Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Torture at the Border with Mexico

Children's Guardian Angles are crying because children are being torture by our government policy at the Mexico border.

Matthew 18:10
Jesus said, "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, For I tell you that their angels in Heaven always see the face of my Father in Heaven."

Mahatma Gandhi“Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

Quoted from Article:

In two speeches last week in the border states of Arizona and California, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that as a matter of enforcement, if an unauthorized migrant brings a child across the United States-Mexico border without documentation, “we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”
This means undocumented children and parents will be separated — a tactic meant to deter migrant parents, including many asylum seekers, such as those who’ve traveled through Central America in a caravan in recent weeks, from crossing the border in the first place. Human rights organizations such as Amnesty International have argued that this policy change is inhumane, and it is. But evidence from developmental neuroscience suggests it is more than inhumane.

It’s also, by definition, torture.

Under federal law, which adopts the United Nations definition, torture is: “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as … punishing him or her for an act he or she or a third person … has committed or is suspected of having committed.” And though in theory any action inflicting such suffering is banned, that is what is inflicted by separating parents and children in border detention.

Children arriving at the U.S. border in search of asylum are frequently a particularly vulnerable population. In many cases fleeing violence and persecution, they also encounter hunger, illness and threats of physical harm along their hazardous journey to the border. This combination of experiences puts migrant children at high risk for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Such anxiety and mood disorders can be debilitating and intractable, particularly when they start in childhood. By the time many migrant children arrive in the United States, they have already faced harrowing events, increasing the likelihood that they’ll be traumatized by parental separation.
Parenting is, after all, a crucial ingredient in our species’ recipe for survival. It is so crucial that children’s brains have evolved to need it the same way that their bodies require nutrition and rest. Various studies demonstrate that being close to parents can buffer children against feelings of stress and threat.

Matthew 25:40,45

“40…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
“45…whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”

Contact Your Elected Officials!
Let's Get This Kind of Enforcement Changed.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

From Middle East Monitor

People seeking refuge in our country that I have met and served are from Eritrea.


Over 5,000 Eritreans leave their country each month due to severe human rights violations committed by the government. Isaias Afwerki's one-party state exerts control over the media and the judiciary and uses torture, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances to repress its own people. One in every 11 Eritreans are refugees.

One of the most commonly cited reasons for leaving the country is indefinite military conscription which male and females enter at the age of 18. Despite an 18-month cap, conscripts work for years without pay, get beaten or tortured if they complain and the women subject to sexual violence.

A number of Eritreans who escape and cross the border into Sudan register as refugees in the camps. Others simply transit through Sudan on their way to Libya and Egypt where they board a boat to Europe. Others head to Israel where they hope to start a new life.

The route is perilous with thousands of refugees dying at the border of Sudan, at the hands of security forces when they are sent back home, in the vast deserts of the Sahara and beneath the waves of the Mediterranean Sea. Others are tortured to death at the hands of traffickers.

Here, MEMO gives you the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of an Eritrean refugee.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

La Posada Newsletter

It is with joy that I am able to read, and pray for La Posada.

La Posada Providencia's E-Newsletter

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Building Bridges Through Love and Selflessness
This week, La Posada has had the pleasure of meeting and working with five committed sociology students from Governors State University located in the South part of Chicago, Il. They are all students in Sociology Professor Dr. Daniel K. Cortese’s Social Inequalities course. The professor wants his students to experience an immersion – a lived experience of – meeting and working with immigrants and asylum seekers.  The students chose La Posada as the place to do this service learning project.  La Posada provided a perfect opportunity to spend a week volunteering since Dr. Cortese is also a member of the Stewardship Committee of St. Teresa of Avila Parish in Chicago, a church that has an established mission relationship with La Posada.

While at La Posada, the students are undertaking two service projects: tutoring and painting the exterior of Casa Belen, the commons building.

When asked to reflect on his student’s impressions, Dr. Cortese commented “Most of my students are first-generation students in college and have humble backgrounds by American standards—qualifying for financial aid due to their family’s income. I think what is the most transformative for my students has been their ability to communicate across cultures through meaningful interactions and experiences with La Posada’s clients. The differences between us seem so insignificant compared to our similarities.  For example, one student, Mike, made fast friends with Tomas from Africa over a quick game of basketball—learning about Tomas’s experience with and escape from persecution. And, in another example, Brianna, a student, connected with Abel through the ESL experience. They were learning each other’s words by using translation software on their phones. And, my student Tommy used the globe as a tool to show two adult La Posada clients from the Congo where he was from, and learned how they immigrated from Africa and their migration experience.

In each example, I could not have “taught” any of this from a textbook to make these points so clear for them. It’s been a wonderful exercise of showing how building bridges through love and selflessness makes society much stronger than walls can ever do.”

 We are grateful for the help these students and Dr. Cortese are providing to La Posada and our clients. They will be great ambassadors for La Posada’s story and for the stories of the humble clients they encountered during their stay. The stories they tell of their experiences can help put a human face to the label “immigrant” and “asylum seeker.”

Donate to La Posada

Help the stranger and give to La Posada online today using a secure server. Make a monetary donation using your credit or debit card

Connect with La Posada

F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W on T W I T T E R
Present Client Census: 25 Clients representing 8 different countries

7  Women:   3-El Salvador, 1-Congo, 1-Guatemala, 1-Zimbabwe, 1-Honduras
11  Children: 3-El Salvador,1-Congo, 4-Guatemala, 2-Honduras, 1-Mexico
7  Men: 2-Mexico, 3-Eritrea; 1-Rwanda, 1-Congo

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Published in La Posada's Newsletter

La Posada Providencia's E-Newsletter

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Volunteer Reflects on La Posada Experiences
La Posada has been blessed with the time, talent and treasure of committed and passionate volunteers throughout the years.   We are particularly blessed to benefit from seasonal volunteers who spend extended periods of time volunteering with us. One such volunteer is Randie Clawson from Michigan; becomes a Winter Texan from January through March.

In her own words . . .

“I just completed my second year, volunteering three months each year at
La Posada..."

“Entering La Posada, to me, is entering a region of awe.  The foresight, labor
and prayers that established La Posada are evident in the outcomes being
experienced now. . .”

“Most of my volunteer hours are spent in the classroom…”

“Each day is special and different.  At times, my students were adults and other times children…”

“The fun of learning and playing together was a large part of my joy at La Posada…”

“I stand amazed in the presence of these children.  Seeing their daily achievements and being a part of their joy in learning and playing together is the content of my sweet memories of La Posada, 2018.”

“I am back in Michigan now.  I am spreading the word about La Posada.  I am recommending to all to look into the possibility of their becoming a “Winter Texan” and volunteering at La Posada with me.”

Randie’s full story will appear in our upcoming New Beginnings, our annual printed newsletter--stay tuned. Not sure if you are on the mailing list? Send us an email at and we’ll make sure you get a copy!

Poor Robin, Still more Snow

A positive "spin" on drifts and seasons.

In Michigan, for as long as I can remember, seeing the first robin of spring was cause to celebrate.  There are various rituals that some engage in, but most people are just glad to see the robin, know spring is near.

For as long as I can remember this is the poem we said when we saw that first robin.

The North wind doth blow and we shall have snow,
And what will poor robin do then, poor thing?
He'll sit in a barn and keep himself warm
and hide his head under his wing, poor thing

I saw my first robin on April 9 and thought my complaining about winter weather had come to an end.  How wrong I was, starting April 13 in the afternoon and continuing until the morning of April 17, I was snowed in.   Because I am now a "Winter Texan," Winter Texans do not drive on white roads.  Or so I have decided.

April 13 snow coming, but the roads were not white.  Following are daily updates.

April 14th Reality

April 15 Reality

April 16 Reality

April 17th, Roads not white, but the reality of black ice makes them very dangerous. 

It might sound like I am complaining, but I am not.  I am actually thanking God for these snow days.  They were opportunities to do some of the "have to do" on my seven page list.  I am actually hoping to finish my unpacking within the next two weeks.

Also, I am happy to be cooking in my own kitchen.  Breakfast while snowed in, oatmeal on a bed of prunes.

This Is The Season to Pray for Each Other.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

April Was Too Soon

Why the End of March?

The pain and reality of being double booked required my departure from S. Texas at the end of March instead of my middle April expectation.  Sweet are the memories of those who planned and attended the departure party in the re-purposed classroom.

I am home, but taking a on line course, Module 4, at  I’m preparing to obtain a certified laity position with the United Methodist Church

From BeADisciple’s Web Page:

BeADisciple is also a community of people who are invested in becoming better Christian disciples. As courses are conducted in small groups with a trained facilitator or a certified instructor, students and instructors have an opportunity to get to know one another. Groups begin together, progress through materials, and end together. Individual students participate at the time of day that works best for their schedule and are not required to be online at the same time as other participants. Our courses are open to anyone, and there’s no membership fee to be a part of our community — simply enroll in a course that interests you! CEU credits are available for all of our courses. is one of several programs of the Richard and Julia Wilke Institute for Discipleship at Southwestern College, a United Methodist institution in Winfield, Kansas. To learn about all of the Institute’s activities, visit

Unexpected but Appreciated Help and Company

I had such a terrible experience on the roads in down town Houston on my way down, I emailed my daughter-in-law, Gale, asking her to find me a way to come home so I did not have to drive through downtown Houston. 

Her solution was better than I could have thought or imagined.  She flew down and drove me home!

My first breakfast on the the road in Texas was a dish titled, Eggs, Al La Mexicana.  It was delicious. 

Sure do love the hot sauces of Texas.

Unexpected Memory Trigger

Passing through a government check point brought back the many memories of my service with World Council of Churches in their Ecumenical Accompaniment Program Palestine Israel.

God has used that experience and the memories it triggers to help me "see" injustice that I had previously not identified and named.  

An awakening that has and is changing what I say and do.


Home in April

Looking out my window, I was greeted with SNOW.  Sad to see it, but VERY glad I did not have to drive in it.

The snow lasted only a day or two.   Soon we had "greenish brown" lawn again.

Even More Snow (A Primer for my Texas Friends)

April 4th I woke up to another storm.  I opened the Garage door to find a drift of about a foot high had blown against the door. 

It was garbage day and the trash bin had to go out by 6:30 AM.

Pulling the bin through the snow was not an easy task.  The strong wind made it even more difficult.

When the light of dawn came it showed the reality, the bin had been blown over by the strong wind. 

I had to go back out in the storm to set it upright.

The wind had been blowing so hard, that my previous tracks were already snow covered.

All was well, waiting.  

What I did not know was that the garbage service was canceled because of the weather.

The picture to the right is a picture of side-ways snow.

Sorry it is not really clear, 

When it is snowing and windy the snow comes down to the ground sideways.

Weather Matters

Remembering again how in Traverse City, MI the weather is an intrusion on scheduling.  I have been forced to stay home because of bad roads.  It is a good thing, however, I am getting a lot done on my class assignments!

Remember Refugees in Your Prayers

Many Are Facing Weather without Needed Protection

Another Glimpse of La Posada

Sharing My Reflections and Parts of a Newsletter

I am so happy to be able to stay connected through la Posada's Newsletter.  Below are parts of the newsletter and my reflections.  Please remember La Posada Providencia in your prayers and donations.

La Posada Providencia's E-Newsletter

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Those Who Inspire

 Sister Therese puts the final touches on the birthday cake.  Sister Zita is holding the individual cards each client created especially for her.  Sister Zita's love, the love of all the sisters and staff are God's Prevenient Grace flowing to the immigrants and asylum seekers at La Posada.

Program Director, Sister Zita Telkamp, CDP, is someone who comes to mind when contemplating inspiration. Anyone touched by La Posada during the past 10 years can certainly offer testimony of her daily activities that are inspiring. We are not sure when she sleeps because it seems she is always up and about attending to various client and staff needs. And, she does all of this at all times of the day and night! That is why it was very fitting that clients and staff stopped for a break to honor her and celebrate her birthday on March 23rd, with cake and ice cream.
Thank you Sister Zita for all you do!

Ever wonder who inspires someone like Sister Zita? Well, she recently told us of someone, a client, named Irma. When asked why, Sister stated “The reason why I find her inspiring is that she is 78 years old and very hard working. I have noticed her helping our cook in the kitchen, cleaning, and setting the table. She shows the energy of a younger person.”

We all need sources of inspiration to help us as we travel our life’s journey. May Providence shine on our inspirational heroes – those for whom we sing praises and those whose praises are yet to be sung.

On the Left is resident Irma.

Below are the residents helping celebrate Sister Zita's birthday.

Present Client Census: 15 Clients representing 9 different countries

5  Women:   2- Salvador, 1-Congo, 1-Guatemala, 1-Zimbabwe
3  Children:  1-El Salvador,1-Congo, 1-Guatemala
7  Men: 2-Mexico, 1-USA, 1-Cameroon, 2-Eritrea; 1-Rwanda

The Client Census above is a "snapshot" of the numbers on the Tuesday of the newsletter.  The reality is a constant flux of asylum seekers in and out. 

Family separation adds to the pain of the violence that causes the migration in the first place.  Many of the women are monitored as criminals.

The mothers have been separated from their spouses and children have been separated form their fathers by our immigration system's rules.  Above is the government bus from Dilly Detention Center bringing many to us for our care and repair.

Check out the many articles on the Internet about Dilly Family Detention Center, Dilly Texas. This detention center is where many mothers and children at La Posada were detained prior to coming to La Posada. 

Much is needed, Much is Required

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, then you are on the side of the oppressor (Desmond Tutu)

“What you did or failed to do you did for or failed to do for me,” Jesus.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Our Call to do Justice

With Liberty and Justice for All

The Immigrant's Prayer
By Jorge Palacios, Jr.
Our Father who art in Heaven,
hallowed be thy name.

Our Father, Father to all the peoples of the Earth, to the most destitute and the most powerful,
Father to those who condemn us and those who welcome us,
Father who protects us, who gives us life and strength to leave the only place we know as home,
may your name be always cherished by our lips, chapped and broken as they may be.
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,

Though we do not feign to understand your will, we pray that it may be done.
Though we do not pretend to know what this new land holds for us, we pray that it may begin to look like home.
on earth as it is in heaven
May our outlook of heaven begin to take form here on earth,
and that our material poverty and struggle may begin to dissipate, making room for our heavenly home.
Give us this day our daily bread;
You, Father, are the source that provides for us, completely.
We rely on you, our rock and our salvation, for hope and for our physical needs.
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us

Many will despise us for the languages we speak, for the color of our skin, and for the lands from which we come.
They will call us trespassers.
Forgive us for seeking worlds for ourselves,
as we forgive those who despise us.
and lead us not into temptation
Do not let us forget who we are, where we come from, and how we got here.
Do not let us, Lord, forget you.
but deliver us from evil.


A Junior studying Religious Studies and Music Performance at Regis University, Jorge Palacios has become a young voice for the rights of the undocumented, refugees, and minorities. Having attended the Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice for the last three consecutive years, as well as having spoken on the main stage at the Teach-in this past November, Palacios remains focused to advocating for the marginalized. Palacios hopes, as a child of immigrants, to bring together communities that seem polarized on issues regarding human dignity, knowing what it means to reconcile two different worlds. 
From an Ignatian Solidarity Network Series 2017

All of Michigan is an ICE 'border zone' — here are the rights all immigrants should know

Posted By  on Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 2:06 pm

"Undocumented, unafraid, and unapologetic." - NICK HAYES
  • Nick Hayes
  • "Undocumented, unafraid, and unapologetic."

It's clear by now: the Trump administration is cracking down on undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. In Michigan, several events have highlighted the extent of the efforts so far.

In October 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested and deported a father in Southwest Detroit who had previously been granted a special visa that would allow him to obtain legal status and live in the U.S. in exchange for cooperating with police.

As part of a nationwide immigration sweep, four 7-Eleven stores in metro Detroit were targeted on Jan. 10 by ICE agents as part of an investigation into undocumented workers. At least one 7-Eleven employee was detained, along with 21 across the country.

And then there's the case of Jorge Garcia, a Lincoln Park father who was deported to Mexico on Jan. 15 after living without incident in the U.S. for 30 years.

The Fourth Amendment protects Americans from random and arbitrary stops and searches. However, that doesn't necessarily apply to those who fall within the government’s 100-mile "border zone." Since Michigan is surrounded by the Great Lakes, it is considered such a zone — and the zone covers the entirety of the state, as you can see in this American Civil Liberties Union map. (In fact, two-thirds of the country’s population — more than 200 million citizens — lives within these border zones.)


    Federal agents are granted "extraordinary powers" to search people or vehicles without a warrant in these border zones. But the "extraordinary powers" granted within these zones does not mean federal agents are constitutionally exempt. Agents are not allowed to pull someone over without "reasonable suspicion" of an immigration violation or crime and cannot search a vehicle without a warrant or "probable cause."

    According to the ACLU of Michigan, people have the legal right to tell border agents the following — even if they are undocumented:

    • "I am not required to answer your questions about my immigration status and do not wish to do so."

    • "I do not consent to a search of my belongings."

    • "I wish to remain silent."

    People can also:

    • Video record the interaction.

    • Tell others they have rights and should use them, but do not block officers from performing their duties.

    To learn more about immigrant rights, click here.


    Tuesday, March 20, 2018

    On The Road Again, Soon!


    The bittersweet reality of departure haunts each ending of mission service experience.  I have been a winter Texan two years and I have told God it is OK with me if I have that designation again next year.

    Reality of chores waiting in Michigan is requiring focusing and prioritizing.  Praise God with me that my Daughter-in-law, Gale, has offered to fly to Texas and is going to drive/ride with me cross-country.


    We all have the same amount, but how often it seems to stand still or fly!  Walking in 80+-degree weather while in Texas, January thru March is one of the joys.

    Some white pelicans show up in San Benito every 3-5 years.  This was the year and I was blessed to see them!

    God continues to teach me life lessons because of my “yes” to ministry. 

     Circumstances are gifts for listening and growing in understanding God’s Providence and Prevenient Grace in our lives.


    We are having a national conversation about guns.  It is a needed conversation.

    At the same time, it is morally responsible to include in the conversation the number of deaths occurring because of the guns of war.  

    How many of the bullets bombs and drones  that killed people worldwide have USA stamped on them or were produced by our military industrial complex?

    Statistics of 2017, guns of war.
    Start of conflict
    Cumulative fatalities
    Fatalities in 2017
    ·       Current phase
    23,065[n 1]
    ·       Iraqi Civil War
    North America

    Jesus shows no partiality to country or persons,
    we are all called to nonviolent living,
    “Love Your Enemies.”

    Saying “Yes” to Serve at La Posada

    Tuesday in Texas is the title of the newsletter produced by La Posada where I served.  The statistics below show the realities as of Tuesday 3/20/18.

    Present Client Census: 19 Clients representing 9 different countries

    6  Women:   3-El Salvador, 1-Mexico, 1-Congo, 1-Guatemala
    5  Children:  2-El Salvador, 2-Congo, 1-Guatemala
    8  Men: 1-Mexico, 1-Eritrea, 2-Cuba, 1-Nigeria 1-USA, 1-Cameroon, 1-Congo

    These are names and numbers to anyone who reads this, however, to me, now; they are people who received God’s Prevenient Grace at La Posada.  I have had the privilege of seeing Christ in them. 

    It was my privilege as Sister Therese leads us in the opening of each day of school.  Each day we say the pledge of allegiance and sing together, God Bless America. 

    As part of the cultural orientation in January, Sister Therese taught about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  I loved hearing these suffering asylum seekers singing, “We Shall Overcome.”

    It was my joy to see the progress as everyone worked hard to learn English.  For some it was their third or fourth language.  With the young students each week, we were worked on learning the alphabet.  I discovered that for one eight year-old English is the third language going into his head. 
    Serving at La Posada was my joy, joy, joy down in my heart.  We also sang This Little Light of Mine.  It is fun watching everyone do the motions and enjoy singing together. 

    It is a worshipful soul re-commitment for me as I heard the multi-national singers' voices singing of God’s light.  “Jesus gave it to me, I’m going to let shine.  

    The residents are here because of bombs, bullets and violenceJesus is the answer.  

    May rivers of justice flow from each of our choices in our 24/7’s! 


    Finding Family at First United Methodist Church of San Benito was a joy.  

    The United Methodist Women's Unit visited La Posada.

    The discussions in the Sunday school class were opportunities to ponder perspectives.

    The first Sunday I attended, I was invited to sit in the "Michigan Row."   I also was invited to join them for lunch after church.  

    I also attended some events where most live, at Sun and Fun!

    My Added Journey

    I have added another “Yes” to God and am studying to becoming a Certified Lay Minister, CLM, with the United Methodist Church.  I still have CLM course work and other requirements to complete.  An area of my training, interactions with an established congregation, will be accomplished in the family of God that is the Grawn United Methodist Church.  As I learn and serve in the capacity of a Certified Lay Minister, CLM, I look forward to growing in community with all at Grawn United Methodist Church.  Part of my service will be as the Peace with Justice Coordinator for District 2 of the Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church. 

    Pray and Act for Peace with Justice