Who among us could have anticipated that our 2020 Lenten journey would have included a pandemic that in some way impacts every one of God’s children on this earth? We remember that Jesus’ journey to the cross included 40 days in the wilderness. We are consoled by his endurance then and now, and He is still with us through our bewilderment surrounding the corona virus 19.
Perhaps it has us all a little more aware of the wilderness journey that so many have undertaken, forced to leave their homes because of violence, torture, war and natural disaster. That’s why you are visit our website, and why we continue to express our appreciation for your support as we seek to serve refugees here. That’s why this letter of encouragement is so important. Just as you are seeing Christ at work in your communities in these days, we are blessed to still minister in His name.
We see Jesus in the gifts of prayer, time, talent and treasure that you and others give. A group from St. Louis visited last month and worked wonders by organizing the donations we have received of food, clothing and other items. Several of the refugees in our care worked alongside them. They delivered hundreds of pounds of items to directly benefit refugees and the poorest-of-the-poor here in the Rio Grande Valley. Pastors and other partners who come to our warehouse for aid marvel at what so many have done to reach out to those in need.
Refugees and Volunteers Worked Together at Bayview
Advocacy efforts continue throughout the country. Several of us participated last month in an interfaith prayer vigil in Brownsville TX at the border with Mexico. A Federal court subsequently ruled the good news that forcing legitimate asylum seekers to wait on the Mexico side of the border is unconstitutional. But the legal system is already delaying implementation of the ruling. We pray that you will find ways to participate, even though crowds are not permitted to gather in these days. As an example, you can access sample advocacy letters for contacting your legislators on the latest refugee issues at www.refugeeinternational.org/advocacy-letters
Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Refugees, Valentine’s Day, Brownsville TX
Continue to be Good Samaritans in these days. Stay healthy in all the recommended ways. Do what you can for those “in the ditch.” We are people of hope. We are resolute in our efforts to do what we can for one another and for “the least of these,” just as Jesus was resolute in his days of temptation and trial following his baptism. From there Jesus launched his ministry and carried it all the way to the cross, teaching us how to live a Godly life. From there Jesus rose to glory, granting everlasting life. We are also on the road to resurrection. Thank you for journeying with us.
Your Partner in Christ,
Feliberto Pereira, Director
Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries