The two adult sisters risked their lives in a months-long journey from Cameroon in Central Africa to Tijuana, Mexico. Southern Baptist pastor Marshal Ausberry was surprised to see them at the Southern U.S. border seeking asylum in America.
“It’s just not people from Central America and South America that are coming,” Ausberry, first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, told Baptist Press following his trip last week to the border. “There are people from Africa and Haiti that have migrated to Mexico in attempts to come through the border to the United States.”
Ausberry met the immigrants at a Baptist church in Mexico as he was on a fact-finding mission on border ministry with Todd Unzicker, an associate pastor at The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C. The Christian sisters fled persecution in Cameroon.
“That was just one story, and there are thousands of those kinds of stories,” said Ausberry, senior pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Fairfax Station, Va. “I kind of see it as a modern-day diaspora, that God is shifting the population around for His purposes. When people are willing to endure such great hardships to come to the United States from Mexico for their personal safety, it just moves your heart.
“We don’t get into the politics of it, but as believers in Christ Jesus, we’re burdened to do that basic level of care,” Ausberry told BP. “We still need to show them that human dignity of food, clothing and shelter, that care … as they go through the political process of getting asylum and access to the United States and Mexico.”
SBC President and The Summit Church senior pastor J.D. Greear asked Ausberry, Unzicker and SBC second vice president Noe Garcia to make the trip, but Garcia was unable to make the trip and needed to remain home where he pastors North Phoenix Baptist Church.
July 16-18 in Tijuana, Ausberry and Unzicker met with leaders of the National Baptist Convention of Mexico, Baptist pastors, Southern Baptist pastors from California and Southern Baptist workers in Mexico to learn about ministry to those caught in the crisis in the border.
“As Pastor J.D. says, most of us are not called or competent to make policy decisions on the border, but we are commanded by Jesus to love our neighbors and those who are hurting,” Unzicker told BP. “And this, what is a crisis, I think could actually be an absolute win for the Kingdom.
“Nobody could doubt that God is moving the nations all around the globe right now, in ways that history has not seen before,” Unzicker said. “We were able to go and share the Gospel with people who literally had nothing.”
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Source: Baptist Press