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TCU Magazine "Academe"
A Tale of Two Countries | Protect us from the criminal element | Save lives. Then talk.
Make citizenship accessible to those who contribute. | Create laws that are fair and concise.
Develop a work-based, binational agreement. | Open the door to those already here. | Get the facts.

Humane Borders is a faith-based nonprofit organization that places water stations in the desert to save lives and advocates for changes in U.S. border policies, including immigration laws. We save lives, and we contribute to the national and international discourse on migration reforms.

By The Rev. Robin Hoover, '74 (MDiv 79)
Founder, Humane Borders

Our work has been filmed by crews from 23 nations and chronicled in every major media market in the world. Defiant in the face of those who label others, we take our cues from our faith and our understanding of how we are positioned in the structures of the world. We judge the church to be a nonmarket, nongovernmental entity charged with bearing a message of value and status of all of God's peoples to all of God's creation, including the market and the government.

Our task is not to solve the intricacies of labor and management in the western hemisphere, but to speak clearly in the face of injustice. Nor is ours the task to promote national identity by injuring the identity of the family of God.

Matthew 25 makes it clear that nations are judged by whether they provide water, food, welcome, clothes for the naked, medical assistance and visits to the prisoners. Those happen to be the resumes of the migrants, the political refugees and the asylum seekers. Ours is a ministry to these.

At no time in human history has the church had all the resources to provide for all of these needs. Ours, then, is a ministry to teach the world how to take care of itself by showing others how to fulfill the requirements by which the Lord will judge the nations.

Consider the border story we know as that of the Good Samaritan. We get the idea that the self-righteous and the pure are above getting involved. The foreigner is the one who models God's will.

The story derives from the original Good Samaritan, Oded, from 2 Chronicles 28, who stood down the army of Israel and persuaded the public administrators of his day to undertake redemptive justice to redeem their sins. The poor were given shoes. Their wounds were anointed. The feeble were placed on donkeys, and all were led back to the city of palms, Jericho.

Why these stories? Oded reminded all the peoples that all peoples are kinfolk. Jesus, who often had problems with kinfolk, went further. He understood that relationships formed in God are deeper than family. His message was about neighbors.

Those who are here and who are coming here are, after all, family and neighbors. Be careful how you treat them. Be careful how you counsel your congressional delegation.

The Rev. Robin Hoover is founder of Humane Borders and the organization's media representative. His border ministry dates back two decades, to the lower Texas Rio Grande Valley, where he helped create Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries in Los Fresnos. Visit his Web site at www.humaneborders.org.

Comment about this story at tcumagazine@tcu.edu