“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
– Matthew 25:40
When Gustavo Banda opened his small church in a poor neighbourhood in Mexico, little did he know that it would become a refuge for tens of thousands of migrants on transit to the USA.
Six miles west of Tijuana, and a short distance from the U.S.-Mexico border, lies one of the city’s poorest neighbourhoods. There are no paved roads, no sewage system. The hillside is strewn with garbage and crime is rampant. “When we moved here there were only people with a lot of needs,” pastor Gustavo Banda recalled. In 2011, he and his wife, Zaida Guillén, moved to Cañón de Alacrán, or Scorpion’s Canyon, after hearing from the Lord in a dream. “It was a clear mandate from God to move here even though there was absolutely nothing in this place.”
‘We knew God was going to do something special, but nobody had a clue about what was really going to happen’
In 2016, the church’s focus drastically changed when thousands of Haitians, escaping poverty and back-to-back natural disasters, began to carve a dangerous 7,000-mile path through Latin America to the U.S. Many landed on the church’s doorsteps, less than 30 minutes from the San Ysidro border. “Within months, 22,000 Haitians had arrived in the city of Tijuana.” The church became a place of refuge. “I did not know, nor did I ever imagine, that there would be so many people in the church.”
Since then, Banda provided a refuge to migrants from all parts of the world. “It started with migrants coming from Haiti, Africa, Pakistan, and the Middle East. Today, we mainly have people from El Salvador, Guatemala, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Colombia, and some from Mexico. We estimate about 35,000 people have come through the church. We feed them 3 times a day. We try to help them with all their needs. At nighttime, the entire church becomes one big giant dorm where everyone sets up their beds on the floor.”
‘We feed them, are family to them, baptise them, and send them on’
Church volunteers run a school for the children, oversee computer training and provide other skills that will help migrants prepare for their new life in America. Area churches and NGOs also pitch in with food and other essential supplies. “The most important thing we try to provide to the migrants is hope and to be a family to them,” Banda said. “We have only little time with them, so I want them to know as much as they can about Jesus, baptise them, and send them on.”
Banda once had a desire to be a missionary to Haiti, but Haiti came to him. And after Haiti came, all the other nations followed.
Source: George Thomas, CBN
Joel News International # 1242, January 14, 2022
GENERAL BLOGS INDEX
BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)
BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)
BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)
BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)
BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)
BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)
BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)
BACK TO MAIN PAGE
FREE SUBSCRIPTION: for new Blogs & free offers
Free PDF books on the Main Page
Share good news – Share this and any page freely
Over 100,000 Renewal Journal views annually.
Mexico: Thousands of migrants meet Jesus at the border
Renewal Journal – renewaljournal.com. Used with permission.