Texas Baptists provide supplies for victims of violence in Mexico
McALLEN, Texas (ABP) -- Texas Baptists and Buckner International delivered food and supplies Nov. 10 to 300 Mexicans displaced from their homes in an area south of Falcon Lake, Texas, controlled by drug cartels.
Officials asked the specific city not be named to help ensure the people in need will be able to get food without interruption.
Earlier in the week, Buckner International staff members were contacted by a Mexican citizen and ministry partner living in a colonia that has been evacuated due to escalated violence.
Another city near the evacuated town opened a shelter, providing a place of refuge for the group that includes 60 babies and 50 senior adults.
The group had to flee quickly from the area drug cartels. Many lacked adequate food, water and supplies. Buckner contacted the BGCT, asking for help in providing food, water, diapers and baby formula.
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, First Baptist Church in San Isidro, Conway Baptist Church in Mission and First Baptist Church in Levelland also committed to provide supplies after learning about the situation during the Baptist General Convention of Texas annual meeting in McAllen.
Through their combined efforts, the groups will be able to provide more than $2,500 worth of supplies to the displaced violence victims.
“When we heard about women and children being displaced, we felt like we needed to respond out of our Christian faith and love,” said Steve Vernon, BGCT associate executive director. “We just want to help those in need -- the lost and the least of these.”
The Baptist groups said they must help, knowing they are called to share hope to those who are hurting and helpless.
“These people have essentially become refugees in their own country,” said a Buckner International staff member who asked not to be named for security reasons.
“These people have nothing. The last group was told to leave the town about 36 hours ago. We don’t know how long they will need help or if they will be able to ever move back to their city.”
With the money donated to the effort, Buckner and Texas Baptists were able to gather 500 pounds each of rice and beans; 36 boxes of lard; 34 cases of water; 2,250 diapers; 4,000 baby wipes; 12 large canisters of baby formula; 20 jugs of cooking oil; and 50 boxes of cereal. All of the gathered supplies were slated for delivery to the local international border bridge crossing near the relief shelter, an effort arranged by local Mexican officials and Buckner staff.
In addition to providing supplies, Texas Baptist leaders asked people to pray for the situation taking place along the border.
After the initial food drop at the international bridge, Buckner Border Ministries and Texas Baptists will evaluate if more help is needed and will mobilize accordingly.
There is no timeline for the refugee families to return to their city due to the violence. Texas Baptists and Buckner International are working on plans to give continued support and provide for the group’s immediate needs until the situation is resolved.