Ministry with Migrants


Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

What you can do

Pray
Pray for compassion by our elected leaders. Pray for families that are separated, for those appearing before judges to seek asylum, to those on the journey, to the lawyers and volunteers who are supporting them. Pray that we might have compassion

Support
UMCOR
Global Migration Advance
National Justice For Our Neighbors

Read the stories
United Methodist News has reported on the work of the church on both sides of the U.S. and Mexico border. Find all stories listed below.

Radical hospitality, rooted in our biblical understanding of God’s abundant love and provision, helps us to imagine a world of plenty, rather than scarcity, and a world of welcome, rather than fear.

An unprecedented 70.8 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 25.9 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency.

In its Social Principles, The United Methodist Church recognizes all people, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God and opposes policies that separate family members from each other.

Resource inequality and the unequal development of nations resulting from human-made and natural disasters have caused massive displacement and forced migration. The United Methodist Church says, “In order to provide basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, education, health care, and other necessities, ways must be found to share more equitably the resources of the world.” (Social Principles, ¶163.E)

“Global migration as a factor in the quest for justice is a major priority of The United Methodist Church as a denomination that is global in vision, mission and ministries. This concern is rooted in both a biblical mandate for justice and a commitment to the future of the church.” (Book of Resolutions, 6028)

United Methodist deaconess Cindy Johnson regularly visits with migrants living in a tent camp in Matamoros, Mexico, while they seek asylum in the United States. Fear of the coronavirus has stopped people like Johnson from being able to minister to them face-to-face. Photo courtesy of Cindy Johnson. 

Surviving tribulations part of school’s history

Lydia Patterson is struggling with COVID-19 and a closed border, but the president of the United Methodist school said, “We have seen worse.”
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United Methodists are helping but are hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, which separates them from face-to-face interaction with migrants.   

Pandemic threatening ministry with migrants

United Methodists are helping but are hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, which separates them from face-to-face interaction with migrants.  
Read more
Jesús, a migrant from Michoacán state in Western Mexico, tries to shield his 1-year-old daughter, Kataleya, from a cold drizzle falling at the tent encampment where they are living at the foot of the Paso del Norte Bridge in Juárez, Mexico. The family, who fled their home due to street violence, has been living in the makeshift camp just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, for two months while waiting their turn to seek asylum in the U.S. Michoacán is among five states in Mexico given the highest-risk “do not travel” warning by the U.S. State Department. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News. 

Lydia Patterson Institute is a dream maker for young students

The United Methodist college-preparatory school is supported by the South Central Jurisdiction and many local churches and individuals provide scholarships.  
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Jesús, a migrant from Michoacán state in Western Mexico, tries to shield his 1-year-old daughter, Kataleya, from a cold drizzle falling at the tent encampment where they are living at the foot of the Paso del Norte Bridge in Juárez, Mexico. Michoacán is among five states in Mexico given the highest-risk “do not travel” warning by the U.S. State Department. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.  

Summit leads United Methodists to heart of border woes

The United Methodist Immigration Task Force traveled to El Paso, Las Cruces, and Juárez to see effects of immigration policy that is keeping migrants stuck in Mexico.
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People living on the street, many of them migrants, pray during a worship service and dinner provided by El Divino Redentor Methodist Church at Mariachi Plaza in Mexicali, Mexico. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News. 

Paths collide for immigrants, border agents

Complex issues are challenging people on all sides of the immigration debate.
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Faith communities provide respite, care for immigrants

Thousands of immigrants flowing into U.S. find temporary rest and respect with faith communities in Texas border towns.
Read more

Struggling families find temporary shelter in small tents

Stories of pain and fear are common for immigrants landing on streets of Tijuana. 
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Jose Antonio Marchas Novela recounts the threats of violence that caused him to flee Mexico with his wife, Irlanda Lizbeth Jimenez Rodriguez, and their 1-year-old son, Jose Antonio. The family took shelter at the Christ United Methodist Ministry Center in San Diego while seeking asylum. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News. 

Church finds new life as immigrant welcoming center

Christ Ministry Center has offered shelter to more than 6,000 immigrants from around the world since 2016.
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God’s grace flows freely over wall between nations

The Methodist Church of Mexico and The United Methodist Church in the U.S. share communion each Sunday on beach divided by a border wall.
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The Rev. Alcibiades Negret is superintendent of the Mayabeque district of the Methodist Church in Cuba. He pastors a church in his home in San José de las Lajas. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS. 

Love of Christ extends to immigrants living on street

Christians offering food for body and soul to immigrants living in deplorable conditions.
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Faith leaders struggle to bring message of hope to migrants

More than 300 faith leaders — including United Methodists — walked to the border wall in San Diego to bring blessing to people in Tijuana. 
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Christmas story crosses all borders

Children enjoy a Christmas party at a shelter for migrants, and the Las Posadas tradition demonstrates border walls cannot contain the story of Christ's birth. 
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Churches learn to love migrants as family

Methodist churches in Mexico find offering food and compassion to migrants is transformative, pastors say.
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United Methodists respond to migrants at the border

The United Methodist Immigration Task Force saw United Methodists in action caring for migrants from around the world seeking asylum at border towns in Texas.
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