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WWJD about the refugees on the border

Campus minister Trent Creason led students in a refugee simulation during Missions Week at Campbellsville University, consisting of a refugee camp registration, security screening, medical station, language school, water and food station, holding area, immigration judge, resettlement interview and debriefing.

Student Hannah Sanders shared her experiences and thoughts afterward in the Q&A session that follows.

How did it feel to be in the refugee situation?
Hannah: I was a coyote and could either help students or hurt them in their journey to getting into their country. (A coyote is a smuggler of immigrants across the Mexico-United States border.)

It was really odd being in that position because I am the type of person who wants to help people, but at times I had to purposefully mess them up.

What confused student/refugees?
A lot of students were confused why we would ask to see their papers or why we were trying to get them to trade us their special item for documents or information. I tried explaining to a couple of groups that their item was all I had and I could be a valuable resource to them.

What scared them?
The border patrol and them blowing their whistles really scared the students. Several of us coyotes were trying to get their special item to get them past the border patrol. If the groups were unwilling to listen to us or treated us harshly, we purposefully went and told border patrol and border patrol would mess them up and separate family groups and everything.

What frustrated and angered them?
Finding out that they had fake documents and getting sent to jail really angered them. Many became frustrated by how long the whole thing was taking. Several were frustrated after all that they had gone through and what they had gathered that they were still denied entry into the country they were going to.

What, if anything, would you change about the American Christian's response to refugees?
I think American Christians see refugees as outsiders. This simulation really helps you to see that refugees are people just like us who have needs, are afraid, and they just want to be safe. Rather than Christians in America distancing themselves, they should be drawing to these refugees. Fleeing is a hopeless situation but Christians have the answers to the hope that these people are seeking.

What do you think Jesus would do in the crises at the border?
Hannah: I think that Jesus would help in the quiet moments but also in the moments where chaos is happening. He would speak an encouraging word or help a family in need. Really, I think that Jesus would simply love people and meet their needs.

This story was posted on 2021-11-07 07:03:17
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