By Elket Rodríguez
Care packages brightened the day for 90 refugees living at Albergue Juventud 2000, a youth shelter in Tijuana, Mexico, early this week. Pastor Juvenal González handed out the little boxes containing high-demand hygiene products that are hard to get in Mexican immigrant shelters.
“We gave them boxes with shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, wet wipes, petroleum jelly, skin cream and bandages,” González said of the packages, provided by Baptist World Relief. “They were very happy, because they can’t get out of the shelter, and the stores are closed” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The care packages provided a tangible blessing, especially for women and children, he explained.
“They don’t have money. This came to be a great blessing for women as they need feminine towels. The care packages for the children also have pencils, scissors, rulers and erasers,” he said. “We have also taken these care packages when we go on missions to colonias, distributing them especially to kids.”
González, a veteran church starter, is a champion of missionary work. He is a close partner with Fellowship Southwest, which provides ongoing funding to help him feed immigrants and support financially distressed church-starting pastors during the pandemic.
His ministry focuses on the most vulnerable people in the most uncertain period in modern history
“We really don’t have precise information on what’s happening,” he conceded. “Physicians have told me things are going to get worse. We should expect deaths. We don’t know what is going to happen. Pray for us.”
If you would like to contribute to Fellowship Southwest’s Immigrant Relief Fund, which supports the ministry of Juvenal González and other pastors along the U.S.- Mexico border, click here.
Elket Rodríguez, an attorney and minister, is CBF’s immigrant and refugee specialist. He lives on the U.S.-Mexico border, in Harlingen, Texas, and works with CBF Advocacy, CBF Global Missions and Fellowship Southwest.