A pastor in the Bible Belt opened his church to refugees. Here’s what happened

la-mmartin-1487087546-snap-photoSource: Los Angeles Times

BY David Montero

Pastor David Daniels didn’t really have a choice. The refugees were desperate. He could feel that. Their need was great. He could see that. But God was also talking and that, well, he could definitely hear.

So in 2015 he sponsored a Muslim family fleeing Syria and helped them settle in Fort Worth. What’s happened at his church in the years since is a reminder of what decades of studying the Bible has taught Daniels — that God’s will doesn’t always aim toward the easy route. Enter through the narrow gate, the Book of Matthew prescribed.

If God did go for the smooth road, perhaps God wouldn’t have put Daniels in the buckle of the Bible Belt — next to notches of Waffle Houses, Whataburgers and Wal-Marts — and ask him to welcome refugees at a time when the president of the country would rather keep them out.

The national anxiety over immigration and terrorist threats has been felt here in Texas, too, as members of Pantego Bible Church wrestle with their faith, their politics and even the nature of what it means to be a Christian.

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