To stay? Or to migrate? This is a choice faced by millions around our world every year. Possibly one of the most painful and gut-wrenching decisions any family could have to make.
At MCC we believe that all people have the choice to stay and thrive in their home community. MCC is committed to a vision of human flourishing with people sustained by their land and territory.
We also maintain that all people need to have a choice to migrate well and safely. There are a variety of “push” factors that lead people to migrate, often including violence and persecution, and increasingly the impacts of climate change.
MCC focuses on accompanying the most vulnerable migrants and displaced persons so that their journey can be one of dignity.
And of course, MCC grounds itself deeply in Scripture texts that encourage us to not oppress or take advantage of the foreigner who lives among us (Exodus 23:9) and to reflect deeply on our Jesus whose first journey in life was one of displacement, fleeing with his family as refugees (Matthew 2:13-18).
As you see in the feature stories in this issue, providing psychosocial support, trauma healing and job training are ways we live out our commitment to those who have stayed and those who have left home.
Recently in my first opportunity to visit international program in almost two years, we spent rich time with partners in the state of Chiapas, southern Mexico one of the busiest migration crossroads on the planet.
Every day, people in countries near and far are assessing risks and making decisions to stay or to migrate. Some of these people on the move will reach northern Mexico and meet my MCC colleague Emily Miller supporting migration work at the border. Others, after possible forced deportation, may find themselves at MCC partner Casa del Migrante in Guatemala City, pursuing agriculture training that will support them wherever they choose to stay.
The scale of movement of displaced people around the globe is almost beyond comprehension. And yet our presence, even with a small fraction of these, is vital. Inspired by Jesus and supported by your generosity, MCC and its many partners are walking with our sisters and brothers whether they stay or migrate. For this we are grateful.
Rick Cober Bauman
MCC Canada executive director