I wanted to serve lunch to the refugee population. I actually thought it would be energizing. Doing the work was satisfying, meeting the people was heartwarming- we were all mothers caring for a tribe.
But I accidentally tried poisoning them. It was such a rookie mistake. I felt like such a gringa. Here comes the American to save the day! Oops. I’ll talk more about that later because it’s pretty funny- for now I sift through the weight of what I witnessed and feel at a loss for what can be done.
The issues driving our own North American refugee crisis are so complicated- an amalgam of environmental, political, economic systemic failings. The solution is not contained in a silver bullet. Although I desperately want one. But my responsibility in this moment is clear.
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.
‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.Jesus
We dished up 400 meals of hot dogs and watermelon for the 300 people in a makeshift crisis center that was initially created as a single room church for Agape Mision. It was a treat as it was a meat & fresh fruit deviating from the daily beans and rice fare. We passed out our used bedding with the warning the sheets needed laundered. Pillows were a welcome gift and the 3 bins of donated clothes were quickly snatched up so that they could have garments in addition to the singular outfit they wore when they arrived to Agape.
A tent was thrown up over an empty lot acting as a covered courtyard for families to have respite from the sun because the bedrooms are too crowded to do anything other than lay in your bunk bed or your blanket on the concrete floor. Some families have been here for weeks, other just a few hours- all waiting in hopes of having their case for US asylum heard.
And they continue to wait.