Steven Eng, advocacy director of the National Association of Evangelicals, works with NAE leaders, constituents and others to help advance the principles of the NAE document, “For the Health of the Nation,” as they use their God-given influence to bless our nation. Eng served for three decades as an ordained evangelical pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church. He received a degree in political science from St. Olaf College and a M.Div. degree from North Park Theological Seminary.
With so many people and needs presenting themselves at our border, what are simple ways evangelicals can respond?
The first way to respond is to go and see for yourselves the issues people face. Abara Borderland Frontiers in El Paso is one of many organizations putting together trips to the border. Other evangelical organizations include Border Perspective, who hosts service learning group trips and individual border journey justice trips, and Practice Mercy Foundation located farther south in Mc Allen, Texas and in Reynosa, Mexico, where the sense of crisis especially acute.
Secondly, educate yourself on issues at the border. All the organizations listed above have resources on their websites, as does the Evangelical Immigration Table, the National Immigration Forum, and the National Association of Evangelicals.
Thirdly, engage with immigrants, refugees and asylees in your own community. Contact local resettlement agencies, such as World Relief, to find ways you can give and serve to those who have more recently arrived in the United States, or search “refugee resettlement agencies near me” to find other agencies working with immigrants in your area. There are likely immigrant congregations in your community you can attend, engage and serve, and your denomination or association of churches offer great points of connection as well.
Finally, take a moment to advocate much-needed reforms, such as adopting modern approaches to securing the border and providing secure, orderly and compassionate processing of migrants at the border, as well as providing permanent legal protections and other needed reforms for Dreamers brought to the country as children, for agricultural workers who provide much of our food each day, for Afghanis here under humanitarian parole. You can start by signing up for the NAE’s Advocacy Center, a portal that keeps you up to date on pending legislation in Washington, D.C., while helping you sign statements, contact your members of Congress, and indicate your interest in having the NAE set up a meeting for you and others to meet with your congressional offices.
*This article is part of the Stories from the Border series.