The door of the church is a place where strangers should be met and received.
My role in Honduras is to encourage local churches to open their doors, and minister to the strangers around them. In previous updates, I’ve shared stories of ministries initiated by churches to open their doors and to reach out—to youth in the community and through Christian education. God has blessed these ministries, and this blessing has flowed out through the church doors to the “strangers” within the community.
But these ministries are threatened by the loss of people committed to serving the stranger. In desperate economic need or under threat of death, these servants are now becoming themselves “strangers at the door.”
Throughout my ten-year ministry in Honduras, I have been confronted with the reality that many people here simply disappear, leaving to “knock at the door” of the United States, looking for safety and ways to provide for their families.
One of these people is Mario. Married and the father of five children, Mario was the pastor of a CRC congregation in Honduras. After his brother was brutally murdered, Mario felt that his own life was threatened. So he fled to the US, leaving his family and congregation behind to knock at the door of the United States.
Mario is one of many. Pastor Adonis Romero of Mangulile CRC here recently told me that, in the last few months alone, five members of his church had left for the US, joining the millions of undocumented workers there. Three of them were active in the ministry of the church—Rigoberto in Christian education, Luis Miguel in Impact Clubs, and Jorge who served as youth advisor on the consistory—and so leave Mangulile’s ministries depleted and their families without fathers. But economic need and the desire to provide drove them to risk the dangerous journey and become strangers at the door of the US.
Rigoberto, Luis Miguel, and Jorge will join men like Carlos, a husband and father living in the US without documents. Last year, with no formal training, Carlos began a church that ministers to other undocumented workers. He wrote to me in January, asking to become part of the educational program I provide to church leaders here in Honduras. He also asked how he could help financially support Resonate’s ministry here in Honduras.
These men’s stories are for me “ministry curve balls.” I desire to respond to Carlos in a positive manner, and I’m concerned for the wellbeing of the many people who have become strangers at the door. Is there a way for us to open our doors to them?