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May 16, 2023

16 de mayo 2023

Cultivating Relationships
and Understanding
Across Borders

Men, women, and children who are deported from the US are given food, first aid, and a cup of coffee, and welcomed with love at Centro de Recursos para Migrantes (CRM), (Migrant Resource Center).

Photo by John Kurc

Dear friends,

It's hard to say goodbye.

Soon, we in the border twin cities of Douglas, AZ/Agua Prieta, Sonora ("DouglaPrieta"), will be saying goodbye to Sister Judy Bourg and Sister Lucy Nigh. The two have served faithfully in our borderland communitytheir hearts beat with ours. And they will be missedat the MRC caring for injured migrants, in the desert as supporters of both Tucson Samaritans and Frontera de Cristo, and at the cross plantings honoring migrants who have died.

Sr Judy and Sr Lucy are members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND), an international religious order founded in 1833 in Bavaria. In 2010, the SSND established a small, welcoming community in Douglas. Sister Judy described their mission as one that would unite people, always celebrating the diversity of God’s wondrous creation. Indeed, Judy and Lucy, along with their colleagues, have done just that. They have faithfully served the many migrating peoples arriving in the borderlands, offering them compassionate care, and connecting their stories with people from around the world.

Frontera de Cristo has been honored to partner with the SSND through a variety of ministries and programs in the area. Of note is the Pilgrimage of Remembrance, a cross-planting ceremony that takes place at a site in the Arizona desert on or near the place where a person’s remains were located. Attendees lift up the name of the individual, calling them into our presence, recognizing them as a child of God, and praying for and with the loved ones they have left behind. A beautiful handmade wooden cross bearing the name of the deceased is "planted" in that place.

This ceremony is a legacy that the sisters are passing on to Frontera de Cristo, other partners, and colleagues. Sr Judy and Sr Lucy have shared so much with us; they have given us their hearts. We are grateful. Our prayers of gratitude go with them as they look to this new chapter in their lives.

With prayers of thanksgiving,

Jocabed, Catherine, and Dan

Watch a short video of a cross planting

No Identificada

by Dan Abbott, FDC Liaison

IT WAS BITTERLY COLD—I mean shivering, sock-cap-down-over-your-ears, scarf-around-your-neck cold. A handful of us had come to a spot just outside of Douglas where a border crosser had drowned in a stock tank—a long pit filled with water for the Angus cattle that are raised on the grass of the Sulphur Springs Valley. It was just 4 or 5 miles north of the border and not half a mile from the main road between Douglas and Bisbee. We came for a “cross planting”—a tradition begun by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Crosses are “planted” at the locations where human remains are discovered; sites where people have perished as they crossed the mountains and deserts of southern Arizona. 

Continue reading Dan's story...

Small Victories

by Pastor Sam Pendergrast, FDC volunteer

Editor’s note: Sam and Cynthia Pendergrast are currently serving in a one-year mission/service commitment in Agua Prieta, Sonora with Frontera de Cristo and our partners. On their blog, https://ayearontheborder.com/posts/, they share their experiences. The following article is one of their posts.


THE CHALLENGES AT THE BORDER CAN SEEM OVERWHELMING. We provide hospitality for recent deportees—a little coffee and food, basic first aid, new socks and underwear, a place to rest. And it’s the same thing every day. An average of more than 100 people a day. In 2022, more than 41,000 people came through the Migrant Resource Center in Agua Prieta.


So, I’m thankful for small things. Times we share a smile, listen to a story, know how good it must feel for someone to take a shower after walking through the desert.

March 23rd was one of those times. And it was not a small thing, but it was a small victory. Two men had been in the resource center in the morning. They had left, and they came back in after I started my shift at noon. They had been out looking for their wives, with whom they’d been traveling, but from whom they’d been separated after the Border Patrol detained them during the night. Each couple only had one phone between them. “How can we find our wives?” they asked, trying to keep their panic from showing too much.

Continue reading Sam's story...

At the Migrant Resource Center, we choose welcome.

Through the Goodness of God

by Marina Forero, Director, Children' Enrichment Ministry

ONE OF THE MOST WONDERFUL manifestations that God gives us is to be surrounded by people who share our spaces and activities, and who also bless us with their beautiful hearts of compassion and legitimate love. We have received a visit from the group from Larchmont Avenue Church, a group of young people who did not hesitate to play with us in a small space that was untidy and without any type of comfort. It was clear that there is no limit to giving love, you just give it.

Cynthia Pendergrast is here from New York with her husband Sam, volunteering with Frontera de Cristo for a year. Cynthia shares every day with the girls and boys by teaching English, although it is a great challenge to learn the Spanish language in order to understand what the children say or ask. Doing this is often frustrating for those who don’t speak Spanish fluently, but with a noble heart and encouragement, she takes daily notes of new words to learn. She has managed in a short time to communicate with them and the teachers, and her planning activities and educational accompaniment have powerfully enhanced this ministry.


Continue reading Marina's article and see more photos

Lea este artículo en español y vea más fotos

The Impact of the End of Title 42

(and what we are doing about it)

TITLE 42 ENDED MAY 11. What does this mean for us in Douglas/Agua Prieta? Frontera de Cristo stands with our ministry partners to ease the trauma as people show up at the Migrant Resource Center, the CAME shelter, and at churches on both sides of the border. We continue to choose welcome.

With the end of Title 42, Border Patrol had let us know that they could be releasing up to 100 persons a day into Douglas. We part of the Douglas Welcome Team made up of churches, city officials, the Mexican Consulate and the Douglas Police who are working to provide welcome with dignity to persons in need of a safe place. The Presbyterian Church and the Immaculate Conception Catholic Parish have set up emergency shelters that can accommodate up to 136 persons. To date, the shelter space has not been needed in Douglas.

Our ministry partners have compiled a list of goods they know will be needed in the upcoming months. Currently, their needs are: blankets, sheets, shoes, socks, underwear, diapers, baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, shower wipes. 

They welcome any and all assistance in obtaining these items. The simplest way to support them is by making a donation to our We Choose Welcome campaign. You may direct your gift specifically to this effort by typing "Title 42 assistance" in the scroll box. (Please note that you may also choose whether to show your name and the amount of your donation.) Then the Frontera de Cristo staff will purchase, with your donations, the items currently needed the most by our ministry partners.

If you want to know more about actions being taken—

  • The Southern Border Communities Coalition, of which we are a part, has published this statement calling for all parts of the government to start with dignity in the treatment of migrants. The statement is available in both English and Spanish.
  • You can also read about Title 42 and Title 8 in this Washington Post article.

Thank you for caring about our sisters and brothers in need.

Mission Dinner & Book Club with a Twist

A Taste of Chiapas and South Carolina

THE FOURTH AND FINAL SESSION of Miriam and Mark's 2023 Mission Dinner & Book Club is coming up on Thursday, May 25, starting at 6:00pm Eastern Daylight Time.

You are invited to gather in person in Clover, SC, or on Zoom, and enjoy Miriam's Molé and Mark's cakescheesecake and sour cream coconut cake. What could be sweeter? Read on...

To sweeten the deal, we're hosting, in person, Adrian Gonzalez, Café Justo's Director of Customer Relations, and we'll visit with Café Justo coffee farmers on Zoom.

Whether you attend in-person or at a distance, the first thing to do is email Mark Adams and he'll email you the recipes. Click on the flyer above to get the event details.

And note about the new Café Justo Photo Book: there has been a delay in the book's publication date, and it will be available at the end of the summer. You can still order it, if you haven't yet done so. And remember to order your coffee...

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: end of summer or early 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 13 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

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 (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.


A 2019 video by Steve Jeter of National Community Church, Washington DC

See the whole Café Justo video list

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