Borderland reflection: Mary Jo Sweeney

“How do you prepare for a journey that is guaranteed to break your heart?”

I asked myself this, as we traveled to the Arizona/Mexico borderlands, to understand concerns and dangers facing migrants hoping to reach the U.S. We visited shelters providing safety, food and lodging for exhausted travelers – women, men, children, all desperate to break away from their greatest enemy – poverty. We walked an unforgiving Sonoran desert, placed water jugs, and prayed thirsty migrants would find them. We walked the wall, marveled at murals painted on its southern side, shuddered at layers of razor wire on the north. We helped a young man – lost, hungry, alone, giving up his trek north.

Can HOPE find a real place in this scenario? Perhaps. Caring people give immense energy to humanitarian work on both sides of the border. Yet our migrant sisters and brothers deserve more – they deserve a place in our hearts, and at our table.

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