Training Believers Along Southern U.S. Border to Share Hope During the Storms of Life

By   •   July 2, 2024

Spanish-speaking Christians in nine cities along the U.S.-Mexico border are learning how to share God’s love with friends and neighbors struggling in the midst of crises and grief. The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, which is hosting these trainings, was born out of the Sept. 11 tragedy.

How do you offer the hope of Jesus Christ to a parent grieving the death of a child? Do you know what to say to someone who lost everything after a natural disaster?

Many Christians are eager to show the love of God to those who are suffering—but all too often they don’t know what to say.

Four months after the God Loves You Frontera Tour, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association returned to the southern border to equip Spanish-speaking believers for this challenging opportunity.

Chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team began holding Sharing Hope in Crisis seminars there mid-June.

“In my church ministry we deal with people that are grieving, that have great burdens in their hearts,” shared Cristina Hernández, who attends Vital Church in McAllen, Texas.

“Doing ministry here at the border is something unique. We often find people that are going through a lot—homeless people, migrants that have suffered a great deal. Many times, we really don’t know what to say.”

In recent years, the states at the southern border have been facing unprecedented social challenges and natural disasters.

But despite the challenges, believers in the region are eager to show God’s love in their communities.

Franklin Graham kicked off his 2024 evangelistic schedule sharing the Gospel with more than 58,000 people in ten cities along the U.S.–Mexico border during the Frontera Tour. The local churches were strengthened and encouraged with thousands of new believers eager to learn more about God’s Word—and they found a renewed passion for evangelism.

Praising God at the Sharing Hope in Crisis training in McAllen, Texas.

Christians like Martha believe this training couldn’t have come at a better time.

Martha served as a volunteer for the God Loves You Tour on February 24. She and her Hispanic church “Casa de Mi Padre” invited people from both sides of the border to come and hear the Gospel.

Then a few weeks ago, through social media, Martha learned about the two-hour class that was coming to her hometown of Brownsville on Thursday evening, and she didn’t hesitate to sign up.

“But once I was there, I found out there would be [an extended] six-hour training here in McAllen, so I said ‘I have to be there, too!’”

Martha invited her friends Beatriz and Bertha, her partners in ministry, and she offered to drive so that the three of them could receive this in-depth training.

Martha, Beatriz, and Bertha drove 57 miles from Brownsville to attend the six-hour Sharing Hope in Crisis training in McAllen.

“We needed to learn all of this to know how to better serve the people,” said Martha. “We do ministry in a very poor area of the town of Matamoros in Tamaulipas [Mexico]. We go there every week bringing food and provisions, and we share the Gospel at every opportunity.”

Her friend Beatriz is convinced that what she learned during the Sharing Hope in Crisis seminar will have a great impact on her ministry.

“It’s just amazing, astonishing to see how God aligns everything,” she said. “We deal with the type of situations presented in this training every week.”

Martha, Beatriz, and Bertha were constantly taking notes during the sessions, and they used their breaks to discuss what they were learning.

“What I take away is that the secret ingredient is to talk to people with love and compassion, understanding that there is always a reason behind why they are in that situation,” said Beatriz.

Her friend Bertha agreed.

“We are learning the importance of just being present and listening to people in their grief,” she said. “What we learned today is helping us grow.”

Would you join us in prayer for these believers? Pray that God will continue to open opportunities for them to lend a listening ear and share the love of Christ.

>> Are you interested in taking the course? Find Sharing Hope in Crisis trainings across the country. The training is also available online in Spanish.