Thursday March 6, 2014
Today was the mortar and the rest of the week was the brick. Our eyes have been opened to the injustices that occur daily along the metal barrier of our nations border but we lacked the experiences to build a structure of reason. The four experiences today solidified this web of unorganized thoughts:
-Our early morning hike commenced at the crack of dawn and ascended to a beautiful landscape from the top of a waterfall in the Mars canyon. We were lead by an eclectic character, John, who lived a nomadic lifestyle and defied extraversion.
-After an hour drive to El Paso in our tricked out 90s era Preschool van, we made gorditas with a Spanish speaking Mexican woman, Carmen, at the Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey.
-From the urban setting on the border, we drove to Colonia Chaparral where we met and discussed the comparative struggles of border living with four nuns working within the community.
-We finished the day in El Paso. Dr. Mendoza and her mother joined us for dinner to give the medical condition and forecast for the Juarez population. She spoke with passion, humbleness, and simplicity and relit the flame that encouraged us to be the catalyst of change.
Our hearts were ripped open today. We were truly able to learn from those that experienced these hardships. We arrived at the border with stereotypes and misconceptions and we will fly home with a new understanding and a place in our hearts for aspiring citizens. This transformation was a slap in the face, though. Unfortunately, the slap was an iron hand of emotion and depravity delivered from the hearts of the strongest of humans. Their experiences are those of unimaginable circumstances and unheard repercussions.
The concept of the American Dream was brought up in almost every testimony of day. To achieve this dream, immigrants leave their families, belongings, and dignity to find any pathway into our country, many times choosing an illegal lifestyle to achieve economic stability. But is it worth it? Is it worth a life of secrecy and degradation to achieve this dream? We created an arbitrary line and alienated those that live yards away creating a vendetta between citizenships, but this tension is only getting worse. In a horizon with little hope for change, the encounters today gave us hope that change is possible and we are the generation to repair our broken border.
God is great. He will be our source of strength and endurance and all we can do is thank Him for every individual we encounter and the experiences we lived on this trip.