This article, written by a compassionate and self-aware professional who survived similar treatment and conditions, addresses multiple concerns about the impact on the detainees and also on the mental wellness of a society that incarcerates and thereby traumatizes women and children who are not criminals.
Connection: If CEDEPCA’s Disaster Ministry can provide “psychosocial” (spiritual and emotional) care and training in techniques that help people recover from crisis and trauma caused by natural disasters, couldn’t they provide the same type of care and training for leaders who have experienced crisis and trauma in their efforts to protect their communities from environmentally destructive projects?
A new collaborative effort was born that day. Read more
The author of this blogpost/sermon is my niece, and was one of my traveling companions in the Voices from the Border and Beyond delegation I helped to facilitate.
From a sermon preached Feb. 8, 2015, at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Palo Alto, Calif.
A little over two weeks ago, I was having dinner in a shelter for migrants in Agua Prieta, Mexico. A man I was talking to had been deported from the United States about four months prior and was contemplating trying to cross the formidable border again, to go back to the taco cart he pushed in Salt Lake City, and the $700 he had hidden under the battery of the car he had left at a neighbor’s house. “I got here, and crossing is much more dangerous than it was the first time,” he told me. “I’m not sure I will try it.” He asked me how long I would be in Mexico. I was traveling with a group of Presbyterians, studying Central American migration issues. “We are traveling from Tucson, Arizona…
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Amen, my sister. “We are here to be with, not to do for. We come to walk alongside our friends here. We come to share our lives and our stories and find common ground.” Thank you.
“You keep using that word,” goes the brilliant quote from Inigo Montoyo in the film, “The Princess Bride.”
” I don’t think it means what you think it means.”
And no, I have not been saying “inconceivable” at every turn. The word that keeps coming to my mind and entering into my conversations is “accompaniment.”
I’m new at this missionary business. Feeling called and doing the work of the called are worlds apart. Just like everything I’ve learned about my life and this new, astounding, baffling, magnetically attractive culture in which I’m living.
I’m here to be with you, my brothers and sisters. And when I am fortunate enough to host groups of short-term missioners visiting rural Haiti, I hear myself preaching “accompaniment.”
We are here to be with, not to do for. We come to walk alongside our friends here. We come to share our lives and our stories…
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My recent mission connections letter is now posted on the PC(USA) website: