A letter from Andres and Gloria Garcia on the U.S.-Mexico border
Dear Friends, la carta en español
We are writing this letter from McAllen, Texas. We arrived here toward the end of March and for the first few days we dedicated our time to meeting with the leadership of the Puentes de Cristo Presbyterian border ministry. We spent time getting to know each other and talking together about our call to this new ministry of coordinating Presbyterian groups who will accompany the Mexican churches as a witness to the gospel in the border region.
As some of you may know, Gloria and I have been in a discernment process about being reassigned to this new position. With great happiness we have accepted this assignment to serve God in the border region between Mexico and the United States.
We feel very content and thankful to God for this new opportunity to get to know new brothers and sisters in the faith. Upon arrival, we have been blessed by the love expressed with happiness on the part of the brothers and sisters here. We feel that the doors are open for us to unite with our brothers and sisters in a common purpose of sharing a witness to the love of Christ in a cultural context shared by two diverse and complex worlds.
At first glance, our preliminary perceptions have been positive. The brothers and sisters here at the border have shown much enthusiasm for the ministry they have proposed for us going forward. This is a hopeful sign for our work since in addition to the spirit of service, we have noticed that in the same geographic area there is both an abundance of resources and also great poverty for the many who live here in the border region. The human panorama is like we are seeing a painting of our faces divided into two. On the one hand a radiant, beautiful, immaculate face filled with health. But the other half is scarred, disfigured, and with the appearance of shock and a feeling of terror. However you look at it, this land is a slice of our America that we love for its hardworking people, beauty and fertile valleys.
Here the followers of Jesus have a tremendous challenge to help the progress of America, land of immigrants, child slaves and a constantly degenerating ecosystem. What is even more important here is the opportunity to work alongside God in the care and preservation of our valuable cultural heritage, our language, art, knowledge and humanizing traditions. All of these aspects are components that we should include in the evangelizing agenda of our churches as we work together, living in the hope and confidence that our Lord Jesus is with us, making new all things.
We would like to give thanks to God for the seeds that have already been sown by those who have worked before us. So many good things and accomplishments that we have encountered here are fruits of pioneering labor, which we will now seek to invest ourselves in and continue. Glory be to our Lord for the Presbyterian churches in the border region here, for their witness to Christ“s love, serving their neighborhoods by providing programs for young children, pastoral support and activities for young single mothers, small nutrition centers for those without work and also legal counseling for undocumented immigrants.
We praise God also for all our brothers and sisters in Christ from all the churches who for so many years have supported our work in Central America and Africa. We pray that you will continue to accompany us in this new faith adventure that we embark on together with the congregations of Mission Presbytery and the Presbytery of Tamaulipas in Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
May the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today and always.
In Christ’s service,
Andres and Gloria Garcia