How These 3 Women Followed the Holy Spirit's Lead and Crossed the Border

(Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash)
God has gifted women with many talents, but one of His key gifts for many women is the gift of hospitality. Many of us have felt the Holy Spirit move most deeply when we're sitting across from a friend or family member at the kitchen table, nursing a cup of coffee and sharing about what troubles us, what excites us and what sustains us.

For each of us, that gift of hospitality has taken different paths. For Bri, it's her work as a mother, marketing director and parenting coach for vulnerable mothers facing poverty and homelessness at Mary's Home. For Latasha, it's running a nonprofit that helps Christian communities across the country grapple with our hard history on race. And for Heather, it's creating a digital community—a space where moms can come and share both the joys and sorrows of raising children via her podcast.

In recent months, however, all of us began to sense that God was calling us to more. We know He calls us to care for the people who are close to us—but He also calls us to love far more radically than that. "If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?" Christ reminds us in the Sermon on the Mount, "Even pagans do that." After months of seeing headlines about the migrant crisis at the border, we began to wonder if we could—and if we should—expand our conception of hospitality to include those seeking admission to our country.

So when the opportunity arose to go see what the migrant crisis is actually like for ourselves, we all jumped at the chance. The three of us flew down to Oaxaca, Mexico—a city in the south of the country where many migrants from Central and South America stop on their journey up to America.

We didn't come into this with any preconceptions. Like many of you, we saw people lobbing verbal bombshells at each other on social media in a spirit of division and suspicion. We knew the Lord called us to work as peacemakers, but had no idea what that would look like.

The experience, to put it mildly, wrecked us. We visited detention centers and spoke with moms; we spoke with children; we spoke with fathers and young men trying to make a life for themselves and their families. Although we often had to work alongside a translator to hear their stories and convey our thoughts, we were shocked by how much we shared in common with these people—especially their love for their families, for God and their hope for a better life.

Our experiences are documented in the film Who Is Welcome Here, which just released on YouTube. We're incredibly grateful for the opportunity not only to share our story, but to hear the stories of those whose faith has endured far greater trials than our own. We ask that you'd consider watching the documentary and checking out the related discussion and study guides. We don't ask that you share any of our political convictions or conclusions. All we ask is that you view it with the same open heart and receptive spirit that we approached the border with. Join us as we ask hard questions and press further into understanding and extending Christlike welcome and biblical hospitality in our world.

Bri Stensrud is the director of Welcome. Heather MacFadyen is the founder and host of the "Don't Mom Alone" podcast. LaTasha Morrison is the founder and president of Be the Bridge.

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