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Discipling Migrants at the Border

Cartel activity in Mexico, gang violence in Haiti, and economic despair in Venezuela are a few reasons
why more than a million people pack their bags each year with hopes of a better future in America. In 2021, CAM staff began ministering to migrants who awaited legal entry to the United States. This work was later handed off to conservative Anabaptist contacts in Commerce, Texas. They continue to hold Bible studies, teach English, and distribute Biblical literature with funding from CAM. Due to the migrants’ difficult experiences, they are often interested in Biblical teaching. For this reason, we see this
as a huge outreach opportunity.

One man told a CAM staff member that he left his home country of Honduras with a group of 100 migrants. As they trekked north through Guatemala and Mexico, their numbers began dwindling as some people developed blisters on their feet or became ill from contaminated water. Others were kidnapped by cartels or ran out of money and had to turn around. When he finally reached the border, this man looked around and counted only four people from his original group.

Since this work along the U.S./Mexico border appears to be a long-term opportunity for effective outreach, CAM has purchased the property that was rented for the past several years as a base of operations for this work.

To help support the US-Mexico Border Crisis program, please click the button below to give a gift.

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Kidnapped by a Cartel

Weeping and trembling from shock, three Nicaraguan migrants pleaded for help from CAM contacts distributing Bibles near the US-Mexico border. One of them stammered that they had been kidnapped by a cartel and had just managed to escape in the wee hours of that morning.

A few weeks prior, five teenagers left their homes in Nicaragua, sad to leave their homeland but eager for the possibilities that lay ahead in the United States. Traveling north, the migrants boarded a train taking them closer to the US-Mexico border. They’d arranged for a guide to pick them up at the end of their train ride and help them continue on their journey north. When the migrants got off at their final stop, they were greeted and welcomed by name. Their smiling host led them away from the train station.

As the migrants followed the men they had just met, an uneasy feeling formed. Their uneasiness turned to fear as they realized they’d been abducted by a Mexican cartel. But it was too late. They were kept in a room under constant watch. Cartel members demanded a ransom of $6,000 for each of the five teenagers’ release. The migrants called their families back in Nicaragua and explained the situation. Seeing no alternative, they reluctantly agreed and paid the money. But with the money in their hands, the cartel members responded that the price had changed. The families had to pay more before the captives would be released.

By now the hostages had been in captivity for over two weeks with little food or water and were growing weaker by the day. Desperate, they devised a plan to escape. Late one night their opportunity came. When no one was watching, they noiselessly removed the air conditioning unit from the wall and squirmed through the resulting hole. Outside in the darkness, they glanced around nervously then parted ways, three in one direction and two in another.

When the group of three approached CAM contacts the following morning, their only possessions were their ID cards and the clothes on their backs. The cartel had stripped them of their phones, money, and extra clothing. Knowing the cartel could be out looking for the migrants, CAM contacts took them to a safe place and provided them with food, clothing, and bedding.

Opportunities along the US-Mexico border

Christian workers along the US-Mexico border describe many opportunities like this to minister to migrants’ physical and spiritual needs. Most migrants leave their homes due to violence or economic instability. After weeks of traveling under threats of cartels, treacherous trails, and sometimes brutal weather conditions, they arrive at the border with little to no money or remaining resources. Many live in tents or empty buildings, awaiting legal entry into the United States.

Our contacts report a great hunger for spiritual truth among these waiting, vulnerable people. CAM supports conservative Anabaptist believers near the border who hold Bible studies and church services, share stories with children, and distribute Bibles and Christian literature.

To help support the US-Mexico Border Crisis program, please click the button below to give a gift.


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Ministering to migrants

migrants, Christian Aid Ministries

Migrants along the US-Mexico border are united by a past that often includes hardship, coupled with hope for a brighter future. They come from countries like Haiti, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Venezuela. Most migrants seek a better life in the United States after facing economic difficulty, political pressure, or violence in their homeland.

The trek to the US-Mexico border is often grueling. Countless people reach their destination only to be denied entrance into the United States. Still clinging to the dream of entering the U.S., many migrants shelter in plastic tents or empty buildings near the border.

These people’s uncertainty creates tremendous opportunities to proclaim God’s lasting promises. We are reaching out through conservative Anabaptist believers stationed near the US-Mexico border. They hold Bible studies for adults, share stories with children, and distribute Bibles, Bible story books, and Christian literature. At times they also help a bit with physical aid like clothes and baby blankets.

One believer remarked, “The migrants are very open at this time . . . and it’s the perfect time to share the Gospel with them.” We pray they will come to trust in the God who holds their future.

To help support the US-Mexico Border Crisis program, please click the button below to give a gift.


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US-Mexico Border Crisis

US-Mexico, Christian Aid Ministries

A lack of economic possibilities and danger from criminal gangs affect many people across South and Central America. Driven by hope for a better life, people make the arduous journey north to the US-Mexico border. They often travel thousands of miles, cross country borders, navigate treacherous trails, and endure hunger, fear, and robbery. Tens of thousands finally arrive at the border each month, with few or no possessions left and an uncertain future.

Who are they and why are they leaving home?

Many of these travelers simply long for opportunities to build better lives for themselves and their families. Economic and political problems in countries like Haiti and Venezuela make daily life a struggle. Others from places like Honduras, Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatemala report similar financial difficulties.


US-Mexico border crisis at a glance

  • Thousands of travelers arrive arrive at the border each month.
  • Travelers come from Haiti, Venezuela, Honduras, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and other places.
  • Many people arrive at the border with few or no resources.

Alberto’s story

Alberto* told believers that he left his home in Venezuela with his wife and two young children to escape financial extortion and threats. Alberto owned a repair shop in his hometown and faced demands from dishonest local authorities. They threatened to kidnap one of his children or kill his wife when he said he couldn’t meet their orders.

Scraping together what he could, Alberto prepared to make the difficult journey north. Along the way, the family endured a week of picking their way through the formidable Darien Gap, a roadless region of jungle, marsh, and mountains connecting South and Central America. The area is known for steep trails, wild animals, and thieves.

Alberto’s family finally reached the US-Mexico border, but with depleted resources. They were rejected when they attempted to cross to the United States. They set up “home” in a camp with hundreds of other migrants, hoping to cross the border sometime. Alberto testified that in times like these, all one has left is God.

Alberto’s story of financial struggles, difficult travel, loss, and disappointment is repeated along the US-Mexico border. Conditions are difficult for migrants who shelter in plastic tents or empty buildings while they hope to eventually enter America. Food, hygiene items, and other necessities are often hard to come by.

Pointing to the heavenly country

As these people hope against hope to be accepted into the United States, we have a unique opportunity to point them to the heavenly country. We work with conservative Anabaptist believers who are stationed near the border. They interact with migrants in Mexico and hear their stories, hold Bible studies for adults, share stories with children, and distribute Bibles, Bible story books, and other Christian literature.

These believers witness a deep spiritual hunger. One described the desire for Bibles as “next to phenomenal!”

When an elderly Haitian man was asked why he wanted a Bible, he responded that he needs the Word of God to feed his spiritual life. One woman said, “I used to have a Bible, but I left it in the Darien Gap because I just had too much of a load. I know you shouldn’t just discard your Bible, but I didn’t know what else to do!”

A believer who helps distribute Bibles noted, “I wish you could see the joy with which some of these [people] take their Bibles and clasp them to their hearts.”

US-Mexico, Christian Aid Ministries
Migrants who received Bible story books

We don’t know what these people’s futures hold, or what country they will make their home. But we know God is opening doors for us to show compassion and bring His Word to people in uncertain, vulnerable situations. We are hoping to expand this work and take advantage of this unique opportunity, right on our southern border. If you wish to help, your support will enable us to provide spiritual teaching, Bibles, Bible story books, and Christian literature. God bless you!

*Name is changed to protect identity.

To help support the US-Mexico Border Crisis program, please click the button below to give a gift.


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