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December 4, 2023

4 de diciembre 2023

Cultivating Relationships

and Understanding

Across Borders

Advent wreath created at Café Justo y Mas's

Noche Navideña in 2019

Dear friends,


"Be attentive," said Dr. Juan Jose Saldana, professor of philosophy at the University of Baja California in response to the question "How does one find purpose in life?" at Café Justo y Mas's Club de Lectura gathering.


"Be attentive" says Jesus in this week's lectionary passage that we reflected on the next day at our weekly time of biblical reflections and prayer at Café Justo y Mas.


Our prayer for us, as well as for you, during this Advent season is that we may be attentive to the ways in which hope, peace, love, and joy is present in the midst of our hurting world and also attentive to the ways we can be instruments of God's hope, peace, love and joy to alleviate the suffering both near and far.


We are grateful for your support, words of encouragement and prayers that help us share God's hope, peace, love, and joy with persons fleeing extreme poverty and extreme violence; men and women who are in recovery from addictions to drugs and alcohol; children who are at risk of dropping out of school; and church members seeking to be disciples of Jesus Christ when borders divide.

Peace,

Joca Gallegos and Mark Adams

Coordinators

YOUR YEAR-END DONATION will bring hope, peace, love, and joy to so many in the borderlands as they cope with the rigors of daily living.

Donate Now

You can also give to either of the Amazon Wish Lists (described below) to support the Migrant Resource Center or the Children's Enrichment Ministry. Thank you for caring!

Join us December 12 for Posada Sin Fronteras

LAS POSADA SIN FRONTERAS leads us through Advent to Christmas, as we remember the journey of the holy family. We welcome your presence at this annual event, in person at the border or on Zoom.


US Side Participants: Meet at the Migrant Memorial Bench at 4 pm on the southwest corner of Pan American Avenue and 5th St in Douglas, Arizona. We will process toward the wall west of the Port of Entry. After 4 pm, meet us at the wall. Mexican Side Participants: Meet about 300 meters west of the Port of Entry in Agua Prieta at 4 pm.


Join us from anywhere via Zoom:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85178820201

Tuesday, December 12, at 4:00pm (MST)

Meeting ID: 851 7882 0201

Click on the graphic to download the event flyer.

Congratulations, Joca!

JOIN US IN CELEBRATING WITH JOCA! At a meeting of Presbytery de Cristo in October 2023, Joca was unanimously approved as a candidate for ordination as Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA).


Joca's ordination service will be held at Lirio de los Valles Presbyterian Church in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, on Sunday, December 17, 2023 at 4:00pm. For those at a distance, the service will be available via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86448268589

In Joca's words: “I thank God for His call to my life; the road has been long with ups and downs, but God’s hand has always been there and His voice calling me continues to resound within my heart and resonate in my life.” “Doy gracias a Dios por su llamado a mi vida, el camino ha sido largo un sube y baja, pero la mano de Dios siempre ha estado ahí y su voz llamándome sigue sonando dentro de mi corazón y resonando en mi vida.”

Amazon Wish Lists for Two FDC Ministries

VILLAGE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH in Prairie Village, Kansas, has very kindly set up an Amazon Wish List for the Migrant Resource Center (MRC) in Agua Prieta, and you can participate. Migrant asylum seekers trek across Mexico on foot for months to reach the US border. When they finally arrive, many have suffered serious injuries from exposure to freezing temperatures. Currently, during the winter, the most pressing need at the MRC is for winter gloves and hats for the thousands of men, women, and children they care for each month.

A DELEGATION OF PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN in the Presbyterian Church (USA) spent three days in October with our ministry partners, witnessing life in the borderlands. Dodie Weiland, from Desert Palms Presbyterian Church in Sun City West, Arizona, created this Amazon Wish List for the Children's Enrichment Ministry, in coordination with the ministry's leaders. Your participation in helping to provide these items will help to complete their teaching tools in each of their four locations.

Orders will be shipped to Frontera de Cristo's office in Douglas, Arizona, and staff members will transport them to the Migrant Resource Center and the Children's Enrichment Ministry. Thank you for your support!

Respond in Faith and Not in Fear

Dos & Don’ts: Border and Immigration Policy and the FY2024 Funding Debates

IN LIGHT OF THE INCREASED NUMBERS OF PEOPLE who are fleeing extreme poverty and/or extreme violence, and coming to the United States to seek refuge, many people are responding with calls for increased enforcementwhich will not alleviate the needs of our vulnerable siblings, but rather will make it more dangerous, deadly, and expensive for them. It also makes it more profitable for organized crime, which has benefitted greatly from an immigration system that does not have sufficient legal avenues for persons to enter the US for family, economic, or asylum purposes.


We agree with those who are responding in fear that there needs to be a significant overhaul in our border and immigration policies, but we differ in what those changes should be and want to see changes to reflect more the gospel values of welcoming the stranger and caring for the most vulnerable among us. Frontera de Cristo is the Arizona anchor organization of Southern Border Communities Coalition who have endorsed a set of policy proposals for changes to immigration and border policy. Click here to see them and please prayerfully consider contacting your representatives and letting them know that you would like our nation to be a beacon of welcome and refuge.

Also see Pastor Sam Pendergrast's blog "A World on the Move" from Sam & Cynthia's weblog "A Year on the Border."

Getting to Know Us: Lorena Ocampo

The First in a Series of FDC Staff Cameos

by Mary Goodwin, FDC Volunteer

"The border reveals who we really are. I have seen the chaos and absurdity caused by human decisions. I have also seen that we can work together, not allowing differences in faith, race, or nationality to divide us as we cultivate the kingdom of God on earth for the good of everyone." —Lorena Ocampo

LORENA OCAMPO JOINED FRONTERA DE CRISTO in 2021 as Pastor for Children and Families, a new position whose mission is to expand FDC’s ministry for children in the Douglas/Agua Prieta border community. A native of the southern Mexican state of Tabasco, Lorena studied theology at the Latin American University for Theological Studies and at the Presbyterian Theological Seminary of Mexico in Mexico City. It was there she met and married her fellow seminarian, Rodolfo Navarrete. Together, they migrated to the borderlands in 1999, first to Tijuana and then to Rodolfo’s pastorate at FDC’s partner church in Agua Prieta, Iglesia Presbiteriana Lirio de los Valles. When Rodolfo died suddenly in 2016, Lorena returned to Tabasco. But in 2021, Lorena accepted a call to lead FDC’s expanding children’s ministry in Agua Prieta.


Continue reading this interview with Pastor Lorena

Read the interview in Spanish


Lorena Ocampo,

Pastor for Children

and Families

Coming Soon: Café Justo 20th Anniversary Photo Book

ORDER THE NEW CAFÉ JUSTO 20th anniversary photo book now. Just $20, shipping included. See how your coffee grows from seed to cup and how this amazing coffee co-op grew from just a few coffee farming families to the wide-reaching co-op that ships delicious organic coffee all across this country today. Anticipated publication date: Winter 2023-24.

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.

The Immaculate Conception Shelter is the newest partner with the Love Mercy, Do Justice Ministry. It opened in September to receive persons seeking asylum who are released in Douglas by Border Patrol. Love Mercy Do Justice has donated delicious freshly roasted Café Justo to help welcome to the more than 2500 persons who have found a safe and loving place to help them on their journey. Frontera de Cristo provides the welcoming team each Friday.

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.

A Week in the Borderlands

Watch our new 2023 video by Steve Zeoli

See the whole Café Justo video list

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