Californians Take ‘Journey of Prayer’ Along Southern Border

Californians Take ‘Journey of Prayer’ Along Southern Border

Javier Amador of Yorba Linda, Calif., holds his hands in prayer on April 3, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

John Fredricks

John Fredricks


Updated: 4/23/2024


YORBA LINDA, Calif.—The sight of a lone children’s-sized shoe sitting across from barbed-wire fencing along the Texas border not only caused Javier Amador of Yorba Linda to become filled with emotion but also spurred him to action, he said.
“I saw that little girl’s shoe in the dirt along with articles of discarded clothing and thought of my family back home in California,” Mr. Amador told The Epoch Times.
“But for my prayer team and I, we decided to pray right then and there and also video-in our pastor to join us at the scene.”
Calling themselves the “prayer army,” Mr. Amador and his team of four men from the Sanctuary Church in Costa Mesa, California, felt compelled last month to pray for the entire stretch of the Texas border—now an international hotspot for immigration news as the United States encounters border crossers from around the world in record numbers.
Driving a total of 1,254 miles from El Paso, Texas, to Brownsville, Texas, in the span of 10 days, the group not only tasked themselves with praying but also sharing the hope that they receive from their faith.
“We felt the Lord call us to pray, give out Bibles, and share God’s love over the course of the long and sometimes ‘bumpy’ ride,” Mr. Amador joyfully said, referring to a moment where his vehicle got stuck in the sand along the border.
“God put many people in our path along this journey and our team, and I really felt Him at work from the moment we began the journey in El Paso with the people we encountered along the way.”
At the start of their excursion, Mr. Amador and his team considered it a “divine appointment” after meeting a Customs and Border Protection chaplain who had been with the agency for more than a decade.
With the chaplain’s supervised access, the “prayer warriors” were then allowed to pray for Border Patrol agents working on-duty throughout the Del Rio Substation center for several hours.
“Connecting with the chaplain was such a blessing to us, and the fact that he guided us for a good portion of his day was just amazing,” Mr. Amador said.
“Even after his shift was over, he continued to join us in prayer and even invited us to an evening prayer service that night at his church.”
Hours later, the men found themselves in an outdoor dirt parking lot area where church congregants were thrilled to have guests from California join them, according to Mr. Amador.
At the end of the prayer night event, the five men were given the opportunity to pray over the pastor and the church before turning in for the night at a local motel.
“Before starting this journey we asked God for opportunities to pray for anyone and everyone,” Mr. Amador said.
“And that includes pastors whom all need the Lord’s oversight to lead.”
A bird flies over the U.S. border wall from San Ysidro, Calif., on April 11, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

A bird flies over the U.S. border wall from San Ysidro, Calif., on April 11, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

For the prayer group, they summarized their interactions along the way as “diverse,” broadly ranging from Texas National Guard members to recent arrivals who entered the United States with temporary work visas. All were given prayer and undivided attention, according to Mr. Amador.
The team also had opportunities to connect with families living near the southern Texas border who welcomed the prayer army to pray with them—at one point in the middle of a grocery store parking area.
“There was a family getting ready to leave the store and drive off when we suddenly felt led to gift them with Bibles,” Mr. Amador said.
“When they then invited us to pray for them, the atmosphere changed. It now seemed filled with hope.
“The whole family left smiling and seemed to have a weight lifted off their shoulders.”
As the prayer army continued to drive eastward, the men found themselves having increased encounters with military and law enforcement teams on active patrols at the Southern Border.
Just outside of Eagle Pass, Texas, a hotspot for mass migration entries into the United States, Mr. Amador thought back to a moment in which he and his team arrived in the later hours of the night, only to meet a young soldier who shared that he has struggled with anger management over the course of his life.
The solider invited the men to pray with him.
“It was so encouraging to see the way he tightly gripped the Bible after we gave it to him,” Mr. Amador said.
“Before leaving, we prayed with a few more soldiers that night, but that interaction really stuck out to me.”
After 10 days, the group completed their mission of praying over the entire expanse of the Texas border, ending their journey in Brownville, Texas, and “praying for everything you could think of,” he said.
Javier Amador of Yorba Linda, Calif., on April 3, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Javier Amador of Yorba Linda, Calif., on April 3, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Looking back to the beginnings of their journey, Mr. Amador recalled even praying for the Mexican cartels and having their evils “scatter away with the winds.”
“We prayed over every mile of that border including for the ‘bad guys’ involved in the situation,” he said.
“I remember praying with the team for the [cartels] to become confused and scatter away in all directions and that no one would be harmed during our trip.”
Upon returning home to Southern California, Mr. Amador and his team reported that, despite the chaotic news of the border in newspaper headlines and television networks, they see a movement of faith happening among people involved with the border.
“There is, for sure, a spiritual revival in God happening at the border right now,” he said.
“We report that the Lord is at work, and I’m encouraged to see what He will do down there.”
In March, Border Patrol agents encountered about 189,000 illegal immigrants along the southwest border, down from a record high of nearly 302,000 in December 2023, according to the Customs and Border Protection.
John Fredricks

John Fredricks


John Fredricks is a California-based journalist for The Epoch Times. His reportage and photojournalism features have been published in a variety of award-winning publications around the world.

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