It has been many years since I traveled south of the US border; my last trip was in 1988, on a mission trip to Hidalgo, Mexico. However, in recent years, God has put people in my life who have been border-crossers.
These faithful missionaries have helped me across perceived and real borders that frame my day-to-day existence. A ministry intern whose first language and culture is Korean has helped me to understand that faithful Christian expression does not have to be lived or interpreted through a North American context.
Young adults who are responding to God’s call to ordained and lay ministry help me have confidence about God’s provision for the church in years to come.
These faithful people have willingly crossed the border of my assumptions about who is gifted and ready to lead God’s people into the next generation.
Lifelong friends whose lives are often bordered by systemic racism and sexism willingly and patiently cross borders to open my eyes to the things I am often blind to because it has not been my personal experience.
I confess I have often been blinded, not by light, but by my assumptions that my way of perceiving reality is the best or the only way.
These missionaries to me have been like seeds planted in my life, and I pray that they will continue to yield fruit as they help me experience a broader and deeper faith.
A Prayer adapted from St Oscar Romero:
Everyone who struggles for justice,
everyone who makes just claims in unjust surroundings
is working for God’s reign,
even though not a Christian.
May we, wherever we are,
whoever we are,
may we value everything that is in tune
with the struggle to set up your reign. Amen.
From the NC Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Immigration Alliance
To become educated this week:
Inform your legislators and local public officials about the practical problems families are facing.
To cultivate growth this week:
Host a listening session/forums and invite affected community members to share their stories.
To advocate this week:
Advocate with elected leaders for immigration reform that creates a legal pathway for our immigrant neighbors.
Claire Clyburn is an elder in the North Carolina Conference and serves as the pastor at First UMC: Graham.