Wednesday, July 24, 2024
Wednesday, July 24, 2024
HomeAll The NewsMinistry on the Southern Border

Ministry on the Southern Border

By Dr. Scott R. Carson, Director • BMA Chaplaincy Department

Operation Border Health Preparedness (OBHP) took place from July 23-29 along our southern border. OBHP is an annual humanitarian mission offering a variety of medical services to the public in six different border towns. The goal is to prepare citizens for hurricane season. As the season ramps up, the risk increases for displacement, which escalates the potential for disease to spread. OBHP functions to prevent that spread.

Chaplain (1LT-TXSG) Burchett recently served the OBHP mission at Rio Grande City and Hidalgo, both in Texas. Tasks included patrolling the extremely long lines of people waiting for services, providing spiritual and mental/emotional counsel as needed and offering a presence in uniform to deter any criminal activity.

Being a joint operation, Chaplain Burchett, serving the Texas State Guard, worked alongside the Texas Army National Guard, Border Patrol, local law enforcement, FEMA and some from the Chilean Army.

In a five-day span, all six checkpoints combined saw over 5,000 people; some were citizens, but many were not. Of those over 5,000, checkpoint Hidalgo, Chaplain Burchett’s primary station, saw around 3,500. Needless to say, the border and those border towns are busy places.

With everything going on at OBHP, God allowed Chaplain Burchett a very unique opportunity to turn the operation into a mission trip, of sorts. During the course of OBHP, he was able to hand out 300 Gideon Bibles to those willing to take one. The Gideon New Testaments were offered in both English and Spanish. One praise to be noted was a Mexican vendor who passed through and noticed the Bibles. She asked Chaplain Burchett if he had any spare Spanish Bibles to donate to a church in Mexico that desperately needed them. He was able to give her a box of 100 Spanish New Testaments to be taken across the border. God is good!

Along with handing out Bibles, God allowed Chaplain Burchett multiple opportunities for spiritual conversations with fellow troops and local law enforcement. He provided spiritual/biblical guidance, as well as marital counsel and sharing the gospel during those conversations.

All service members, including Chaplain Burchett, received commendations for their efforts on OBHP ’23, including the State Guard Association of the United States Meritorious Unit Citation and the Humanitarian Service Medal.

Chaplain Burchett serves as the pastor of Walnut Street Baptist Church in Winnsboro, Texas and as the president of the BMA of Texas.