My wife and I went on our first Mexico house-building trip with Amor Ministries as college students in 1985. The trip opened my eyes to the suffering of families who live on the Mexican side of the California/Mexico border. Many of these families have traveled north not only to find better opportunities for their families, but also to escape oppressive and violent governments within their home countries ( Guatemala, Honduras. El Salvador). On that first trip my wife and I made friends with Victoria, a woman in her mid-sixties who was raising her grand-kids in a chicken-wire, cardboard, and blue tarp shack while her daughter and son-in-law picked strawberries in California. That trip taught me about the economic and global injustice of our present world, as well as the beauty, creativity, and resiliency of Mexican and Central American people. Mostly, I remember feeling the similarities between the families I met in shanty towns along the Mexican border. These were families with parents who loved their children just as much as families in the U.S., families who were seeking a better life for their children, just like any family would in the U.S.
I am so ashamed of the anger, resentment, and vitriol directed toward immigrants seeking a better life in America just as my immigrant Italian and Scottish ancestors did. Particularly, when this latest surge of immigrants involves high numbers of children.
This coming January, Amor is hosting it’s first Global Gathering for college-age young people who are seeking to begin working to create a different world. Young people will gather from across the United States, Mexico, and the United Kingdom to not only talk about a new world, but actually begin building. I hope you can join us. The motto for this event is: “Bringing Young People Together to Disrupt The World.” I have the opportunity to lead contemplative prayer at morning and evening gatherings. To learn more go here.