WOW!!!!! While being on the borderlands I have learned so much in our short time. We have visited many places that have opened the eyes of our hearts up to many different people. Something that has been very inspirational for me is when we met the founder of the Juan Bosco shelter in Nogales Mexico. He talked about how he started the shelter by just taking migrants into his home and then it evolved into and amazing shelter that had helped so many people.
From this YLA mission trip, I will take away the new understanding of how the border is much more complicated than I thought. As I listened to the many stories at the migrant shelter, I began to realize how much of a barrier and obstacle the border and the physical fence are and what it does to families that are simply trying to get a better life. It further confused me when the group got the chance to get a tour of the Border Patrol Station. It made me want to start doing research on Border Patrol in particular and the government in general, along with the immigration laws themselves. It was also a slap-in-the-face reminder (suggestion) to maybe watch the news longer or more often than I normally do. Listening to the stories made me want to keep asking for stories even back at home. All in all, I’m going to gather as much information as possible through the internet, people, television, and, yes, even social media so I can be as educated as I can on such a topic as the border. Someday, it will come in handy.
- Libby, Trinity Church, Concord
I learned so much from this trip. I came here thinking we would talk to two sides of one argument. But, we talked to more groups than I can count and there is not one issue, but several. One of my take-aways from this week is that there is a good and bad to every side of an argument. All the people we met have their own struggles and their way of solving them is not black or white. I think before the trip I had a much more negative view on the whole situation. This is mostly due to the media.
In leaving from the mission trip to Arizona and Mexico with YLA, I am taking back with me confirmation that undocumented migrants are still genuine human beings who deserve love and listening. I discovered this confirmation in talking to and feeding the migrants. Hearing their stories- where the people told me they had families at home worrying about them, they wanted to be better people, or that they had not slept in a long time- really inspired me to want to help. Especially stories where migrants were leaving their homes because of violence moved me, since I cannot imagine it.
Even before our trip started, we were told to listen to the stories and take what we have learned from the people back to our churches and communities and tell their stories. Throughout the week, there were several stories that stuck out with me, and I will be keeping and sharing along my travels. We have heard how media plays a role in the misinterpretation of the problem at the border, both with border patrol and with the immigrants themselves.
During our short week in Arizona/Mexico I have learned so much. The experiences I have had this week opened the eyes of my heart and mind and have touched me in many ways. Leaving this trip I want to take the stories from the migrants and others home with me. One moment that really meant a lot to me was visiting the Juan Bosco migrant shelter in Nogales Mexico.