Home World Conservative Evangelical Women Take the Gospel to the Border: ‘We Lay Hands on Them’

Conservative Evangelical Women Take the Gospel to the Border: ‘We Lay Hands on Them’

Conservative Evangelical Women Take the Gospel to the Border: ‘We Lay Hands on Them’


A new study from Lifeway found that 91 percent of evangelicals favor immigration legislation that guarantees tighter borders. That same number also supports immigration measures that respect the God-given dignity of every person. The group Women of Welcome is doing that just by approaching the issue from a biblical stance, not a political one.  
“I’ve been working on the pro-life movement really for preborn lives and kids who were trapped in foster care or were awaiting forever families. And I was just challenged by a friend who worked really in the immigration space with World Relief to say, ‘Hey, does your pro-life agenda, does your pro-life, biblical worldview extend to those across the border?'” 

Bri Stensrud, the group’s director, told CBN News her initial answer was no. A trip to the U.S.-Mexico border in 2019 changed both her heart and mind.
“I met with vulnerable mothers and migrant children who were also mothers themselves due to the violence that had happened to them in their countries,” Stensrud explained.  “And they were seeking safety, they were seeking a different life. And that wasn’t the narrative that I was hearing. It wasn’t the narrative that my other friends and my conservative Christian circles were hearing either. And so, it really grieved me because I thought if my girlfriends could see what I’ve seen on the other side of the border, they would be just as grieved too.”
Stensrud believes that other Christian women would likely openly share her sentiments were it not for partisan politics. “It’s very hard to detangle and let yourself sit back a ways to take in the full picture. Because right now each party is being fed a certain narrative about what should be happening along the border. We should be seeing what’s happening at the border as an opportunity, a gospel opportunity, an eternity kingdom possibility,” she said.

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That possibility turns into reality during Women of Welcome trips to the border. Opportunities to pray for migrants and Border Patrol agents abound with officers seeking prayer for rising suicide rates among their ranks, safety concerns, and help with their families. 

“Every officer has always accepted our prayer and we huddle them up in a circle, we lay our hands on them and we thank them for showing up in some of the hardest parts of humanity and trying to affirm people’s dignity as they are approached by them,” Stensrud said.
While their work is not politically motivated, Stensrud admits disappointment that the country’s leaders have failed to make progress on the immigration issue.

“Then there are just really some detractors that are showing up and persuading people otherwise. And Americans in general, but conservative Christians, they want a solution for vulnerable people showing up at our border and vulnerable people around the globe,” she said. “We want to see people work together for the flourishing of people no matter what party you’re siding with on any given year.”
As the nation continues to grapple with the issue, Stensrud says the Bible calls her and others to take the lead. 

“The Lord is going to hold us accountable to how we treat the sojourner. You don’t have to leave conviction to have compassion and just come in and see what the Lord says in the whole arc of scripture and let that inform the ways that you show up politically to make a solution for thousands and thousands of people and Americans,” said Stensrud.



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