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CSA Sisters Lend a Hand at the Catholic Charities Respite Center (Southern Border) Day 3

January 17, 2019
By CSA Sisters of St. Agnes
The bus arrives

Day 3

Updates from the U.S. Southern Border...

Today I helped Clare to organize and distribute men's clothing, all of which had been donated. I studied the vocabulary and expressions as if I were a department store clerk. 250 refugees arrived from Honduras. The adults wear a large ankle bracelet with a heavy battery so they can be located. I held a baby while the mother got a clean set of clothing. I held a second baby while the mother was in the shower. Hondurans are small; we are out of small pants but more donated clothing will arrive. One woman asked for prayer, so I prayed aloud with her, although brief, and she was grateful. The refugees are grateful and cooperative. I was delighted to meet Sister Norma, the administrator of Catholic Charities Rio Grande Valley. She seemed calm considering the holy chaos of the center.the volunteers and staff have an amazing energy and commitment.

The four of us are getting comfortable with the chaos that is appropriate here. We see an ebb and flow of tasks/ business that match the morning, the pre-bus afternoon, and the arrival of the buses. [At 3:30 each day] we wait for buses -- expecting 250+. All sections seem ready, resting and happy. We sit with other volunteers in the chairs to hold waiting-to-process line of refugees. We will rise and begin cheering when they enter the door. We will resume our tasks and prepare to feed the children. Eventually we will decide to go 'home' to the hotel. Our hearts say "Stay, this is ministry." Our minds say "We can go, they will be okay." Not sure when we will go home. We will come back tomorrow. Ah!!! A bus is here!

Tags: Border