Faith Leaders on Both Sides of U.S.-Mexico Border Pray for Immigrant Children

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Faith leaders from mainline Protestant, Catholic and Jewish traditions formed facing semi-circles on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border Aug. 29 for a prayer vigil organized by missionaries and the head of American Baptist Churches USA.

Roy Medley, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA, and Jim Winkler, general secretary of the National Council of Churches, led the prayer vigil and called on all faith communities to show welcome to the children seeking refuge as they flee gang violence and life threatening circumstances in Latin America.

“We come here as people of faith, confident that God hears, and that love knows no borders,” Medley told worshippers on both sides of the fence that runs through Friendship Circle at the border between Tijuana and San Diego. “This fence may prevent us from coming together physically today, but it cannot block the flow of love and of justice that is God’s will.”

Medley described the prayer gathering as “a prophetic action in itself” to people with power to affect the plight of children who are fleeing from death to life, including those on the U.S. side of the border who “are not finding a way.”

“So we come today with hearts that are burdened, asking that God would increase the capacity of our hearts to love and receive,” Medley said, “that God would place within the body politic of our nation a will to do that which is right by these children.”

The American Baptist leader described a “bond of people of faith in both sides of the border” who remain committed to praying, working and petitioning together “until the circumstances that force these children out of their homes and their countries” and “until the circumstances that prevent their being received and welcomed in host countries” pass away.

Medley said the prayer vigil began in a conversation he had with Latin American missionaries at a recent world mission conference about how American Baptists could “make a stand for the children who are fleeing violence from Central America.”

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SOURCE: Associated Baptist Press
Bob Allen

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