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October 6, 2023

6 de octubre 2023

Cultivating Relationships

and Understanding

Across Borders

"Free to Choose Whether to Migrate or Stay"

The 109th World Day of Migrants and Refugees was celebrated at the Migrant Resource Center on September 24th.

Dear friends,

“I feel like I’m on standing at the edge of hostility,” Natalia Guzman said as she stood in the shadow of the 18 foot steel barrier draped with 4 layers of concertina wire that divides Douglas from Agua Prieta. 

Natalia is the director of mission of National Community Church and was part of a recent delegation that that shared a week of life and ministry with Frontera de Cristo. She shared these sentiments during the first hour of her time here as we gathered at the border for our first reflection. 

After a week of eating, praying, walking, talking, laughing, and crying with our community, she shared that she had felt so welcomed and inspired by the community. “The experience has impacted us in unimaginable ways. The network of community, love, and partnerships you have is phenomenal.”

Frontera de Cristo has been in ministry on the border of hospitality and hostility for almost 40 years cultivating relationships and understanding across borders as we seek respond in faith to the realities of migration and the drug culture.  We cherish your partnership!


Joca Gallegos and Mark Adams


Peacemaking Forum October 14

Click the image to download the 2-page flyer in English or in Spanish

Haga clic en la imagen para descargar el folleto de 2 páginas en inglés o en español

109th World Day of Migrants and Refugees

Two Reflections: from the South and from the North

Let us Decide Today Whom to Serve,

Whether Hospitality or Hostility

by Yadamy Lopez Acero, Young Adult Volunteer serving with Frontera de Cristo

from the Comunión Mexicana de Iglesias Reformadas y Presbiterianas

ON SEPTEMBER 24TH, THE MIGRANT RESOURCE CENTER (Centro de Recursos para Migrantes, or CRM) in Agua Prieta commemorated the 109th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, offering a space to reflect and raise awareness about the migratory phenomenon on the northern border of Mexico. Participants included the volunteers of the CRM, Frontera de Cristo, persons in transit staying at the Centro de Atención al Migrante "Exodus" (the migrant shelter known as CAME), and guests.

Some volunteers shared their experiences at the CRM. Since 2006, the CRM has provided a welcoming space to more than 170,000 men, women and children. They mentioned that the migrants who have passed through this place felt they were in a safe space, that by being provided with water and food, clothing and footwear, they could feel the hospitality and warmth in a time of difficulty. 

Continue reading Yadamy's article

Who Is a Migrant?

by Cynthia Pendergrast, FDC Volunteer

Cynthia Pendergrast and her husband, Sam, came to Agua Prieta from New York State for a one-year mission/service commitment in Agua Prieta, Sonora with Frontera de Cristo and our partners, following Sam's retirement as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Cynthia spends her days volunteering

at the Children's Enrichment Ministry. On their blog, https://ayearontheborder.com/posts/, they share their experiences. The following article is one of their posts.

SEPTEMBER 24 WAS THE 109TH WORLD DAY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES. We marked the day here in Agua Prieta with a gathering at the Migrant Resource Center (MRC). Prayers were offered, the statement from Pope Francis marking the day was read, volunteers at the Migrant Resource Center spoke of some of their experiences and memories of exchanges with migrants, and a message was offered in which we were reminded how Abram and Sarai, key people in three faith traditions, rushed to welcome and offer hospitality to strangers they saw approaching.

Continue reading Cynthia's blog post

Read Pastor Sam's post about the event

See more photos from the event

"Will Neither of My Daughters Throw Dirt on My Grave?"

a letter from Miriam Maldonado Escobar and Mark Adams,

published in Mission Connections, September 2023

Mark & Miriam with Mari & Antonio at their wedding in Chiapas in 2001.

OF ALL THE QUESTIONS Miriam and I heard during more than 200 events in 102 churches, seminaries, universities, presbytery meetings and homes on our 10-month interpretation assignment, none haunts me more than this one. It was a question asked not of us, but of Mari—a friend, a sister in the faith, a fellow follower of Jesus.

Miriam has known Mari’s husband, Antonio, all his life—they were both raised in Nueva Mazapa, Chiapas, and were nurtured in the faith in La Iglesia Presbiteriana Cristo Roca de los Siglos. Like many of the youth from their rural corn-growing community, Antonio migrated to the border city of Agua Prieta in the late 1990s to work in the U.S.-owned factories. Although he made less than a dollar an hour in a factory making seat belts for Ford vehicles, it was more than he could make in Chiapas.

Continue reading the article

A Year in the Borderlands

by Catherine L. May, PhD

Dan Abbott and Catherine May served as Frontera de Cristo liaisons from July 2022 through June 2023 while Mark Adam and Miriam Maldonado traveled the country on Interpretation Assignment as PCUSA Mission Co-Workers. In this article, she reflects on their year in the borderlands.

IT WAS BY HAPPENSTANCE OF TIME AND PLACE that led Pastor Mark Adams to ask Dan Abbott (my husband) and me to accept a one-year volunteer position serving Frontera de Cristo. Mark and his wife Miriam Maldonado, both mission co-workers with the PCUSA, serve with the Frontera de Cristo border ministry in Douglas, Arizona/Agua Prieta, Sonora. Periodically, mission co-workers leave their posts for a period of time to engage in an Interpretation Assignment (IA)—traveling the width and length of the US, to tell their stories of service ministry and invite people into participation with them.

In early conversations about our responsibilities, we agreed that Dan would continue his work with Café Justo and act as liaison on the US side of the borderlands. I would take on the planning for visiting delegations along with supporting communications and outreach. Mark told us the most important part of our work was to be present with our colleagues and friends, and he was absolutely right! Not only did we see the value of being present with them, but we grew to appreciate how important their presence was in our lives.

Each week, I drove down to Douglas after worship at University Presbyterian Church in Tempe (Dan came every other week) and returned Wednesday in time for choir rehearsal. While in the borderlands, we stayed in a beautiful old (c.1910) house—the Frontera de Cristo house and office. We shared most of the house with a constant stream of comings and goings. It was not optimal, certainly not very private. Our sweet, old, blind Labrador retriever, Pancho, didn’t mind at all… lots more people to pet him. (To this day, people still ask about Pancho). 

Continue reading Catherine's reflections

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- to late-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.

A Week in the Borderlands

Watch our new 2023 video by Steve Zeoli

See the whole Café Justo video list

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