We’ve been on the US-Mexico border, listening, learning, asking, waiting, and planning for months now. We know there are people running from violence, fleeing for their lives, looking for safety and security—just like there are in Iraq. Just like in Syria.
We know because we’ve met them, we’ve sat with them in makeshift displacement camps. In churches and gymnasiums in El Paso, Texas.
We’ve sat with them on curbs outside dilapidated baseball stadiums in Tijuana, Mexico.
We’ve opened our ears—and our hearts—to their stories in shelters in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, that are filled to capacity with families on the run.
Legal asylum seekers, fleeing for their lives.
But we also know that even just saying the word “border” complicates things. But you’ve never let complicated stop you before.
There are families here on the border facing the same fate as those we serve every day in other parts of the world. Violence is unmaking their reality.
We’ve met mothers who fled after their children were assaulted by gangs, young men who fled the threat of forced participation in wars, women who ran after their sons were kidnapped right out from under their feet, fathers looking for a safer place to raise young children.
Most of the people we meet have one idea in mind: put as much distance between violence and their families as possible.
But even that is harder than you might think.
During the journey, one in six women and girls will be assaulted. Many will drain their entire savings just for a chance at safety. They are vulnerable to thieves who would take what little they have, coyotes (human smugglers) who would exploit them, and governments who would use them as pawns to score political points. Some even die.
It makes us ask: how bad must the violence be that such a journey is a better alternative?
But we can love anyway. We can meet them on their journey. We can show up for them while they are running for their lives.
We are rushing 10,000 emergency backpacks with essential supplies for asylum seekers who’ve arrived with almost nothing. We’re partnering with our local friends who’ve been serving these families for months. Their resources are critically low, and more families are coming each day, hoping desperately for safety.
But we can’t do it alone.
It costs about $40 to provide a backpack filled with essential supplies for one refugee asylum seeker. We’re asking you to donate to meet these families at their most vulnerable point—or to gather your friends or family together, and assemble your own backpacks for families in need. We’ll provide a complete list of supplies, as well as more information about our friends who are running for their lives.
Our goal is to deliver 10,000 backpacks to refugee asylum seekers by the end of June. Will you help us?
You are likely to be misunderstood by some—mislabeled, mischaracterized. Some may see an ulterior motive in your decision to show up. Others we’ll say you’re working to prove this side or that side—to keep the border dangerously open or callously closed.
But when they get the heart of what you’re doing, they will only find love.