A pastor who was turned away earlier this month from helping immigrant children being held at an Arizona detention center said the current border crisis is an opportunity for churches to take back from the government their biblical responsibility to feed the poor.
Pastor Kyle Coffin of CrossRoads Church in Tucson, Arizona, made headlines a few weeks ago when he said the Border Patrol had refused to allow faith leaders to bring food and supplies to the Nogales Placement Center where newly arrived unaccompanied children have been processed and temporarily housed after crossing illegally into the United States.
Coffin, who lives about 60 miles from the Mexico border, called the decision to ban outside clergy, while frustrating, an opportunity for churches to realize that they should be taking the lead in feeding and assisting people in need.
“It should, I hope, get the church to sort of wake up and realize that the government has been doing our job for 70 or 80 years,” Coffin told TheBlaze, calling on every church in America to consider opening a food pantry for its surrounding community.
Coffin noted that his own church, which sees about 150 to 200 parishioners at weekly services,runs a pantry that feeds 200 people in the Tucson community each week.
Without any government subsidies, CrossRoads Church offers canned food, tomato sauce, soups, pasta, produce and other foods to people in need — enough food for the entire week.