My husband made a quick trip to Mexico City last week. As he flew over the city, he had a good view of the racetrack, where the migrant caravan is staying. He’s not awed by much, but even he said, “that’s a LOT of people.”
Whatever your opinion or consiracy theory about this migrant caravan might be, I’m not here to argue with you. You’re entitled to your opinion. To be honest, I’m not even really sure what my opinion is on the subject.
But I read one comment about the migrant caravan last week that took my breath away. “After the election, this won’t matter anymore.” Of course, this person was discussing their favorite conspiracy theory. But how does this not matter? There are at least four thousand people risking everything to walk to the US.
They matter. Each and every person in that caravan matters.
The election is over. These people are still walking. Whatever their situation, they have all decided that taking this very risky journey is better than staying at home. Surely, they realize they may die. But apparently that’s better than staying in Honduras.
Now, for you and me there seems to be very little we can do about this situation, whatever our personal opinions may be. But for those of us who call ourselves Christian, we are called to love our neighbors. For those who might say, “But they’re Hondurans–they’re not my neighbors!” Jesus gave us the parable of the Good Samaritan in a very similar situation. If Jesus thought that his Jewish neighbors should love the Samaritans, I’m pretty sure he thinks that gringos should love Hondurans–whatever one’s political opinion may be.
He doesn’t really mince words on that subject.
What Can I Do?
What would loving the people in the migrant caravan even look like?
As they walk through Mexico, they’re in need of food, clothing, shoes, medicine, and shelter. Many groups throughout Mexico are already collecting and donating (below is a list of groups and links). My city has a migrant shelter, so if anyone would like me to make a donation for them, I’ll have a donate button through paypal set up below, and I’ll make sure that every cent sent to me goes to Saltillo’s Casa del Migrante. (If someone would rather I buy toiletries, food, or shoes to donate, let me know and I’ll send you copies of the receipts and photos.) Whether the migrant caravan goes through my city or not, those donations will help other migrants in similar situations.
Another solid–and lasting–way to work for change in this situation is to advocate for gun control in the US. Yes, there are many, many reasons why the situation is so bad in Honduras, and a lot of those reasons have nothing to do with us. However, a huge reason why people are fleeing Honduras right now is that organized crime has taken over. Those who have a decent job (or any job) are targeted and extorted. The cartels have way more resouces than the government, so they’re better armed than the Honduran military.
Where do they get those guns? The US.
As long as anybody can walk into any gun show or WalMart in the US and buy just about whatever kind of weapon they want, this kind of insecurity will happen. We’re not just endangering ourselves, but the rest of the world, too.
So if you don’t like the idea of thousands of people heading the US, seeking refuge, advocate for sensible gun control laws (and the enforcement of those laws).
No Fear In Love
There’s no telling how this situation will end. At best, we may wind up with refugee camps on the border while applicants’ asylum requests are processed.
At worst, it may be a massacre.
Pray that this ends well. But “thoughts and prayers” haven’t ended school shootings, and thoughts and prayers won’t necessarily bring this situation to a successful conclusion–whatever that might be. Let’s add some action to our prayers.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear . . . the one who fears is not perfected in love.”
1 John 4:18
We may not be perfected in love yet. But let’s push toward that goal.
We are entitled to any opinion on this subject. But our response should always be love.
Other Ideas and Further Resources
Does anyone else have any other concrete ideas about what it would look like to love our Honduran neighbors? I’m all ears! Comment below.
Need more reading?
- Doctors Without Borders published an excellent article here.
- If you can read in Spanish, this is more specific to the Migrant Caravan.
- Sojourners also summarizes the situation from a Christian perspective here.