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Holy Chaos

April 09, 2019
By Patricia Weidman, CSA

Excursion to the mountains

The mountains can be seen from my bedroom window. Ruth, my co-worker, and I explored two trails in the Franklin Mountains State Park, in the Chihuahuan Desert mountain range. The view is expansive and deep. Our walk was limited by not having hiking boots or walking sticks and an early evening shift at the Center. However brief our excursion, the expansiveness of the views opened my soul to the splendor of creation. We toured the nearby National Border Patrol Museum. U.S. Border Agents have secured and protected the U.S. external boundaries since 1924. They deliver asylum seekers in vans to our shelter frequently.

Refugees from Brazil

A surprising development is that the El Paso shelters have been receiving 40+ asylum seekers daily from Brazil, who speak Portuguese. The shelter has a volunteer on call to translate. The Brazilians have smartphones and money, call their sponsors, and often leave the same day. We wonder how they traveled so far.

With two days remaining for me at the shelter, I remind myself of the significance of a smile of encouragement. Whether by word or gesture, a smile may lift their burdens momentarily. The challenge is to lift one another’s burdens in this holy chaos.

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