Ministering at the corner of Boulevard Baptist Church and the world is a big statement for a church that has a congregation of roughly 500 people in Anderson, SC. Ellen Sechrest truly believes in this statement fundamentally and each day seeks more missional ways to carry out that goal at Boulevard Baptist Church.
In 2006, I was working for the WCNC-TV Investigative Unit in Charlotte, NC. I was part of the team sent to the U.S.–Mexico border in Arizona in the hopes to find people migrating to the Carolinas. I was sent with the team because I knew the land, the people, and how to navigate the bureaucratic monster called “The Wall”.
In 1998, I found myself in a new job, new city, new state, and really a whole new side of the country. This southern born and bred young adult from South Carolina found himself in Phoenix, Arizona working for, at-the-time, the flagship television station for Meredith Corporation. KPHO-TV5 is where I met Morgan Loew.
Home is powerful word, powerful state of mind, and a sense of security for those across this United States of America fabric. In part one of this series examining the idea of home inside and outside our borders, we find ourselves in McAllen, Texas.
I have walked across the border, the Mexican/USA border so many times…I have lost count. Immigration is very personal to me. I have been called to bring my camera to remote areas outside of Nogales, Arizona…to have my camera ready as Border Patrol open the back of the Ryder trucks; to capture the scared faces of young children and families whose long ride has stopped for us to share with the world.
Have you ever wondered what freedom looks like…well here is an opportunity to look right inside where many would consider their passage to freedom. In 2006, I rode in this van from Altar, Mexico along a 60 mile dirt road to Sasabe, Mexico. I was able to join a group of individuals traveling from all over Mexico and Central America to Altar, Mexico; the last stop along their journey before they crossed into the United States of America.
If you find your way inside the La Lomita Mission along the Rio Grande River in Mission, TX; your will find relics along this altar of faith and maybe freedom. As I walked through the door, I found myself in a worshipful position, quietly walking down the center aisle observing each pew.
La Lomita Mission’s doors were wide open for any and all to visit, worship, pray, and reflect. This day’s reflection, the intersection of faith and freedom.
Pastor Julio Guarneri of Calvary Baptist Church shared this with us last Sunday; a story that truly touched my heart…one of advocacy for children. His call for advocacy was larger that the Biblical witness, it was challenging us believers to advocate for children.
The moment I met Victor Ramirez…I knew I wanted to capture his smile, his face, his personality! Victor is a pastor at Nuevo Vino in one of the Colonias near McAllen, TX, planting a church to help the Latino and Hispanic populations navigate this new world called USA. He was born in Mexico leaving the construction business he started because of the violence and cartels. He left it all finding his next calling to pastor families, helping them navigate the legalization process, provide them food, supplies for shelter, and a big bear hug when needed. His face has so much texture, so many wrinkles and valleys that share his story…he just makes you feel warm. His face is a beautiful…representation how Christians can serve those in need…with love. As I shook his hand one last time, he asked me to come back. I will miss my new friend and hope his ministry grows! View in Instagram ⇒