Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Serving Community at La Posada Providencia

Services Provided for Asylum Seekers

Sisters of Divine Providence founded La Posada in 1989. Since then, over 8000 individuals from 81 countries have been served.

La Posada’s mission is to provide shelter in a residential setting with dormitories.  Many additional services are offered as needed.
·       Communal meals: both meal preparation and dining are done together with the La Posada staff and other residents of the shelter.
·       Communication resources: access to phone, fax, email, Facebook, and postal services
·       Case Management: involves access to legal aid, health care, social services and relocation assistance.
·       Language instruction: lessons with an instructor or CD/video, plus individual and group conversation practice.
·       Cultural integration: includes assistance with shopping, travel and communications, filling out paperwork, dealing with government agencies, medical offices and businesses.
·       Life skills: involves computer literacy, financial basics, health and nutrition, employment readiness and property maintenance.
·       Experience in a sustainable lifestyle: organic gardening, recycling, residential energy-efficiency measures, and well water application.
·       Emotional Support: compassionate listening, guidance and mentoring; access to faith groups (religion/denomination of choice)
·       Local transportation is offered to health, legal and social services offices, learning centers, shopping, bus station and airport.
·       Clients also benefit from extensive community collaborations, including legal, medical, dental, pharmacy and counseling services.
As you read this list, I hope you are able to identify some places where you think you might help!  Please contact La Posada if you want to be a part of welcoming and serving the “stranger cdplaposada@lppshelter.org.”


 In January 2017, not only was I welcomed to La Posada, I received hospitality in the  home of the Sisters of Divine Providence.  I stayed in the third bedroom of a mobile home on the property of La Posada.  Each of the sisters has many different responsibilities.  They willing do all that needs to be done.    

The sisters are amazing women of God!  They make themselves available 24/7 as circumstances require.  I learned a lot from their conformity to Christ’s image.  Christ gave up heaven, and gave his all for the good of others, for our good!  Conformity to Christ’s image is how the sisters live.  They give themselves for the “strangers” who come to them at La Posada. 

Sister Zita

Sister Zita is the director.  She is also the residents go to person in their dorm.  She chooses to have her room in the women’s dorm so she will be sure to be available if needed. 

Sister Zita is thankful for the inspiration she gains from the hope displayed in the people.  She states, "I am blessed by the people.  They have left everything.  All they have are the clothes on their backs, stripped of everything except their hope.

When she came in 2008, she brought a plaque that now hangs at the door of Casa Belin.  It is a reminder from Hebrews 13:3, ... Be not forgetful  to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” 

Sister Zita does special things, like creating this Pinapple Upside Cake, so other can feel the special love that Divine Providence creates at La Posada.

Overseeing a wonderful lunch for a group of student volunteers 

Sister Zita’s energy, executive and administrative skills are keeping this whole enterprise functioning and heading it a successful direction.  Sister Zita’s collaboration with community groups is an asset to the causes of justice in The Valley.

Sister Margaret

Sister Margaret has many responsibilities.  She came in 1995 and for some time was the only Sister in residence here.  She now is responsible for the facilities and grounds.  The yard and garden are part of her teaching opportunity for the residents.  The organic garden supplies many of the vegetables for our meals.  This first picture was taken in January, a lot has been harvested, but there is more to come.

Sister Margaret identifies one of her most joyful experiences here at La Posada as, “Seeing the changes in the faces of the residents as they realize someone cares for them and loves them."

Sister Margaret does a lot of the transporting and most of the grocery shopping.

Sister Therese 

Sister Therese is part of the Holy Spirit Convent.  The foundress of the Holy Spirit Covenant stated the following.  “Why should we fear?  Our treasury is Divine Providence which supplies the universe and is never exhausted.”  These Sisters are called to be women of faith and trust.  To reach out to the marginalized, especially for those denied respect for their human dignity.

Sister Therese has been at La Posada ten and a half years.  She also has many responsibilities.  She guides the students and volunteers in the classroom.  She is careful to keep each client at the appropriate level in English Class.

Sometimes just watching the children while the mother's study.

She acts as a client mentor.  She listens to their stories and is a presence in their lives.  She is the only sister fluent in Spanish.  While seeing that chores are completed in the dorms, she is successful yet compassionate. 

Sister Therese states, “God blesses me every day through the people I meet and the faith they exhibit; good, amazing and challenging.  Their presence enriches my life.  They challenge me to trust in the providence of God who continuously guides our lives and provides for all of us.” 

Sister Therese is an immigrant from Ireland.  Sister Therese’s Irish roots made St. Patrick’s Day celebration especially fun.  She taught about the life of St. Patrick and we watched a video in English about the St. Patrick’s life.  Everyone enjoyed the celebration in the afternoon after English class.

Earth Care and Concern

Sister Therese teaches the composting.  The garden benefits from emphasis on creation care here at La Posada.  

Other Volunteers

Marlene has been coming to La Posada for four years.  She stays for six months when she comes.  She serves many hours each day, always willing to do what needs to be done.  Her motor-home is parked on the grounds.

Blanca comes every day.  She is fluent in Spanish and English.  Her language skills are a big help in the classroom. 

Periodically Sisters of Divine Providence come and serve.  Sister Janet recently spent two weeks here.  Her friendship was a joy for all. The sisters and volunteers appreciated her teaching and help.

Marlene, Blanca, Sister Janet and many more volunteers were a joy for me to serve with during the last three months.

Everyone Is Special

Celebrate, Celebrate Celebrate!

Making joyful memories for all involved is what La Posada does very well.  Clients, Staff and volunteer birthdays, departures, and special holidays are celebrated. 

Sister Zita serving at the parties, making sure everyone feels special at La Posada.  
Celebrations recognize God’s image in each, celebrating the dignity to every client. 


Office work is my comfort zone.  I was glad to get to help at times in the office, filing.  This is an example of one of the kinds of services needed at La Posada Providencia.  If you know your ABC’s, there is service in the office waiting for you!

The office at La Posada plays a VERY important role.  Monica, asylum seekers main contact, has been at La Posada 16 years.  She is the “go to” person for asylum seekers in their efforts to stay current with the government requirements in their important process.  Although not an attorney, Monica helps keep clients informed of the processes agencies with whom they will need to interact.

We recently celebrated Monica’s birthday.  

A feast goes with many celebrations.


A thought from a Facebook entry was a challenging question to me.  (However, when I saved it I did not realize I had cut off part of the “address.”  I cannot get back to the post; sorry I cannot give credit to the author.)  The idea of the post was to think about the difference between a volunteer for God and a servant of God.

The suggestion was to ask ourselves which label applies.

A volunteer does things they like to do; a servant does what God calls them to do.
A volunteer asks if a task will fit into their schedule; a servant adjusts their schedule to fit.
A volunteer does things their way; a servant does things God's way.
A volunteer may say, "I've put in my time already;" a servant has no time limit.

Romans 6:19, “so now, offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.