April 30, 2019
I can still hear the click-clack of the old, worn suitcases Venezuelans pull behind them as they cross the bridge into Cúcuta, Colombia. Inside are the only possessions they have.
Many of these families have already traveled hundreds or even thousands of miles to escape Venezuela. Others cross the border every day in search of work or to sell something—anything—to provide for their families. On a recent visit to Cúcuta, I spent the morning with Pastor Lucy at Bethany’s emergency welcome center in Cúcuta, Colombia – just a few hundred feet from the Venezuelan border.
As we spoke to families from Venezuela who had crossed into Colombia with survival in mind, we thought of Matthew 25. In this passage, Jesus tells his friends to feed, clothe, and welcome the “overlooked and ignored.”
I told Pastor Lucy that this message is at the heart of Bethany’s work. We want to be the hands and feet of Christ for those who are most in need.
Pastor Lucy nodded her head and said, “This is the place.”
After just one day in Cúcuta, I could already see the truth in her remark.
- Inflation has skyrocketed in Venezuela, making the currency nearly worthless.
- The minimum monthly salary is barely more than a dollar, and shortages of necessities—such as food and medicine—have driven more than 2.6 million people out of the country.
- Families unable to care for their newborn babies are abandoning them.
These families – and their needs – are overwhelming. But Bethany is committed to doing what we can to help them.
I am grateful for the emergency welcome center we opened in Cúcuta to serve these vulnerable children and families. People who stop in can receive food, water, and medical help, use the internet to send messages to family, and talk to a counselor about the trauma they’ve experienced.
While I was there, I met a young mother and her months-old baby. They had slept in the street the previous night – but came to Bethany looking for help. And we helped her.
Of course we are here in Cúcuta now. This is the place where people need us most.
Your contributions enable us to help every parent and child who enter our welcome center. Together, we can serve these vulnerable people and help them locate their family and friends.