Migrant children participate in a classroom activity at Casa Kolping in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. (AP/Christian Chavez)

Migrant children participate in a classroom activity at Casa Kolping in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. (AP/Christian Chavez)

Victor Rodas, left, and Eduardo Pacheco exercise at the start of class at Casa Kolping. The two students, both 12 years old, fled gang violence. (AP/Christian Chavez)

Victor Rodas, left, and Eduardo Pacheco exercise at the start of class at Casa Kolping. The two students, both 12 years old, fled gang violence. (AP/Christian Chavez)

These migrant children live at the Casa Oscar Romero shelter. A bus takes them to their school program in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. (AP/Christian Chavez)

These migrant children live at the Casa Oscar Romero shelter. A bus takes them to their school program in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. (AP/Christian Chavez)

Students write on a dry-erase board in a classroom at Casa Kolping. (AP/Christian Chavez)

Students write on a dry-erase board in a classroom at Casa Kolping. (AP/Christian Chavez)

Children play on swings during recess at Casa Kolping. (AP/Christian Chavez)

Children play on swings during recess at Casa Kolping. (AP/Christian Chavez)

School on the Border

Posted: July 1, 2022

A smile lights up Victor Rodas’ eyes. Other students are still drawing. But Victor has already finished his geometry assignment.

“I’m winning the race!” the 12-year-old exclaims. “I’m already done, teacher.”

Victor is in school. But his is not just any school. People designed this school, called Casa Kolping, especially for migrant children in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Migrants are people who move from place to place. In some parts of the world, kids and their families have to flee their homes. Often, their countries have become hard places to earn money or dangerous to live in.

Victor’s family fled from Honduras. There is much crime and violence there. For now, they live in this vast desert city next to El Paso, Texas. Thousands of migrant families do the same. They hunker in shelters and wait to cross into the United States. U.S. laws keep them from coming in until they have court hearings.

But even kids on the move need to go to school. So pastors and teachers team up. Pastors lead shelters where migrant families can live. They bus kids to a school that teaches everything from math to reading to dealing with emotions.

Some kids have been out of school for so long they have to start at the very beginning. They arrive unable to read or write. But they want to learn.

About three dozen children from church shelters attend Casa Kolping. First to third graders gather in one classroom. Fourth to sixth graders meet across the hall in a large room.

Victor imagines American schools will be “big, well-cared for,” and will help him reach his goal. He wants to be an architect. He practices drawing detailed houses—when he can find paper.

Love the sojourner. — Deuteronomy 10:19

Why? God loves sojourners (strangers, travelers, people in between homes). We do His work when we help care for them.