A letter from Mark Adams and Miriam Maldonado Escobar in Mexico
December 16, 2013
Behold I will create new heavens and a new earth . . . . They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit . . . . The wolf and the lamb will feed together . . . . (excerpts from Isaiah 65:17-25).
Dear Sisters and Brothers of Clover Presbyterian Church:
During Advent we remember that in Jesus God has given us the hope, peace, joy, love and light of the world and we also prepare for the day when God’s new heavens and new earth are fully realized. During Advent we gather at our meals to light the candles, say a simple liturgy, and give thanks for God’s presence in our lives and our world even while we pray—Come, Lord Jesus, Come.
En Jesus, nace la paz del mundo/In Jesus, the peace of the world is born.
Idelda Hernandez and Soraida Santiago welcomed a group of 17 of us who participated in Frontera de Cristo’s annual Coffee, Migration and Faith Border to Border Delegation into their home in Salvador Urbina earlier this month. They prepared a delicious meal of mole (a dish made for special occasions) and served us horchata (cinnamon, rice, milk, water) and coffee—Café Justo of course. We shared a physical and spiritual feast, celebrating the gift of life and the gift of God’s work in our lives to witness to the new heavens and the new earth that God is bringing into our midst even now.
En Jesus, nace la esperanza del mundo/In Jesus, the hope of the world is born.
Eleven years ago when Café Justo was just a vision in the minds and hearts of 25 coffee farmers (and in the mind and heart of God), we were blessed to sit on a porch with them and read and reflect on Isaiah 65 together. Edmundo Ballinas had migrated from Salvador Urbina because he could not provide enough for his children to stay in school because the price for his coffee had dropped dramatically—the hard work however had not lessened. He was working on golf courses in Atlanta, Georgia, with the vision of having his daughters finish not only elementary school but also high school and college.
Eleven years ago Idelda was raising her and Edmundo’s daughters in Salvador Urbina while he was thousands of miles away in Atlanta. Eleven years ago Soraida had not seen Edmundo, her son, for years and longed for the day to be able to embrace him again.
En Jesus, nace el gozo del mundo/In Jesus, the joy of the world is born.
As we sat around the table, Mundo was busy bringing us plates of mole and was obviously proud when members of our delegation asked for more. After lunch Idelda and Edmundo sat down, side by side, to share with us what Café Justo meant to them. Idelda said: “It has been great to have Edmundo back with the family . . . our daughters needed their father present and he is such a great dad!”
As we were finishing our conversation, Idelda’s and Edmundo’s youngest daughter arrived home from high school. She is a senior and when asked what she was going to do next year, she said she was going to college to become a nurse like her older sister. Idelda and Edmundo smiled.
En Jesus, nace el amor del mundo./In Jesus, the love of the world is born.
And we gave thanks . . . a group of Presbyterians and Catholics, Mennonites and Pentecostals; Mexicans and U.S. folks; conservatives and progressives; young and old; folks who had worked in the United States illegally and folks who had played golf without thinking of our own complicity in supporting “illegal immigration” . . . wolves and lambs eating, fellowshipping and praying together, sharing a foretaste of God’s feast.
En Jesus, nace la luz del mundo/In Jesus, the light of the world.
We are so very grateful for your partnership with us, which helps us live into God’s vision for our ministry and our world and to experience firsthand how the light is shining in the darkness here on the border, in Chiapas, and in communities throughout our two nations. Know that Nuestra Casa Es Su Casa/Our Home is Your Home, and you or anyone from your congregation is welcome to come and share a bit of life and ministry with us here on the border!
May God give us eyes to see, ears to hear, hands to serve, feet to follow, and a heart to trust Emmanuel—today and each day of our lives!
Miriam Mark Cindy Anna Flor Nathan
The Adams Maldonado Family
P.S. Mark facilitated the FDC annual Border to Border delegation in November and worked with a professional photographer to develop the 2014 Café Justo From Seed To Cup Calendar. Contact Melissa@fronteradecristo.org if you would like a calendar so that you can “meet” some of the folk whose lives you have impacted through your support of World Mission and who impact our lives through their faith, hospitality, perseverance, and love. It includes pictures of Idelda, Edmundo, and Soraida as well as many other families who have been reunited since Café Justo was founded 11 years ago. Included is a sheet of different ways the calendar can be used beyond 2014.
Write to Mark Adams
Write to Miriam Maldonado Escobar
Individuals: Give to E200302 for Mark Adams and Miriam Maldonado Escobar's sending and support
Congregations: Give to D506011 for Mark Adams and Miriam Maldonado Escobar's sending and support