigrant families for twenty-five years. Thank you for standing with reformers in the world’s most difficult places.
Updates from the epicenter
Hugo and Eunice live in Pharr, Texas, across the border from Reynosa, Mexico—a city marred by cartel violence. Their house church, Iglesia Misionera Cristo Vive, is located minutes away 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. In recent months the Reynosa/McAllen crossing has been called “the epicenter of the immigration crisis.”
For over two decades the Moyas 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 ministering to immigrants—this time on the front lines. They shared the following updates with Nations:
Last week the Moyas visited a Catholic immigrant shelter in San Benito, Texas. The San Benito migrant shelter is currently home to families who received asylum in the United States but have nowhere to go. Without family, money, or connections in the country, they are at a loss. Hugo and Eunice brought Bibles, water, new clothes, and diapers—a huge need across shelters—for the families.
Along with migrants and refugees from South America, Central America, and Mexico, the U.S. border has also seen a recent influx of African refugees. At the San Benito shelter Hugo met Deli, a woman who fled Africa and received asylum in the United States. Deli was raped shortly before leaving her home country and discovered she was pregnant while waiting to cross the Tijuana border. After crossing she was sent to South Texas. Without family in the States, Deli doesn’t know when she’ll leave the shelter or where she will go.
After San Benito the Moyas visited the Mexican side of the border near their home in Pharr, where families camp out and wait for an appointment to speak with a border patrol agent. These parents and their children have no choice but to remain in this no-man’s-land despite heavy rain, flooding, and the stifling South Texas heat. Rain or shine, immigrants are suffering through their journey in hopes of finding refuge.
Thanks to you, the Moyas have raised $8,000 for their border ministry. Half of the funds have already gone to purchasing Spanish and English Bibles, which will be distributed in migrant shelters across the Midwest. The other half will be used to provide ongoing ministry support as well as materials for immigrants and refugees including diapers, wipes, blankets, food, and clothing.
If you’d still like to give, you can donate to the campaign here. Families waiting at the border continue to need:
- Pedialyte for re-hydration
- Double AA batteries
- Small toys for children
- Clothes for boys (8, 11, 12) and girls (5, 7, 13)
Donating is one way to care for the vulnerable, but it’s not the only way. Now more than ever, compassion and empathy are needed in conversations and action around immigration. The church is poised to embody the love of Jesus at the border during this time of crisis. Our friends at Border Perspective put together this Border & Immigration Resource Guide to equip and mobilize churches and their congregations. This guide is free and contains recommended books, podcasts, devotionals, and videos for those looking to learn more about the border and a Gospel-centered approach to immigration. Download it here, and share with your friends, family, and church community!