What a Visit to the Venezuelan Border Taught Church Leaders

by | Dec. 05, 2019

As civil unrest continues in Venezuela, thousands of refugees are packing up all their belongings and supplies with them across the border of Colombia in search of medicine, food, and safety. Some of these individuals are in search of a new home and others search for supplies to carry back to their families in Venezuela. To greet them at the border were volunteers with food boxes in hand. Witnessing this event, Sister Aburto of the Relief Society general presidency said she was reminded of the scripture in Mathew 25:25, which says, “For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in.”

 She added, “We are all children of God and they are just trying to survive and provide for their families. Everybody is just trying their best.”

Sister Aburto, along with Sister Lisa Harkness of the Primary general presidency, just returned home from a 10-day trip to the Church’s South America Northwest area. They spent their time visiting countries such as Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru to provide aid to Venezuelan refugees and to meet with government officials to find out how the Church can help further. 

They said the Church members in these places have been very positive regardless of these circumstances and have responded in Christlike ways. 

“Everybody has felt the impact of the crises,” Sister Harkness said. “But everybody was stepping up by ministering and taking care of and loving each other. Everywhere we went we heard stories about how the Venezuelan refugees were being basically scooped up in their arms in Relief Societies and wards. It was really wonderful.”

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