Border Ministries

Vision:  Border Ministries is an emerging conference wide ministry to love our immigrant neighbors by both supporting immigration ministries at the border and immigrant communities throughout the NM Annual Conference.

For the latest updates, check out our Border Ministries Newsletters {link} or contact Rev. Nicole Crouch, Director of Border Ministries, deacon.ncrouch@gmail.com.

To subscribe to the Border Ministries Newsletter, fill out the form linked below: https://forms.gle/7jsAbijHjGHNzjuZ6

History: In 2014, there was a surge of unaccompanied minors and families seeking asylum at the US-Mexico border. During that time, a shelter opened up at the then Houchen Community Center to receive families.

In 2018, another surge of asylum seekers occurred, yet this time several churches throughout the southern portion of the NM Conference operated as shelters for asylum seeking families released and given permission by ICE to travel to their families in the United States. Shelters in El Paso, Las Cruces opened and remained open for many months.

Donations and volunteers poured in to assist the families, to provide food, clothing, and a place to sleep until they could take a bus or plane to be reunited with their sponsors.

In late Spring of 2019, the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), or the Remain in Mexico Program, was implemented in the El Paso sector and releases of families slowed drastically as families were sent to Juarez to await their asylum proceedings.

Currently, only one UM shelter remains open and receives few families.

As the asylum seeker population shifted to Mexico, churches sought ways to connect and support them in Juarez. Relationships formed to support the migrants who camped by the bridges, those who stayed at El Buen Samaritano, the Mexican Methodist migrant shelter, and the Pan de Vida shelter.

Others looked to building systems that could help us better respond and be sustainable through the future. One such idea is to open the Borderland Hospitality House at the former Houchen Community Center campus to serve as both a community center and an emergency shelter. Currently, a board has been formed to lead this effort and is working on rehabilitating the facility.

The other effort is to establish a local Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) site in the El Paso area. JFON is a national United Methodist Immigration Ministry, which was originally founded by UMCOR. There are currently 18 sites providing high-quality immigration legal aid to low-income immigrants across the country. We hope the JFON El Paso: Serving West Texas and Southern New Mexico site will open this Summer 2020 to begin offering legal services.

Immigration policy and its effects change rapidly and it is our goal to stay engaged and informed so we may be able to best love our immigrant brothers and sisters in Christ.

To support any of these efforts, please contact Rev. Nicole Crouch, Director of Border Ministries at deacon.ncrouch@gmail.com for more information.

El Paso District Immigration Summit:  A UMC Immigration Summit was held on November 21-22, 2019 prior to the UMC Immigration Task Force meeting, hosted by Bishop Bledsoe & the El Paso District.  The summit began at Lydia Patterson Institute and continued to Juarez and Las Cruces.  Read More: Immigration Summit 2019

Strategically Moving Forward: Bishop Border Strategies Letter

Financial Donations: Please send your donations to the NM Conference Office.
Griselda Sandoval, Treasurer, 11816 Lomas Blvd. NE, ABQ 87112.  Churches may use the online payment dropdown menu.

Supplies:

There are basically 3 categories of items:
a. General Donation Items
b. Travel & Personal Packs
c. Snack Packs

They can be assembled personally or at local churches and donated. Otherwise, all of these items, along with the General items can also be separately donated individually or in bulk quantities.

You may also donate to El Calvario UMC online through their Amazon Wish List: Click here.

Volunteers:
If you speak Spanish, have medical training or drive a large multiple passenger vehicle, you are greatly needed.  The people in Las Cruces & El Paso have been serving this need for many months and would love new volunteers to join them in this ministry of welcoming the stranger.  If you do not fit these parameters, your help is also needed to clean, cook, sort supplies, transport people, etc.

El Calvario:  Las Cruces closed their city shelter.  Asylum seekers will be distributed to the various church shelters via coordinated release by Border Patrol.  El Calvario is still in the process of renovating their facility to bring it up to health & fire dept. code, but they will be receiving guests.  To volunteer at El Calvario in Las Cruces, contact Susana Torres, Volunteer Coordinator and Admin Officer, at 575-524-1230 or zuziettorres@gmail.com.

Newsletter Archive
Feb. 22, 2020
Jan. 31, 2020
Jan. 18, 2020
Jan. 23, 2020
Dec. 14, 2019