I Drank from the Same Toilet, Now What? by AChuckAllen
It was an encouraging day yesterday. Thousands of folks joined me on this BLOG and I cannot thank you enough for caring about our Border Crisis. Now comes the hard part. What should we do?
I am convinced that we have become a nation obsessed with awareness and convinced that somebody out there should do something about it. That friends, is how you wind up on the border. What in the world could one person do to make any difference in this humanitarian mess? I thought that I could go to the Southern Border, give you a truthful report about what I really saw and be done. But that would be catagorized as awareness. Yesterday, I received an invitation to speak into this crisis in Washington Wednesday and Thursday. Come on, really?
Life Lesson: Awareness is helpful, but action is eternal.
None of those Border Patrol Agents will really care that I wrote about them and I can guarantee you that none of the immigrant families and children will care about another piece of the awareness puzzle. Yes, I drank from AOC’s notorious “toilet”. By the way, she still claims that it’s true! Again, shame on you, Congresswoman Cortez. Folks, I really do not want to be part of the awareness quagmire. I want to help bring solutions to the problem. Here are a few ideas on how WE can make a difference on the Southern Border.
- Don’t share or assume truth from any source that you do not fully trust regarding the conditions on the border – GOOD or BAD. On any given day, somebody might see a picture of your house when it’s not ideal, or your bathroom may not be spotless. I’ve had Sundays when we were overwhelmed by large crowds and had to adjust and learn. I’ve run events that ran out of food and we had to scramble and make real time difficult decisions. The men and women serving our country deserve great respect and honor. The hundreds of agents that I saw and talked with were incredibly humble and compassionate. They deserve the truth to be reported about them. Take the most recent death of a father and baby. The father only needed to wait about 24 hours longer before crossing, but instead, tried to cross in a location where agents were limited as a result of their new roles as social workers, janitors, childcare experts, kitchen staff, etc. Every role, but what they were trained to do. So, when dad and baby cross and their lives are at risk, who’s fault is it? When I asked about that incident, I saw the brokeness of the agents and the hurt they all felt. Miles and miles from any care and hours and hours without an agent, because the agent is busy with humanitarian efforts, not patroling the borders. Again, shame on “the squad” and the politically motivated on not telling the entire story!
- Support this administration’s Migrant Protection Plan. It’s not anymore perfect than the people in President Trump’s cabinet, but where in place, it’s working.
- Join me as we discover solutions for temporary housing and care on the Mexican side of the border. I belive we will see the State Department move on a package of $250 million this month to help bring some relief to this effort. The key? Compassionate care that churches and NGO’s can help support now and into the future. AND, keep the flow of immigrants to a reasonable and managable process. The Border Patrol has and still is making huge adjustments to be ready for the next wave. This effort is a long-view that can better the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, for decades. It includes temporary housing and social services that will better prepare migrants as they start the process.
- Pray for our Border Patrol. They are the first line of both defense and compassionate care for immigrants. These folks need our prayers for wisdom, discernment and safety.
- Help us retain qualified and trained Border Agents. It takes about $200,000 to train a new Border Patrol Agent, but the turnover rate (wildly increased during the crisis and crush of people desiring a new life in the States) could have a devestation impact on the border. Last Saturday, Operation Border Blessing, which is a part of Paula White Ministries hosted a cookout and festival for several hundred Border Patrol Families. Naturally, they kept it a low-key event. Why, you ask? Because anything that Border Patrol participates in is criticized and picketed. The agents can handle it, I’m sure, but their children should never have to hear that their mom or dad are remotely linked in the cataegory of Nazis and concentration camps. That’s absurd and divisive at best! Let’s celebrate and serve these families. I have days that I’ve counseled one too many people and came home “people exhausted.” I cannot imagine coming home and hearing my work being likened to Nazi Death Camps and that I forced people to drink from toilets. That is so wrong in so many ways. I’d like to have one of these Border Patrol festivals for every regional section of the border and am already starting to engage with plans for an August event in McAllen, TX. I’ll let you know how you can help with this as well.
- Let’s help stock the pantries of the Border Centers. They need diapers, toiletries, bottled water, snacks, baby bottles, formula, baby food, and non-perishable snacks for teens and adults. There will be much more to engage with and I will be in discussions with both the Border Patrol and Convoy of Hope seeking better and more inclusive ways to help. As I get specific plans in place, I’ll be sure to update you via this BLOG and social media.
- We must provide guidance and assistance with new migrants released onto US soil. The fastest way to do that is to help the present churches and organizations that are doing all that they can do. Along The Southwest Border, Shelters and Churches are Scrambling To Help Migrant Families. I am in the process of discovering where and who these locations are. In El Paso, I witnessed a church that has dedicated huge anounts of resources and volunteer manpower to help migrant familes with their next steps, travel, legalities, communications, clothing, and spiritual care. This is not the time to be spiritual snobs regarding who we partner with. If it’s Catholic Charities or non faith-based NGO’s, we still need to jump in and help. If they aren’t from our denomination, who cares? We are talking about people here! I’ll be providing a list of these churches and organizations in the coming weeks. I’ll also be creating a new Faith-Based, Not-for-Profit, 501c3 organization that you can support and get honest feedback about the border conditions along with where every dime is spent, with total transparency.
- We can and we must provide labor skills for the thousands of young adult migrants. I know of a plan, not yet launched, that would allow us to move hundreds of young adult migrants into exhisting housing in Puerto Rico (where language is not a problem). Don’t freak yet. Churches and faith-based organizations, along with compassionate NGO’s can provide food and care, including English as a second language. With governmental assistance, those same groups can help teach the young adults skills that will help them provide for themselves and future familes once permantly placed in the US. All of these efforts can also help Puerto Rico recover from recent hurricanes and financial distress.
- Stay informed, but stay focused. Don’t get distracted by any voice that offers problems without potential solutions. Far too often, those are politically motivated.
That’s just a start! I’ve been asked to join a discussion with a few critical thinkers and leaders in Washington tomorrow and Thursday, so I should have more information for you later this week. My plans are to speak with the folks in the Administration and in other faith and geo-political organizations on Wednesday and return to Atlanta on Thursday evening. I was planning on some vacation time in July, but the Lord seems to have a plan, that I am yet to fully understand! So, I once again come to you with a request for your prayers over the next couple of days.
I’ll deliver more insight and opportunities to make a lasting impact following my trip to DC. Thank you for reading and for the many, many words of encouragement. I really am very grateful!
Go in Peace,