A letter from Mark Adams and Miriam Maldonado Escobar in Mexico
“O you, Bethlehem though you are small . . . out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel. . . . And he will be our peace”—from Micah 5:2-5.
Dear Sisters and Brothers:
The prophets spoke and cast visions of God’s future in the midst of difficult times: in the midst of exile foretelling God’s purpose to bring restoration; in the midst of violence, God’s desire for peace; in the midst of despair, God’s plan of hope; and in the midst of division, God’s intention of unity.
In one of our weekly reflections and prayer at Café Justo during Advent we read the prophetic passage for the fourth Sunday of Advent, Micah 5:2-5. As each person shared what they heard in the passage a common theme emerged: God chose to work through the small, the poor, the seemingly insignificant to bring about Divine purposes of restoration, peace, hope, and unity. Hermano Pedro, almost in tears, shared his gratitude that God would humble himself to get to know us. Sister Carmina reflected on the amazing reality that God has called each one of us, seemingly insignificant in the world’s eyes, to do big things for his honor and glory.
As we come to the end of the year, I give thanks to God for calling together a “ragtag” group of folks from both sides of the border to form the binational ministry of Frontera de Cristo. Most of the ministries of Frontera have formed from “ordinary” people casting visions of the kingdom of God in the midst of difficult situations and then people from both sides of the border joining together to make the vision a reality:
—Miriam, a single mother, in 2000 recognizing that men, women and children were being returned into the cold streets of Agua Prieta and saying we can provide hot food and coffee. Her vision joined with the vision of a priest and in 2006 the Migrant Resource Center was born. This year to date 6,984 men, women and children have found a welcoming space to rest, eat, rehydrate, re-connect with family, and receive emotional and spiritual support.
—Eduardo, a coffee grower who had fled his lands after a hurricane and a huge drop in coffee prices, gets battered and bruised physically and emotionally as he attempts to enter the United States seeking to provide for his family. After finding a physical and spiritual refuge in the Lirio de los Valles church, he shares a vision of his community being able to not only receive a fair price for their coffee but also roast, package and export their coffee—“If we can control our coffee, we can stay on our lands.” This year Café Justo celebrated its 10th anniversary and four communities in Mexico and two in Haiti, and over 200 families are directly living the reality of the God’s vision from Isaiah 65:17-31 that was articulated in our contemporary context by Eduardo.
On behalf of the binational board of Frontera de Cristo, we want to thank you for joining with us through your encouragement, your prayers and your generous financial contributions throughout this year. Your prayers, encouragement and financial support not only helped the visions of Miriam and Eduardo continue to be a growing reality, but also helped provide:
- 3,425 gallons of life-giving water through our Agua Para La Vida ministry helping to prevent deaths in our deserts
- Transformative immersion experiences on the U.S./Mexico border and in Chiapas for over 400 persons from churches, universities, and leadership organizations from Presbyterian, Catholic, Lutheran, Mennonite, Quaker, Reformed and non-faith based backgrounds
- Financial and spiritual support for the Lirio de los Valles Presbyterian Church in starting up two new mission churches
- Health education, screening and primary care for 1,160 persons
- Emotional, spiritual, and material support for 12 women and 62 men who are seeking to recover from addictions at our partner organization CRREDA
- Workshops and trainings for thousands of people in the United States on issues of “Immigration and the Churches’ Responses,” “Transborder Crime and our Faith Response,” “Mission as Crossing Borders” and the ”Just Trade Model,” etc.
- Support for the community garden and permaculture classes for our partners DouglaPrieta
- Weekly Bible School for 15 children of the Nuevo Progreso community
- Our participation in the Arizona-Sonora Border Coalition, which helps us advocate for safer and more humane borders and comprehensive immigration reform
We give thanks to God for you and for your willingness to join together with other ordinary people to allow for extraordinary things to happen. Your participation in PC(USA) World Mission and Frontera de Cristo helps dreams become reality!
Mark S. Adams and Miriam Maldonado Escobar