On Wednesday, I’ll be traveling to Tijuana to help the migrant caravan. Well, strictly speaking, I’ll be helping a group that has been working with poor people in Tijuana for years, but right now that includes a lot of people from the caravan (as we see in the very recent picture below).
I’ll be working with the Proyecto Salesiano Tijuana (Salesian Project Tijuana). This is a group of Catholic priests who are part of a worldwide ecclesiastical community called the Salesians of Don Bosco, also called the Society of Saint Francis de Sales. I was put in touch with them, with my partner Patricia’s help, by a dear friend of ours who is a former Salesian priest. (I’ll “officially” be representing Calotia, a new migrant-aid organization that this friend and Patricia founded.) The Selesians’ main mission is with youths, but they also help migrants and the poor in general.
In Tijuana, their main center for work with migrants, people deported from the US, and other people in need is the Desayunador Padre Chava (shown in all of the pictures in this post). They have a breakfast hall that serves over a thousand free meals each morning. (Patricia has served people there.) They also have a full range of services, including a temporary shelter, haircutting services, clothing and other supplies, telephone, medical services, and legal services to help them navigate the Kafkaesque labyrinth of immigration law.
I’m not sure exactly what I’ll be doing; we’ll talk about that when I get there. I imagine I’ll be doing some work at the Desayunador. But since I know English, do written Spanish-English translations pretty well (and muddle through spoken ones), and can freely cross the border, they may have other projects for me that match my skill set. As far as I’m concerned, anything I can do, I’m more than happy to do. I just want to be truly helpful.
I’ll be living with the priests. I’m not sure how long I’ll be staying, but it will be at least through Christmas. I’m both a little nervous because this will be very new territory for me, but also excited because I feel like this is something God really wants me to do. I’m very much looking forward to being of service to my brothers and sisters in need. Keep us in your prayers!
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The following is a prayer from A Course in Miracles that I will using a lot while I’m in Tijuana (for those unfamiliar with the Course, “Your Son” refers not just to Jesus, but to everyone):
Your peace surrounds me, Father. Where I go, Your peace goes there with me. It sheds its light on everyone I meet. I bring it to
the desolate and lonely and afraid. I give Your peace to those who suffer pain
or grieve for loss or think they are bereft
of hope and happiness. Send me to them,
my Father. Let me bring Your peace with me. For I would save Your Son, as is Your will, that I may come to recognize my Self. (Lesson 245, Complete and Annotated Edition)