(RNS) — As the director of disaster relief for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and a former resident of the border region himself, Scottie Stice and his colleagues have spent years giving aid to migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border.

But these days, said the Texan, “We have had an increase in numbers.”

Waves of Baptist volunteers from across the Mid- and Southwest have flooded his state in recent weeks to offer aid to the influx of largely Central American migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

The deluge of Southern Baptists and other evangelical relief groups has surprised some. Though a vast faith-based network of organizations focuses its work on the border, the Catholic Church has historically dominated the aid operation in Texas. Many mainline Protestant

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