February 22, 2020
Border Ministries Updates
In This Edition:
-On Love and Loving Your Immigrant Neighbor
-JFON Update
-Pan de Vida Update
-Suggested Resources for Lent and Other Reading
On Love and Loving
Your Immigrant Neighbor
Across the dining room table from where I sit with my computer is a vase filled with flowers starting to wilt. A heart shaped balloon floats in the living room, a little less inflated than it was when I received it last Friday, Valentine’s Day.

Each year we are bombarded with aisles full of decorations and candy, advertisements on how to express our love for our significant others, and pressure to be in a romantic relationship if we are not.

Yet showing love for one another is not just reserved for one day, or a set of holidays throughout the year.

Love is a choice we make every single day—be it love for spouses, children, siblings, or friends.

Relationships take work.

Christians are not called to only be in relationship with family and friends, but also with neighbors and strangers.

Romans 12 says “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor” (v. 10-11) and “Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers” (v. 13).

In the coming months, this newsletter will include more opportunities to love and offer hospitality to both our immigrant neighbors at the border and those in your local communities. It will include more educational resources around immigration issues and advocacy opportunities.

I invite you to live into loving your immigrant neighbors more and more each day. You can do this by learning more about immigration issues and by building your own relationships with immigrants and non-profits that serve them. 

-Rev. Nicole Crouch, Director of Border Ministries
JFON Update
The work to establish a Justice For Our Neighbors (JFON) site in the El Paso District continues. JFON El Paso seeks to serve West Texas and Southern New Mexico by providing high-quality legal aid for immigrants, including asylum seekers and refugees.

Given the deep need for more immigration attorneys along the border, JFON El Paso seeks to be a part of the remedy and focus on asylum seekers who are either waiting in Mexico or in a detention center to process their asylum applications.

JFON El Paso is currently fundraising and hopes to open this summer with an Attorney and Executive Director. To support this effort, you can click on the link below and donate through Trinity-First's online donation portal and type in "JFON" in the notes

Checks may also be sent directly to Trinity-First UMC, at 801 N. Mesa St., El Paso, TX 79902 with JFON in the memo line.

JFON is a national immigration ministry of the UMC. It has 18 sites across the US (shown on the map below).
Learn more at https://njfon.org/
Image Source: National JFON
Pan de Vida Shelter Update
Thank you to all who donated to El Calvario to provide hot water heaters for Pan de Vida! The shelter has been able to purchase them and will soon start the necessary construction to install them.

El Calvario has continued to support the Pan de Vida Migrant Shelter in Juarez, Mexico. In addition to weekly food provisions, volunteers offer activities for children and adults. While children focus on reading, learning some English, and doing crafts, volunteers work with adults to teach them relaxation techniques to cope with their high stress levels, including hand reflexology and tai chi.

For more information, please contact Triny Rivera, 575-650-2938 or trinyrivera@yahoo.com.
Books and Other Resources

A God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong
by Karen Gonzalez

National United Methodist Women Recommendation:
Immigration and the Bible: A Guide for Radical Welcome
by Joan M. Maruskin
Leader's Guide: unitedmethodistwomen.org/immigrationstudy

General Board of Church & Society: Immigration
Faith and Facts Card (below)

Border Ministries is an emerging conference wide ministry to love our neighbors by both supporting immigration ministries at the border and immigrant communities throughout the NM Annual Conference.
For more information, please contact Rev. Nicole Crouch,
Director of Border and Missional Ministries,
at deacon.ncrouch@gmail.com or 571-512-2641.
For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment,
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Galatians 5:14