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June 26, 2023

26 de junio 2023

Cultivating Relationships
and Understanding
Across Borders

Come witness the awe, wonder, hope,

and joy in the high desert

Dear friends,

A recent article by Reverend Ken Rummer, published in Presbyterians Today, posed a curious question: Does wonder have a shelf life?” He recalled the awe and wonder he experienced when he first saw the colossal Rocky Mountains with peaks that reached into the clouds. With daily exposure, the wonder faded. However, upon each subsequent visit to the mountains, he experienced a new wave of awe and wonder. Rummer shared, “the way I see it, newness fades but wonder remains, waiting for rediscovery by eyes that see anew.”

The Arizona/Sonora borderland is a place of wondera place where cultures co-mingle, differences flourish, and each day begins anew. Yet, despite the imposition of a wall, the community chooses not to allow the ugliness to define their space. To that end, the border becomes a place of encounter. It is here at the border, in the dark shadow cast by the wall that we witness hope, celebrate diversity, face our fears, and commit to compassion for each child of God.

When delegations visit and revisit Douglas/Agua Prieta, they see the many contrasts and learn about the complexities that are a regular part of life in the border region. They are invited into the life of the Frontera de Cristo ministry and the work of FdC partners. Together we celebrate life, embrace hope, and share in the wonder that resides in this placethe Arizona/Sonora borderlands. Come and share in the wonder!

With prayers of thanksgiving,

Jocabed, Catherine, and Dan

Reflections on Proverbs 31

by Bridich Saragos, Assistant Coordinator, Migrant Resource Center

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable,

and her lamp does not go out at night.

—Proverbs 31:10-18

VERSE 10 OF PROVERBS 31 BEGINS A LIST OF THE virtues and valuable work of a woman. An exemplary woman, the Psalmist says, is—

  • extraordinary, virtuous
  • like jewelry or a precious stone
  • valuable
  • trustworthy
  • a good steward of resources
  • a good worker
  • the one who buys the provisions
  • attentive
  • a seamstress
  • a businesswoman
  • of good character
  • bold
  • wise.

My time with the women in DouglaPrieta Trabaja (DPT) has been a great blessing and a learning experience. ...

Continue reading Bridich's article

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The women at DPT teach the children how to plant trees and vegetables to make the life in the community better.

The MRC and the End of Title 42

by Adalberto (Betto) Ramos, Coordinator, Migrant Resource Center

Migrants gather for prayer outside the Migrant Resource Center in Agua Prieta

THE CLOSURE OF THE BORDER between Mexico and the United States by the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020. However, in this border city, the effects of Title 42 on migrants were seen beginning December 15 of that year. The policy of Title 42, generated in Trump's time, and which lasted until the Biden administration, saw its end on May 12, 2023.

For three years, this policy gave little protection for migrants and asylum applicants. And this border at Agua Prieta was more the rule than the exception. From migrants, we heard stories of inhumane treatment by border patrol agents, of expulsions from the US at dawn, of the disorientation of not knowing at which border they were dropped off. Given this scenario, the Migrant Resource Center (MRC) established a work shift in the early morning in order to welcome more than 60 people a day ...

Continue reading Betto's article

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Migrants arrive at the Centro de Recursos para Migrantes, or Migrant Resource Center (MRC), after deportation from the US. Photo by John Darwin Kurc.

Through the Eyes of a Child

by Cynthia Pendergrast, FDC Volunteer

IT HAS BEEN MY PRIVILEGE TO WORK WITH THE children at Frontera de Cristo's Children's Enrichment Ministry in Agua Prieta over the past five months, teaching English.

During the week of Día del Niño, the children and I looked at some poetry about childhood and children. The poems were written by adults, so we discussed whether or not the adults had portrayed childhood as these children experience it. For the most part, the adults got it right. But the children wrote their own group poems about what it is to be a child. 

Continue reading Cynthia's article

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Home Again, Home Again...

by Mark Adams, FDC Coordinator

JUNE 21, 2023: AND THAT'S A WRAP ON OUR 20222023 Interpretation Assignment. We had our 102nd (and last) stop yesterday and today with Trabuco Presbyterian Church in Trabuco Canyon, CA. We have been blessed to connect and reconnect with churches, seminaries, presbyteries, (while mainly Presbyterian, also Mennonite, Catholic, Reformed, Lutheran) friends and family in 25 states and the District of Columbia over the last 10 months.

Although it was difficult to be away from our community on the border, it has been an honor to share how we experience God at work in and through the amazing ministry and community with whom we are privileged to live and serve.

We have preached, taught Sunday School classes, done children's sermons, facilitated "Immigration and the Churches' Responses" workshops, led cooking classes and book clubs, eaten so much delicious food at many potlucks, received the gracious hospitality of dozens and dozens and dozens of individuals and families, accompanied pastors on nursing home visits to share in communion, and visited inspiring community groups working with the newer immigrant communities in their area.

Our last leg of our IA started May 27th when we left home in South Carolina to return to our home on the border. In the past three and one half weeks, we have travelled 5,631 milesthrough the Appalachian Mountains to the Great Lakes, to the rolling plains of Iowa and Nebraska, to the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming bursting with spring flowers, to the base of and then through the majestic Rocky Mountains, to the Great Salt Lake and Desert to the beautiful Sierra Nevada to the golden hills of California to the shores of the Pacific Ocean, and finally to the Sonoran Desert. The words of the Psalmist: "O Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth" has filled our minds and hearts over the last three weeks and we can't count how many times we have said "Wow!" We are so grateful for the blessings of the last 10 months and excited for what is to come in the remainder of 2023 and into 2024.

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: mid-Fall 2023.

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.

Border-to-Border 2023: The Trip is Filling Up Fast!

Click the image to download the flyer.

As of this publication date, we have 14 people registered for this trip. There's still time for you to sign up!

Register and pay online OR...

Download the Border-to-Border Registration Form and pay by check

A Week in the Borderlands

Watch our new 2023 video by Steve Zeoli

See the whole Café Justo video list

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