"As they were on their way they were cleansed." Luke 17:14
I will be leaving S. Texas at the end of March. Every going out has created cleansing opportunities in my soul. Again, during this mission service, I am converted and reconverted in areas where I did not realize my need.
My daily prayer includes, “God, show me my blind spots. I am now adding to that prayer, “God, I need your Holy Spirit’s empowerment so that I live into the lessons you are teaching me.”
It was my joy on March 10, 2018 to be a part of the Spiritual Retreat of the United Methodist Women of the El Valle District of the Rio Texas Conference.
I was privileged to tell how United Methodist Women shaped my faith journey.
My involvement with United Methodist Women started with a 2012 United Methodist Women’s Ubuntu Journey to Sierra Leone.
As I read some background for this journey, I read the story of Beatrice Gbanga. My heart was strangely drawn with a longing to meet Beatrice Gbanga while in Sierra Leone because of my reading of her story.”
She had fled Sierra Leone's civil war to settle in Atlanta, Georgia. In Atlanta, despite her Master’s degree from England and her decades of service as a nurse in Sierra Leone, she had to take a low-paying job as a night parking lot attendant in down town Atlanta. With children to support, both financially and emotionally she did what any of us UMW would do. She worked double shifts to raise enough money to sponsor her three youngest children's entry into the United States.
I felt outrage at how she was treated here. Our immigration system gives no credit to the college education elsewhere, even education in Great Britain. After the war, through an offer of our General Board of Global ministries, Beatrice Gbanga answered God's call and took her skills back home to Sierra Leone, (http://www.umcmission.org/Learn-About-Us/News-and-Stories/2011/August/Answering-God-s-Call-in-Sierra-Leone)
As I prepared to talk on March 10, 2018, I realized for the first time that God’s Prevenient Grace was at work in my heart because of Beatrice’s story. That story starting my awareness of the injustices in our immigration system.
It is Divine grace that precedes human decision.
Over 9,000 people from 80+ different countries have experienced God's Prevenient Grace moment by moment at La Posada.
All shelter residents are in the legal process of refuge in this country. Tears and hope are the living reality!
As United Methodist Women, we know our call is to ACT FOR JUSTICE.
WE PROCLAIM THE YEAR OF THE LORD’S FAVOR.
WE PROCLAIM JESUS, JUSTICE AND JOY.
We continue actions of Resisting Evil!
Pictured with me is Cindy Johnson a UMW Deacon from Brownsville, TX. Cindy is the person who connected me with La Posada in 2017.
UMW Immigrant/Civil Rights Initiative Facebook page is a resource for learning about the US broken immigration system, https://www.facebook.com/groups/UMWimmigration/?ref=bookmarks .
The Holy Spirit is active in our world. UMW helps us realize where and we join in. Are we ready to keep step with this bishop, Bishop Minerva Carcaño, and others acting for justice?
Hear the Urgent Call,
Join the Holy Spirit's Action.