Ministry on the Borderline

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by Mayra Picos-Lee 

I am in Tijuana, Mexico, this week with Palmer Seminary students for our “Ministry on the Borderline” travel course, which focuses on immigration and the systems that propel undocumented immigration into the US (economic, social, etc.). We are being hosted by Raymond Schellinger, an American Baptist Church USA missionary who lives in Tijuana, and staying at Deborah’s House, a shelter for women and children victims of domestic violence. The students are learning about the systemic nature of violence in family, communities, and countries at large (especially in the relationship between the USA-Mexico as it is symbolized by the border fence).

Please pray for us so we can continue to be open to God’s transforming power in our lives and ministries. Pray, too, for the people in Tijuana who so graciously have opened their hearts and lives to us to make us feel welcome and loved!

We visited both sides of the USA-Mexico border fence this week to learn about immigration and the US government’s strategies to deter undocumented immigrants from entering the country. Although US Border Patrol officers tried to show a humane perspective on their dealings with undocumented immigrants and made a case for the sophisticated infrastructure that characterizes the border fence at the San Diego sector, the sight of a secondary fence (which looks more like a wall) is inhumane and over time has certainly changed both the lives and the relationships of those in the Tijuana-San Diego community.

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