I want to share with you a more detailed report (see below) on how Mercy Chefs is bringing hope to one of the most difficult situations in our nation right now -- our border crisis. Sadly, many good people are caught up in a very intense political crossfire -- our Border Patrol agents who serve "on the wall" for our country every day, and many mothers with young children who are coming to America through the legal channels.
In many ways, we are serving the "least of these" Jesus encouraged us to reach. Will you help? Go here to help sponsor these critical meals for those caught in the crossfire of our border crisis, and see below for my detailed report.
P.S. We need help! In the past few weeks, we've served thousands of meals in McAllen. This outreach wasn't in our budget, but I felt I had to respond when we were called to help as the border crisis escalated this year. Please help as you can. Go here:
REPORT ON MERCY CHEFS OUTREACH IN McALLEN, TEXAS
There is a humanitarian crisis at our U.S. border. Caught in the crossfire are mothers and their children who are trying to enter our country legally and are facing very harsh conditions.
Mercy Chefs is partnering with a respite station in McAllen, Texas, that is located across the street from a bus stop. Our friends in McAllen called us asking for help. This community has suffered so much in recent years. Their storehouse is empty, but their commitment to love one another is just as strong as ever.
+ + Mothers and their children who need help
As new arrivals come through the immigration process, there is a team there to welcome them, help them with paperwork, provide them with a few basic supplies, offer them a shower and clean clothing, and give them something to eat before they are put on a bus to meet their sponsors elsewhere in the United States. Many may find themselves on the bus for more than a day before reaching their final destinations. These are mothers with children. These are families who have walked across the desert in desperate search of a better life.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me...‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’" -Matthew 25:35,40
Those we are serving are entering the United States through official processing centers and documented check points. Many of these folks have been living in migrant camps on the Mexican side of the border for years, enduring horrendous conditions as they wait for the opportunity to pursue the American dream.
+ +Meeting the needs... especially kids who crave fruit!
The respite center is quite crowded, but we have seen the undermanned staff go to incredible lengths to provide dignity to those who are there. In one instance, a mother had given birth just the day before. The staff blocked off an entire room to make her comfortable and took care of every need she had while in the center.
...You shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in the same year and lay it up within your towns, and...the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do." -Deuteronomy 14:28-29
In our meal service, the chef team has made several adjustments to ensure that the meals we provide are those that will be best enjoyed by those in the center. This has included a great emphasis on flavorful rice and a decreased emphasis on protein. However, the biggest adjustment the team has made is to meet the incredible demand for fruit. The children especially cannot get enough of whatever fruit we happen to bring and will often line up after the meal service to get plates of nothing but fruit. It has been our team's great joy to ensure that we have pallets of fresh fruit ready for the kids.
+ + Serving Border Patrol Agents
We have also had the privilege of serving hundreds of meals to Border Patrol units who are serving on the very front lines of our nation's border crisis. These Agents are caught in a political crossfire right now as the demands on their jobs continue to increase by the day. Border Patrol supervisors served as volunteers in helping to distribute meals to the agents.
This is what we do at Mercy Chefs -- whenever and wherever a critical need arises, we respond and say, "help is on the way!"
The situation here is quite tense. The politics of Washington, D.C., is spilling over to these border communities. There are often protests here at the border. Much of the political tension has centered on unaccompanied minors. There are no unaccompanied minors at the facility where we are serving. Again, we mostly see mothers with their children. These families are so grateful for the meals we are providing. It's as if we are serving hope and human dignity with each meal.
Mercy Chefs does not engage in politics. We make no attempts to influence border policies or immigration laws. That is not our mission. We feed people. We love all, and we serve all. We shine the light of hope into the shadow of fear. Mercy Chefs is deploying to McAllen, Texas to bring love, light, hope, and hot meals to people in need.