Pray for Patti and Tim Long training leaders, educating children and assisting churches in Mexico.April 12, 2017
Patti and Tim Long 2016
Patti and Tim began their mission service in Baja California, Mexico, in July 1996. Patti ministers as special education teacher and resource specialist at the Monte Horeb Baptist Grade School in Tijuana, a school that reaches out to the most vulnerable of the city's young population, its children with special needs. She also coordinates the STEP scholarship program for students at the school.
Tim serves in leadership development through the Baja Baptist Seminary, teaching present and future church leaders, both at its Mexicali campus and extension centers located throughout Baja California. He also coordinates a scholarship program for seminary students.
Tim writes: The Tijuana churches continue to house over 200 Haitians as they prepare for permanent residency in Tijuana. During the months of February and March about half of the Haitians who were living in church facilities have found places in Tijuana to rent and have moved out. None of our guests have tried to cross the border as asylum seekers or refugees during this time, all having decided to stay in Tijuana and accept the Mexican government’s offer of residency status.
Most all have found some kind of work in Tijuana even as, for many, residency status is still in process. Most of the churches will continue to serve as shelters through April and May and continue to assist with documentation, work and resettlement as possible. The greatest need continues to be help with water and electric bills for the churches serving as shelters. (One church, Camino de Salvación, now has a permanent ministry as a registered shelter. Once the Haitians living there have found places to live in Tijuana, they will begin to take in families that have been deported from the USA.)
There are still thousands of Haitians and other nationalities in Central America and Mexico as they were making their way north when the USA border closed to them. I am not sure of details on numbers nor the places where they are now living.
On Sunday, April 30, I will be in northern New Jersey to speak at Haitian churches and at a Haitian association rally in the evening. It is our hope that the American Baptist Haitian Alliance will come alongside the Haitian population of Tijuana, and specifically with Haitian church leaders there, as they get settled into Tijuana life and churches begin to form.
Thanks so much for your continued prayers and support.