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Cultivating
Relationships and Understanding
Across Borders
Travelers are welcomed at the Migrant Resource Center and at CAME
September 18, 2021
18 de septiembre 2021
Dear sisters and brothers,

"Tell them to come in," Maria Magdalena told her teenaged daughter told her there were 18 young men outside their two room apartment.

"If we all give a little, there will be more than enough," a Douglas woman on a fixed income shared in a community meeting to address the possibility of teh Border Patrol releasing 80 to 100 persons a day into the Douglas community.

These women continue to inspire us with how they chose welcome in the face of great need. Thank you for your prayers and support that help us join with the communities of Agua Prieta and Douglas in choosing welcome.

Peace,
Jocabed Gallegos and Mark Adams
FDC Coordinators
FDC to Host "We The People" Bike Ride 
Friday-Sunday, September 24-26
September 10 – November 14, 2021
San Diego, CA to St Augustine, FL

And ... they're off! “We The People,” a bike ride along the border from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic, began just a few days ago. This 3,200-mile bike ride is examining border systems that are in place along our southern border, including the Wall and fencing, border crossing sites, and detention centers. You are invited to join the ride, even for just a short part of it.

Next weekend, September 24-26, Frontera de Cristo will be privileged to host the bike ride for three days in Agua Prieta. Check out our schedule here, as well as a map of Douglas and Agua Prieta. We will—
  • go on a border infrastructure tour
  • hear about migration and the role of the church in Mexico
  • cross over to Agua Prieta to visit the Migrant Resource Center and CAME (bring your passport)
  • take a guided tour of Agua Prieta
  • share meals with local business owners
  • enjoy a Saturday-night cookout at Café Justo
  • and participate in a cross planting in memory of a migrant who recently died in Agua Prieta. 

If you are interested in life in the borderlands and in immigration issues, there's something for everyone. To participate in the Border Infrastructure Tour on Friday, the Sunday morning bike ride with Agua Prieta cyclists, or the Cross Planting at the MRC, please email Mark Adams: mark@fronteradecristo.org.
In Memoriam
Rev. Robert Seel

Born January 3, 1924
Died September 11, 2021

A father, a pastor, a missionary, a friend,
An early leader in binational ministry,
Board member emeritus of Frontera de Cristo,
Created in the divine image, beloved by God.

Robert Edward Seel, Presente!
Join us as we give thanks to God for the life and ministry of Bob Seel, who is now resting from his labors. Together with folks from Mexico and the US, Bob provided vital leadership for FDC during the late 1990s and 2000s as the board envisioned ministry in partnership with the Nuevo Progreso Community and worked to build the New Hope Community Center that continues to be a blessing today.

The son of missionary parents, Bob was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1948. He graduated from Maryville College, Princeton Seminary, and New York University, and then served as a missionary in Caracas, Venezuela, from 1952-1978. After returning to the US, Bob served in various positions with the PC(USA) in Minnesota and Arizona. He continued to be an encourager and supporter of border ministries until his death and his legacy will continue with us. Well done, good and faithful servant!
A Border Ministry that Chooses
Welcome and Hospitality
by Kathy Melvin at Presbyterian News Service
“We commit ourselves to work for a border defined by encounter, hope, and opportunity, instead of division, despair, and death,” said mission co-worker, the Rev. Mark Adams, in a recent letter. ... “Not too many weeks ago, Vice President Kamala Harris visited Guatemala and waved her hand, saying, ‘DO NOT COME’ to those ravaged by the poverty caused by extractive trade policies that favor the U.S. or by natural disasters or other climate changes,” said Adams. “She said, “DO NOT COME” to those who are facing extreme violence. The torch of Lady Liberty that recognizes our nation as a nation of refuge has been obscured by 18- and 30-foot steel barriers draped in concertina wire, with DANGER DO NOT ENTER signs plastered on both sides.”

And yet, we choose welcome! Read the whole article
Beauty from Ugliness
Presbyterian border ministry in Douglas, Arizona, and Agua Prieta, Sonora
by David Hoekema in The Christian Century
There is a stark beauty in the natu­ral flora of the Sonoran Desert. Majestic saguaros, upholding their tall arms, are universally recognized emblems of the Southwest. All around them, similarly arrayed in dusty green tones for most of the year, are other desert-adapted succulents: prickly pear, cholla, ocotillo, paloverde.

But there is a stark ugliness of human making that greets a traveler to any of the cities along the border: a 20-foot-high barrier made of rusted steel pylons spaced a few inches apart. Birds and lizards and rabbits can pass through, but nothing larger.

These sections of the border wall were built near each crossing in the 1990s. They became even more hideous, and more threatening, with the installation in 2019 of coils of concertina wire, stretched in rows in some sections from the top down to the ground. They were installed by National Guard troops, whose deployment in response to a nonexistent emergency angered local residents. The razor-studded wire poses little threat to crossers of the wall: they only need to carry an extra strip of carpet if they throw a tall ladder over the wall at night. (Hardly anyone crosses like this anyway, except in the imagination of politicians in distant cities.) Children and dogs who venture too close to the American side, however, risk having their flesh ripped open.

We Choose Welcome
After being extorted on our trip through Mexico, rejected in the US and thrown out, we never imagined we would be welcomed with a delicious cup of coffee and people who care for us. It's like receiving a big hug from a mother. -- Juana from Guatemala
Since mid-December 2020, more than 16,000 men, women, and children have found a welcoming place, a delicious cup of coffee, a filling meal, water, first aid, clean socks and underwear, and caring people at the Migrant Resource Center (MRC). There has been a substantial increase recently in the number of persons being returned to Agua Prieta by the Border Patrol and the MRC is now providing hospitality to 100 people a day.
You are helping to make this welcome possible through your donations to the We Choose Welcome campaign, which ensures that our team has the financial resources to receive each person with love and care. Thank you for joining us in Choosing Welcome.
Love Mercy, Do Justice, Order Coffee
You can continue to order your coffee online here and help your sisters and brothers during the pandemic. You will receive delicious 100% organic coffee cultivated, roasted, and shipped by the Café Justo cooperative and you will also be helping families affected by COVID-19. To order by mail instead of online, just download this form.

Summer weather getting to you? Why not fix yourself a glass of iced coffee, à la Café Justo y Mas? You can make your ice cubes out of Café Justo (a good way to use up the last of the pot!), and follow Febe's instructions. Your smile will be as big as hers when you drink it!
Febe Maldonado, barista at Café Justo y Mas
Building Peace Across Borders 
Over a Delicious Cup of Coffee
Watch our latest video
We are grateful for our partners from National Community Church
who produced this wonderful video on the topic of peacemaking
 featuring Frontera de Cristo and Café Justo.  
Ministry Quick Links