What should the Christian response be to the newest caravan of refugees approaching the U.S. border? It is being billed as a “humanitarian crisis” and I suppose it truly is. In the current heated political arena, however, our first reaction is often one of suspicion. Honestly, our first thoughts should be on compassion; no one should be more compassionate than the body of Christ. If people are hungry we should feed them, if they are sick we should try to get them help.                
       But compassion must be tempered with diligence. Believe it or not people have learned how to take advantage of compassionate people…especially the church.  The Church on the Bluff is a compassionate and generous church.  We have helped members and non-members alike with rent, utilities, food, and gas.  We do not discriminate for any reason be it race, nationality, citizenship status, sexual orientation, or religious standing: if they are in need we try to help. But…we do our best to establish that there is a need. We call the landlord, check with the utilities when possible, refer them to the Green Springs Ministry for food, check with their own church (for those who claim church attendance), and we never…ever…give them cash.  And here is what we discover: many of them are trying to deceive us or have developed a lifestyle of dependency on compassionate people.  We save our resources and effort for those who are truly in need.                
           I say all of that to remind us that diligence is necessary on a large scale, too.  Five-thousand people suddenly deciding to rush our borders just ahead of an important election, knowing the difficulties faced by a previous group,  reeks of political manipulation…at the expense of vulnerable people.  Immigration laws are necessary.  Open borders is not the answer to world hunger or poverty.
          If that huge group gets here you better believe that our Christian organizations will be in their camps helping all we can…while they go through legal channels to enter. Don’t believe the falsehood that defining borders is un-compassionate, neither is it turning our backs on people in need. It is just common sense.
          Let me encourage you to give locally to the Green Springs Food Ministry and to give to our own Benevolence Fund at church.  It will be distributed wisely to people in need.  And when presented with the opportunity to give to reputable Christian organizations to help the people waiting at the border, take advantage of that, too.   Say good things about you church and about your Savior.   Bro. Tony