At this time of year, the landscape of rural North Carolina fills with buses. Not buses of children, but buses of farmworkers who migrate here to work in the fields. When I began my ministry as a pastor, it was laid deeply on my heart to love God and love my neighbor. My neighbors at that time were migrant farmworkers from Mexico. Over a period of time, we developed a deep friendship of loving God and one another. Our friendship was centered around sharing meals, praying for one another, listening to one another’s story, and sharing in holy communion. For me, that experience changed my heart and deepened my love for God and my neighbor.
Each year, I pray for people who migrate. They have stories like you and I do. And Jesus migrated across the boundary between heaven and earth to be emptied and to give his life for all. People who migrate need our prayers, and we could benefit from hearing their stories to remove our fear.
Last night, I was so blessed to lead a group from my church to pray with migrant farmworkers from Haiti in a work camp nearby. They are here to pick blueberries, and are soon leaving to go to other farms in other states. We made welcome bags with our handprints on them. The handprints are a symbol of our prayers that go with them, reminding them that God is with them on their journey. God is there in the fields, God is in their homes, and God is there in the dangerous journey.
I was so moved as we looked into many Haitian faces, looking into their eyes to tell them that God loves them. They received the bags with pure thanksgiving. The prayer as we joined hands moved the stone from our hearts as it was lifted in different languages. The world somehow seemed different in that moment. It was stunning to see God at work.
If you hunger for the world to be different like I do, love God with all of your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.
Brock Meyer is pastor of the Bladen Charge. Photos by Brock Meyer.