MISSION, Texas – The leadership team at Valley Baptist Retreat in Mission recently held a fiesta to thank Department of Homeland Security employees working in the Rio Grande Valley.

Operation Border Blessing attracted more than 500 families, for whom at least one member worked for Border Patrol or Customs and Border Protection, etc. It is the second time Valley Baptist Retreat has held such a party. The first was in the summer of 2019. The one slated for 2020 had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.

“We plan to make this an annual event,” said one the organizers, Othal Brand, Jr. “We enjoyed putting the event on and the families seem to have enjoyed the afternoon’s festivities.”

The families were provided with a BBQ lunch and had the chance to pick out free large and small gifts. There was also a raffle, with the chance of winning an iPad and fun events for the children. 

Asked why Valley Baptist Retreat put on the event, Brand said: “We are the No. 1 place in the nation for border crossings. We know these past few months have been a real challenge for DHS. We have partnered with other organizations from around the United States to try to give the Border Patrol agents and CBP officers a spiritual lift and to say, we are with you, we are behind you, we appreciate you. That is all it is. No strings attached. Just to say thank you and to encourage their families.”

“Amen,” said the fellow organizers having lunch with Brand.

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