Compassion and concern, faith and fear, respect and resolve crackled across the country as pastors who comprise Fellowship Southwest’s ministry to asylum-seekers talked on the phone March 25.

They spent almost two hours telling each other about their work with refugees on the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as their concerns for those immigrants, living in the shadow of the coronavirus.

Jorge Zapata, associate coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Texas and director of Fellowship Southwest’s Immigrant Relief Ministry, organized the call.

The pastors represented the breadth of the border:

  • Carlos Navarro of Iglesia Bautista West Brownsville in Brownsville, Texas
  • Rogelio Pérez of Iglesia Bautista Capernaum in Olmito, Texas
  • Lorenzo Ortiz of Iglesia Bautista El Buen Samaritano in Laredo, Texas
  • Israel Rodríguez of Primera Iglesia Bautista in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico
  • Rosalio Sosa, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Tierra de Oro in El Paso, Texas
  • Juvenal González, a church starting leader in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico

Others participating in the call were Shon Young, associate pastor of City Church in Del Rio, Texas, and chair of the Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition, and Elket Rodríguez, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s immigrant and refugee advocacy specialist.

The pastors described their ministries to asylum-seekers and told how the coronavirus has impacted them – through both the threat of COVID-19 and the partial closure of the border. They talked about their need for prayer and discussed other needs.

Editor’s note: The full-length report is available on the Fellowship Southwest blog.

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