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December 6, 2022

6 diciembre 2022

Cultivating Relationships
and Understanding
Across Borders

Advent wreaths made during Noches Navideñas bear handwritten messages of peace, hope, love, and joy.

Dear friends,

Advent and Christmas are lovely, aren’t they? With lights and beautiful decorations, cheerful greetings, great food (especially Christmas cookies), family, friends, community gatherings. I know we all, at some time, struggle with the frenetic nature of the season and luckily, the carols of peace, joy, hope, and love remind us to breathe in the glorious meaning of the season. This is truly the time to be open to the call by our just and loving God to be aware, to consider, and to act.

In the borderlands, we are witnesses to the daily challenges for individuals and communities; our lives are lived inside the realities of poverty, substance abuse, and migration. Daily, I learn from my colleagues and the many Frontera de Cristo partners about the grace that compels the many acts of caring and compassion. I am learning to serve in unfamiliar places and for people of different languages and cultures. With that gift, I have felt challenged, even called, by a new and different perspective on how I might live my faith.

In the last five years or so, the term “causing holy trouble” has been shared across faith communities and spread far and wide through social media. It is a call to stand as an advocate, bridging the gap between power structures and vulnerable peoples. During this Advent season, as I breathe in the love of God, share in the ministry of compassion, and look to the New Year, I am asking how I might cause some holy trouble. I want to become an advocate and use the lessons of the borderlands to speak to the people in power; people who can make important changes for the many who are suffering here and around the world.

My first task as a ‘holy troublemaker’ is to invite each of you to consider joining with other troublemakers to make change as demonstrated by the one that we celebrate this Christmas – Jesus, the teacher and humble troublemaker.

To each of you, we send our hopes for a blessed season and New Year,

In peace,

Catherine May, for~

Jocabed Gallegos, FDC Coordinator

Dan Abbott and Catherine May, Interim Ministry Liaisons

Preparing to Welcome Jesus

A Letter from Mark Adams and Miriam Maldonado Escobar,

published in Mission Connections by the Presbyterian Mission Agency, November 14, 2022

HOW ARE YOU PREPARING TO WELCOME JESUS?How are you preparing to receive and share the hope, the love, the peace, and the joy that God has poured out into the world?

The Advent and Christmas seasons are rich in liturgical and cultural practices on the US/Mexico border where we are blessed to serve with the bi-national ministry of Frontera de Cristo and its many partner churches and organizations on both sides of the 18-foot steel barrier that divides our community.

These spiritual disciplines have become central to our lives and as we write about them, we grieve that we will miss them this year; even as we celebrate the opportunity we have to share, in churches across the US during our Interpretation Assignment, how we have experienced God at work in and through the incredible community of faith in Douglas/Agua Prieta.

Continue reading and see more photos ...

A sign of hope at the border wall

Join Us December 13

Join us virtually via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88084530346

Download the flyer for in-person meeting instructions

“We can respond to migration with dehumanizing walls, razor wire, and red tape; or, with Christian love, we can join with those in need to create sustainable economic opportunities within their own homelands so that migration is unnecessary. Let us choose love.” 

–Peg Gerould, Davis Community Church, Davis, CA,

reflecting on the 2022 Border-to-Border trip to Chiapas

Follow Us, We're Going that Way!

Reflections from the Mexico-Guatemala Border

by J Ron Byler, Development Executive, Mennonite World Conference 

Ron Byler was one of 18 participants in Frontera de Cristo’s Border-to-Border Delegation, “Coffee, Migration, & Faith,” who traveled to Tapachula, Chiapas, in November 2022, to visit coffee farming families and learn more about the process of growing coffee.

ON MY WAY TO AGUA PRIETA IN THE BUSY Denver airport, I watched a couple I thought might be Central American migrants come off a flight and approach the arrivals/departures board. The crew from their plane came off behind them and asked in Spanish where they needed to go. When they figured out what gate, the crew said, “Follow us, we’re going that way.” As I headed to my next flight to Tucson, I wondered what it would be like if that was the kind of welcome all newcomers received in my country.

Instead, walking the border region a day later in Douglas, Arizona, a 30-foot-high steel fence topped with concertina wire blocked my path into Mexico. ...


Continue reading ...

Coffee growers carry 150 lb bags of coffee cherries to be processed (Photo courtesy David Bonilla)


by Marina Forero, Director, Nueva Esperanza (New Hope)

Programa de Enriquecimiento Educativo (Education Enrichment Program)

In this article, Marina Forero, Director, shares the positive impact of Nueva Esperanza on the lives of children and youth, on their spirits, souls, and bodies. The program’s outreach to the families and communities continues to grow as the staff supports, teaches, challenges, and loves the children. It is in their faith and through their efforts, that the community is able to envision a positive future. I offer prayers of gratitude for the work of Nueva Esperanza.

IN ALL OUR COMPLEXITY AND DIVERSITY, we are all created by God with the essence of the Creator in us. Wonderful!

Spirit: Because we have a great need to connect with God…

For all our programs, each day begins with a welcoming time when each girl and boy considers that our time together is in God’s hands. After play and rest and before enjoying snacks, we pray in gratitude for the hands that brought us delicious food. Then, once a week, we dedicate group-time to recognizing our devotional growth and personal growth. This is how we nourish the spirit and it is as important as eating.

Soul: A healthy mind is cultivated…

Our life experiences define us and that is evident in the children. For some, aggression is a way of defending themselves; for others, rudeness seems natural, or they act as if they are superior to everyone else. Some children fear relationships and when in contact with people they cling to their siblings for protection. Daily, we experience all this and more with our children; often these behaviors they have learned from the older youth and adults in their lives. 

Continue reading ...

Lea el artículo en español

Love Mercy, Do Justice, Order Coffee

FRONTERA DE CRISTO AND CAFÉ JUSTO CREATED the "Love Mercy, Do Justice" initiative to provide coffee for migrant shelters across the southern border. Thousands of women and men each week are greeted with a cup of coffee, a meal, and vital medical attention when they are repatriated into Mexico. You can help support this effort with a donation to Love Mercy, Do Justice.

In the mean time, why not order some coffee for yourself today? You will enjoy delicious 100% organic coffee cultivated, roasted, and shipped by the Café Justo cooperative. To order by mail instead of online, just download this form.

Laura Labrada mixes a frappe

Interpretation Assignment

MARK & MIRIAM ARE TRAVELING THE COUNTRY NOW on "Interpretation Assignment." We invite you to connect with them when they're at a church in your area.

View their speaking schedule for the year (subject to change). They welcome opportunities to fill in the blanks. Just email mark@fronteradecristo.org to inquire about the date you'd like to host them.

Café Justo Video 

Caring for Creation

with Jaime Escobar

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