Everyone in America is an immigrant or is descended from immigrants. And today, immigration is still very important to the health of our nation. Yet there is a crisis at the southern border that we can no longer afford to ignore.
David Kubal—president of Intercessors for America—gives an eyewitness account to the dangers occurring at the border. Thankfully, he says, churches are stepping up to be Christ's hands and feet in the situation, and many illegal immigrants are coming to Jesus as a result.
In an interview with Kubal for my "Strang Report" podcast—click here to listen to it or scroll down—he tells me he recently went on a trip sponsored by the White House to visit several processing centers along the southern border. Representatives of FEMA, HHS and Border Patrol as well as several faith leaders, including Pastor Paula White Cain, spent the day learning the impact of the immigration crisis.
In the midst of all the discouraging facts Kubal learned, one phenomenon lifted his spirits—how the church is using this crisis to reach the lost. For legal and practical reasons, U.S. Border Patrol has to release illegal immigrants they've detained within 72 hours. They simply don't have space for the 700 to 1,000 illegal immigrants they stop daily, Kubal says.
That's where the church is stepping in.
"A number of churches are gearing up for this type of ministry," Kubal says. "They've got makeshift kitchens ... they have showers, they have clean clothes. ... So [immigrants] come and spend a day or two in these churches, and they're loved on by Christians, and they're presented the gospel. They're telling me that 99% of the immigrants who go to these churches, which are Bible-believing, gospel-presenting churches, accept Christ while they're there during those 48 hours."
Kubal says even if the real statistic is 50%, that's still a huge number of people coming to Christ.
"The church needs to be all over this," he says. "In the midst of this crisis, in the midst of this bad law, in the midst of the need for a border wall, there is an opportunity for the church to see kingdom advancement like no other opportunity in America today."
The White House understands this, Kubal says, as does Paula White Cain, who has acted as President Donald Trump's spiritual adviser for several years.
"[Paula] is trying to mobilize the church all along the border with these types of ministries—Operation Border Blessing as part of it," he says. "And that's why the White House is so committed to this. No. 1, they understand the need to love people in the commandment that Jesus has given us—that if you do this to the least of them, you have done this to Me. But they also see kingdom results that are astounding, miraculous."
I heard Paula speak about this same ministry when I visited her New Destiny Christian Center church near Orlando, Florida. During her sermon on Palm Sunday, she briefly mentioned this trip to the border.
This is a huge blessing, especially considering how dire the crisis is at the southern border. Kubal tells me that on his trip, he discovered three factors that are fueling this horrible situation.
"I was absolutely amazed when God revealed to me—and it was demonstrated—that what is fueling this crisis is crime and smuggling," Kubal says. "There are millions, if not billions, of dollars being made by the smuggling of these immigrants up to the border and across the border. So if you put three things together—the hopelessness of the people who live in these poor, desperate countries—and you mix that with the greed of a very sophisticated criminal syndicate and bad law, you have the crisis we're experiencing right now."
Kubal says these criminals get their money by dangling the American dream in front of people from other countries who feel they have no hope. They then lure their prospects in at $8,000 per person with different payment plans and assurances of protection.
Kubal is serious about getting the country to pray for the three prongs of this crisis—hopelessness, sophisticated criminal syndicates and bad American law. After all, he says, the issue is worse now than it has been in years.
"In the midst of all this, you have Border Patrol agents who are working overtime and who are stretched beyond capacity," he says. "They're asked to do things that they have not been tasked to do ... 50% of these agents are now spending their time processing these immigrants [so] that in El Paso alone, 700 to 1,000 are coming across the border every single day."
And Kubal points out that it's not just Mexico or even South America as a whole that presents an issue in illegal immigration. On the contrary, people from all over the world come to the U.S.'s southern border because they know it's an easy access point.
"There's absolutely no doubt we've got to fix our immigration system," he says. "It's absolutely broken. In the midst of that, though, the opportunity for the church is absolutely amazing. ... We just need to pray that the church would rise up in this moment in time, take every opportunity to meet the needs of these folks caught in the middle of this whole mess. Pray that while they present the gospel, great fruit would come from it."
I hope you will take Kubal's words to heart and choose to fervently pray for this great ministry opportunity the church has at the southern border. To learn more about the immigration crisis and how the church is stepping up in the midst of it, listen to my podcast with Kubal below.
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