Monday, December 3, 2018

Thoughts on the Migrant Caravan - from our November Newsletter

The migrant caravan trying to cross the border into the U.S. is headline news. Because we live in Honduras, we’re being asked regularly for the facts: How bad are things in Honduras, really? Are these people fleeing for their lives? Are they just coming up for jobs? Is it true that they are gang members? Is this all a political stunt?

Here are a few thoughts on this topic:
  • Yes, Honduras has the reputation of being a violent and dangerous country. There are places (mostly in the cities) and activities that are best avoided, as is the case in many U.S. cities. Honduras has not recently become more dangerous than it was in the past – in fact, crime statistics have been improving significantly in Honduras in recent years.
  • Absolutely, many Hondurans go to the U.S. looking for jobs, opportunities, and a better life; unemployment is rampant here. Also, some Hondurans find themselves in situations where they feel the need to run from dangers which threaten their lives. In the migrant caravan there are certainly individuals from each of these groups.
  • Central America has a gigantic problem with gangs, and gangs take advantage of the vulnerable. It seems highly probably - almost certain - that there are gang members in the caravan, mixed in with non-gang members.
  • Millions of Hondurans dream of going to live in the U.S., but most cannot afford the cost of the trip. If someone offered them the chance to go up without paying, offering them help and support and some protection . . . well, it would be very easy to round up a large crowd of eager participants. This does appear to be how the caravan began. We don’t know who instigated this or why, however.
How can the caravan situation be resolved?

We don’t know the answer to the question of how the U.S. should deal with this migrant caravan at our border – this really is the kind of problem that our elected leaders need to resolve in the best interest of the country, as that is their job. We pray that their decisions will be both wise and merciful.

Is there anything we can do about this, as individuals, families, and churches?

The trip to the U.S. border is incredibly dangerous - migrants are regularly murdered, raped, seriously injured, or they simply disappear. Rather than encouraging Hondurans to leave their homes and make such a horrific journey, we absolutely believe that the best course of action is to help improve the lives of Hondurans inside Honduras.

As you know, we’re already working on that! While our central focus remains helping Honduran pastors reach the lost in the villages of western Honduras, through our combined ministries we are also helping to improve the lives of the people who live in those pastors’ communities. Our feeding centers and sponsorship programs, run by the local pastors as outreaches to their communities, are fighting the problems of chronic malnutrition and lack of education. Through partnerships with local governments, we are improving water systems and building bridges.

Watch this video, to learn more about how the Manna4Lempira Sponsorship Program is making a difference!

These programs are making a difference! In several of the communities where we work, the public schools are currently building additional classrooms and hiring more teachers, because the number of local children who are able to attend school is increasing so rapidly. These are children who previously were growing up without this opportunity - but now they are able to receive an education because your donations make it possible! Educating these children now will absolutely transform the future for everyone in these communities - this is a long-term, hope-giving solution!

Won’t you help us, as we work to alleviate the root problems which cause Hondurans to leave their beautiful country? We do all of this in the name and for the cause of Christ.

 - posted by Trish

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