Shades of Gray

The current influx of the masses attempting to illegally cross into the United States has been a hot topic since before our return from Mexico City in June. We spent the first two months of our “furlough” time visiting family and speaking in churches and a camp meeting. In sharing about the horrors of human trafficking, particularly as it relates to Mexico, this subject has repeatedly been raised.

Many are frightened and concerned that terrorists and members of the drug cartel will find entrance among the masses–even masquerading as one of the innocent masses. Unfortunately, this is indeed very likely, and so is a very real and understandable fear.

But what about the innocent? What about those who are truly fleeing a horrible life for something better?

In one of my earlier posts from the spring, I shared about young girls who are being forcefully ripped from their families by the drug cartels who visit small, remote villages in Mexico. Instead of waiting for their turn to come, entire families are moving to the cities to escape the cartels among the safety of the masses.

What if they are among those desperately seeking a new–safe–life in the United States?

Something else we very commonly see are people traveling through Mexico from other countries in Central America. People who have family members already in the States they are trying to get to. Many run out of money and are seen on busy corners or in front of shopping centers, begging for money to continue the journey or for food for their hungry families. They often hold their passports up so that you know they are not typical beggars. But this places them at extreme risk of being trafficked. Who would know or be concerned if something happened to them?

What if those pouring into our country have been trafficked across the borders? Their dreams of a new life in the United States could quickly turn to nightmares as they are sold into prostitution or forced labor.

I don’t know what the solution to the problem is. But I do know that it’s not as black and white as we think it is. Ideally, everyone would come into the country legally, following all of the country’s rules. As all of us who serve as overseas missionaries must do to live and serve abroad. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world.

Perhaps our best response is one we haven’t yet considered. It is definitely something we all need to pray and seek God’s leading about, both as individuals and as a church body. While you’re praying about what your response should be, please remember to pray for those most at risk of being trafficked in Mexico.

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