CHRISTMAS CARD CAMPAIGN AND OTHER WAYS TO HELP

NEWS FOR December 6, 2014

 

December 6, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

 

I have continued my visits to the women in Pod B at the Brooks County Detention Center .  We have become family, a community of support and hope.  

 

I plan to continue to visit 3 times per week for 90 minute sessions.  We have outgrown our metal picnic table and now make a circle on the cement floor.  Women take turns being called by their peers to lead our service of worship, praise and proclaiming the Word of God. Yesterday's singing was heavenly.  Some words are so heartfelt that tears run down faces and dampen the orange prison garb.

 

Each time we share news including who has left the detention center and who has come in.  Our group welcomed three newcomers yesterday, one of whom is pregnant.  Julie now comes and she is bilingual; she brings clarity to the conversation though the women seem to enjoy translating my Spanish to real Spanish.

 

Mostly I encourage human interaction.  Each person gets at least 3 hugs from me in the course of the time together and many hug one another as well.  We hold hands and sit close together for our prayer time.  It is a time of smiles and even some laughter.

 

I was able to view the list of items that are available for purchase at the commissary.  I would estimate that the list held about 100 items.  If what is distributed to the women is not sufficient, items can be purchased. Items for purchase include food, coffee, paper and pen and envelopes, clothing (they have to purchase their own underwear), feminine and hygiene products. Phone calls are expensive. To call within Texas for 15 minutes is the cheapest, to call Mexico for one minute costs over $5.00.  

 

I gave the women my address and phone number.  I encouraged them to write to me with the hope of finding penpals.  To save on postage, they grouped letters into one envelope.  I also told them that if someone was taken to the hospital, that I wanted to be called.

 

On Monday, I requested to meet the warden.  My goal was to introduce myself and attempt to form a relationship.  By God's intervention, I met both the warden and his assistant.  Since the atmosphere was pleasant, I pursued some of my questions.  I learned that they would welcome books in the Spanish language for their library, admitting that most of the books in English are unused.  I learned that it is possible to put money into the accounts of the residents if I know the information about particular persons.  I learned that the assistant warden is very interested in having the ACTS Retreat program running in the detention center.

 

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

 

1.  Join our Christmas Card Campaign and invite others to do the same. Let's shower the women with love and hope! (instructions follow in the next section)


 

2.  Send donations of money to the South Texas Human Rights Center which will allow me to distribute it among the women who are in need to purchase from the commissary.  If you wish for a donation to be used for this purpose, please indicate it clearly.  See the paypal account 

on our website or mail a check (payable to STHRC) to: STHRC, 117 E. Miller St, Falfurrias, TX 78355.


 

3.  Choose a person and write to her regularly.  There is at least one English speaker in the pod.  Other ideas for communication are to use google translate or look up the words to Spanish spiritual songs and copy them.  Copy words from Scripture in Spanish.  Decorate your letter with color....this shows your love and care.  If a letter comes back to you or you receive no response, it may be that the woman is no longer present in the detention center.

 

4.  Pray daily for the women by name.  One of their favorite prayers is Psalm 91.

 

5.  Send donations of money to the South Texas Human Rights Center that will allow me to purchase books in Spanish for the detention center library.  If you wish for a donation to be used for this purpose, please indicate it clearly.  See the paypal account on our website or mail the check (payable to STHRC) to: STHRC, 117 E. Miller St, Falfurrias, TX 78355.

 

6.  If you live nearby, consider adopting a pod and visiting regularly.  I have adopted Pod B.  There is one more pod of women and perhaps 6 pods of men.  Contact me and I will assist you. 

 

THANK YOU FOR CONSIDERING ANY OF THE ABOVE!

 

Specifics about the Christmas Card Campaign and letter writing:

 

1.  You may wish to just use your first name.  You do not have to include a return address on the envelope.

 

2.  Please follow this model for addressing the envelopes.

[Full Name of Person]

[Identification Number of Person]

Brooks County Detention Center

901 County Road 201

Falfurrias, TX 78355

 

3.  It would be wonderful to include in the envelope uncolored coloring book pictures, written Bible verses in Spanish, or words to songs or prayers written in Spanish.  Use color and decorate stationery.  Do NOT put anything else into the envelope; it will be confiscated and will jeopardize our intent.

 

4. Below are the names and numbers of the women I have met. Each card must be addressed individually; one card to one person. I am listing their home country for you but you do not need to put it on the envelope.  

 

Sarai Lorena Mu´┐Żoz Flores  3141000460 (Mexico)

Maria Guadalupe Osorio Garcia  3140700579 (Guatemala)

Celia Bautista Velasquez 3140900035 (Mexico)

Emma Martinez Ramos  3141000253 (Honduras)

Ana Bertha Juarez Mendez  3141100221 (Mexico)

Mirian Hernandez  3141100226 (Guatemala)

Florentina Francisco Andres 3141100225 (Mexico)

Victoria Gabriela Chilel Lopez 3141000450 (Mexico)

Esmeralda Reyes  3141000043 (Mexico)

Belkis Chacon Lopez  314000102 (Honduras)

Martha Stephany Parada de Romero  3141100220 (El Salvador)

Mirian Elizabeth Escalante  3141000282 (Honduras)

Maria Cristina Garcia Perez  3141000395 (Honduras)

Maria Nicolasa Hernandez Avelazquez  3141000477 (El Salvador)

Claudia Jaquelin Gonzales Mejia  3141000396 (Honduras)

Ada Suyapa Gutierrez  3141000478 (Honduras)

Martha Berenice Reyes Aceuedo  3141100062 (Mexico)

Maria Amescua  3140500675

Wendy Sarai Palacios Quijada  3141100266

Julie Ellen Martinez  3140900101

Leslie Ruth Martinez Rangel  3141100284

Silvia Ayala  3141100269

 

You may notice that Olga's name is not on the list.  Olga was removed from the Falfurrias Detention Center the very day that I met her.  She is currently in a Detention Center in Laredo.  We still have hope that she will not be deported and that she will be reunited with her baby.

 

Thank you for your support and prayers....especially for these women.

Sr. Pam

 

Please pass along this email.    If anyone wishes to be added to the list, click here.

 

Click here to go to STHRC Website

Some letters written to me from women in Pod B

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