They are surging as a human tsunami, waves of undocumented children crossing the U.S. border from Central America. Many are fleeing drug-fueled gang wars in El Salvador and Honduras and a shocking number are unescorted by adults. Since October of last year, over 50,000 children have been taken into custody, nearly twice the number from 2013 and 10 times from 2009.
Of course, the national debate has heated up like a summer Texas day and angry fingers on both sides of the political aisle are jabbing the air in blame. Meanwhile, unsung heroes are taking care of some of these kids and sharing the Gospel. Pastor Dan Trevino, for one. A pastor at Baptist Temple in San Antonio, TX, Trevino has been holding services for hundreds of kids at a time. “When I asked them to turn in their Bibles to the scripture that I was going to read…you can hear the rustling of pages,” Trevino reported. He estimates that more than 2,000 youth and children have professed Christ.
“God-opportunities” don’t usually come to our doorstep wrapped in a pretty package. Often they arrive in the form of a sick, dirty child, a hungry homeless man, a desperate single mom, a soul-wounded prisoner. “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:35-36, 40 NET Bible).
May we have eyes like Pastor Trevino to recognize these opportunities when they arrive — and respond to them as if Jesus Himself had come to us.