Fellowship Southwest and its partners working along the U.S.-Mexico southern border recently celebrated the opening of a new shelter for refugees 100 miles west of Juarez.
The facility was established in the village of Palomas, which is located in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The coalition behind the project included the Migrant Shelter Network (Red de Albergues Migrantes), Christian Mission Concerns in Waco, regional nonprofits and Fellowship Southwest, a regional effort of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. The village and state also contributed to the project.
“Although Palomas is isolated and surrounded by hostile terrain, asylum seekers still flow through,” Fellowship Southwest said in a Feb. 7 blog post. “They strive for passage into the United States at the border crossing on the northern edge of town.”
Fellowship Southwest also announced that construction of an immigrant respite center is set to begin at Iglesia Bautista in West Brownsville, Texas.
The church ministers to refugees who have passed through Matamoros, Mexico, in their effort to seek asylum in the U.S. It also serves immigrants who have crossed the border. Fellowship Southwest said these ministries have been hard on church facilities.
“Up to now, the refugees have bathed in makeshift outdoor showers or, occasionally, a mobile shower trailer. The flow of immigrants has taken a toll on the IB West Brownsville building, which wasn’t constructed to offer hospitality to thousands of asylum seekers.”
Contributions to these and other efforts can be made online.
Northern Seminary honors foundation
The charitable organization of an Arizona church was recognized for its sustained financial support of seminary students over a 24-year period.
Northern Seminary in Chicago, Illinois, announced it honored the Bellevue Heights Church Foundation of Sun City, Arizona, for contributing more than $250,000 in scholarships to Master of Divinity students.
“Over 85% of these students and graduates are still in pastoral and church-related ministries,” Northern President Bill Shiell said in his January newsletter.
During a dinner held to praise the foundation’s generosity, one former student said the foundation’s contributions enabled him to avoid further student loan debt. Another expressed gratitude that he was able to provide for his family while in seminary.
“The scholarship helped them to keep food on the table while he finished his education and prepared for the next step of the journey,” Shiell said.
Grant funds pastoral residency
Second Baptist Church in Liberty, Missouri, announced it has received a $200,000 grant to expand its new pastoral residency program.
The gift from the Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation will enable the congregation to add a second pastoral resident in the fall of 2020.
“The residents will benefit from a shared experience, and the expanded program will increase the church’s impact as a teaching congregation,” the church announced.
Its pastoral residency program joins ongoing efforts to prepare people to serve in jails, hospitals and nursing homes.
“With the establishment of the Pastoral Residency program in 2019, the church has committed to preparing young women and men for full-time ministry.”