Special Coverage: Hurricane Katrina

When the waters finally receded from Hurricane Katrina, life looked hopeless. An ugly gray sludge coated everything, mold “bloomed” everywhere. The smell was unbearable and unforgettable.

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In the decade following Aug. 29, 2005, United Methodist News Service made many visits to places wrecked by Katrina. Progress has been made and in 2015, after all the darkness, silver linings have begun to emerge. Churches have been rebuilt and ministries are stronger than before.

Hundreds of thousands of United Methodists took part in that recovery with their hearts, hands and money. Here are their stories of resurrection.

 

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.
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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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