Monday, May 13, 2019

Mi hermana

© 2019 Christy K Robinson

I don’t speak much Spanish. Never did, even in the two years of high school Spanish class (back in the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth). I could read news articles fairly well, and at one time had at least some vocabulary squirreled away in my brain, but conversation was never my forte. (Wait. “Forte” is Italian. I know lots of Italian terms, some of which are cognate to Spanish, because I use them daily in music.)

Living in Arizona and southern California all my life, I have a few phrases to get me by in a pinch, most of which begin with “No comprende, pero…” or “Mi espaƱol es malo.” I also know quite a few words connected with food, since that’s what I need when volunteering with an interfaith ministry that helps refugees fleeing from the horrors of Central American drug cartels and gangs.  For instance, I can ask if they want red or white rice on their plate: “Quieres arroz rojo o blanco?” I even Googled how to say Rice Krispy Treats so I could distribute dessert: “Tratas de arroz y marvavisco.”

One of our Spanish-speaking volunteers told me that some of our guests don't use Spanish that they can understand, but may be speaking an indigenous dialect.

The menu includes beans, white or red (Mexican-style) rice, rotisserie chicken, tortillas, chips, bananas and oranges, and cookies or Rice Krispy Treats, plus lemonade, milk, apple juice, and bottled water. On the tables in the background, volunteers assemble ziploc bags of apples, juice boxes, chips, cracker/cheese sandwiches, jerky, and cookies for the next stage of the refugees' journey to family or sponsor homes while they wait for their immigration court dates.

We served nearly 100 young men and women, most with children and babies. Two of the mothers sat on a bench in the shade and nursed their babies without shame (for there is no shame in feeding one’s child). One of the babies had a fever and cough, and with the help of a Spanish speaker, I asked if the baby was sick. The mother said when she was detained by immigration after 15 days of walking through Mexico without chance of a shower, and with little food or water, she and her baby were put in what the detainees call the hielera or “cold room,” where it’s refrigerated for some reason that the US agencies will not reveal. This is a regular practice of Customs and Border Patrol that takes place in Texas and California, as well as here in Arizona. Instead of two to three hours, she was left there for five days with only a foil blanket and the concrete floor before she could enter the system of cots and food in the for-profit detention center.
The conditions inside of hieleras [what detainees call "the icebox"] are notoriously bad.
According to a February 2018 report from the Human Rights Watch, the conditions in the detention run by CBP centers are abysmal. In addition to the frigid temperatures, migrants are reportedly subjected to intense overcrowding, forced to sleep on concrete floors, and denied showers, soap, and toothpaste. The first photos of a hielera were only publicly released in 2016; they show over a dozen people sharing a tiny, concrete room in a Tucson facility, huddled under foil blankets. “They took us to a room that was cold and gave us aluminum blankets,” a Guatemalan woman who had been held in an Arizona detention center in 2017 told Human Rights Watch. “There were no mats. We slept on the bare floor. It was cold, really cold.” The Iceboxes at the Border in The Cut
This worried mother had seen a doctor before coming to the host church, without any medication administered to her baby, and she expected to be reunited with her husband in California tomorrow. As she talked, she touched the back of her hand to her baby’s forehead and petted his damp hair. My heart broke for her.

Today, after we volunteers had served every morsel of the food and drink we’d prepared at home and brought to the host location, we were standing around in the 90-degree shade, cleaning up and socializing. I looked up to see our guests silently gathering around us in a semi-circle in the hot sun.

One of the women in the group spoke in Spanish, which did not contain words like rice or beans or cookies. It was not a slow speech that I could translate at my comprehension speed. But I did hear words for God’s hands and feet, heart, blessing, thanks, smiles, and God. I also heard words that might have meant that they’d been mistreated on their journey, and they’d feared the gringos (Americans), but with our food and our hospitality they had been surprised.

I leaned over to Mike, who speaks fluent Spanish, and whispered, “I’m going to need a transcript later.” He answered, “I think your heart understands.”

The woman gave her impassioned speech and then fervently prayed for her fellow refugees and gave thanks to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for the volunteers. The group of men, young children, and women with toddlers or babies on their hips filed past us and hugged us or shook our hands, saying “Gracias. Dios los bendiga.” (Thank you. God bless you.)

You know what? God has blessed me beyond measure, and continues to surprise me with new adventures in loving and being loved. When a penniless, homeless refugee has the corazon to bless me and love me in a foreign language, I’ll take it as God’s voice.

I don’t know her name, this kind woman, but she’s my sister, mi hermana. Godspeed her to safety, security, and a peaceful, happy life.

The video below was posted about one of the host church locations were I've volunteered. I love what they have to say about why we do what we do.

Christy K Robinson is author of these books:
Mary Dyer Illuminated Vol. 1 (2013)  
Effigy Hunter (2015)  

And of these sites:  
Discovering Love  (inspiration and service)
Rooting for Ancestors  (history and genealogy)
William and Mary Barrett Dyer (17th century culture and history of England and New England)
Editornado [ed•i•tohr•NAY•doh] (Words. Communications. Book reviews. Cartoons.)

Monday, May 6, 2019

Real Christians, real Jews, real Muslims, real God-followers

© 2019 Christy K Robinson 

Have you read comments on social media? They're pretty embarrassing for those of us who call ourselves God-followers or "spiritual" people. Some of that verbal abuse is deserved. I don't have to repeat it, because you've seen it and heard it.

There are people who claim to be Christian, but support the separation of children and parents in concentration camps, or call legal asylum seekers "illegal aliens" and demand that they be deported. But there are also people who, from the abundance of divine love in their souls, are doing the work of God.

The friend of a friend posted this graphic, criticizing people of faith (faith he doesn't have) for being hypocrites. 

Our mutual friend chimed in, saying "I know groups in Arizona that are there to help asylum seekers who arrive. The good ones are definitely there helping."

She messaged me, saying "Totally mentioned you without saying your name."

Since her friend had a public setting on his Facebook post, I wrote an answer, which he immediately deleted, probably because it didn't fit his agenda that Christians ought to be "doing something" to back up their "pro-life" rhetoric.
Volunteers form a line of human shields along the police
caution tape, as they welcome refugees and asylum seekers
coming off the Homeland Security buses. How's that for meeting
the caravans with food, water, clothing, etc?

I work with an interfaith group that does what the meme said, and much more. The volunteer coordinator brought her fellow members of a synagogue or two; there are mosque members who serve the refugees on Passover/Easter and even during their own Ramadan fast, numerous Protestants (Methodist, Baptist, nondenominational, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, etc.) and Catholics (Catholic Charities welcome volunteers of many faiths); and yes, people of no religion who are compassionate, kind, and merciful.

The network of volunteers are not often seen or known to the public because of racist and militia vigilante types who picket, scream at, and threaten violence to our refugee guests and us. The Department of Homeland Security buses bring the refugees to host churches around the Phoenix-metro area, hundreds (perhaps thousands) per week, and drop them with court papers and ankle monitors. Out of our own pockets, and what we solicit from our home church choirs or Bible study groups, we provide showers and cots, hot food, bottled water and milk/coffee/lemonade at the meals, bags of snacks and fruit for travel to their sponsor homes across the country, diapers, clothing, shoes, a doctor if needed, etc.
Volunteer climbs over storage boxes to
reach bags of rice.
It's wide-scale, we have a charitable designation, and we're working with DHS. I'm told that there are similar groups in California, Texas, New Mexico, etc. But we have to do it quietly for security's sake. Some of us have had to be human shields to protect our guests (young parents with babies and toddlers) from screaming racists and vigilantes.

Beyond groups like ours, there are non-religious organizations that make water and food drops in the desert trackways to save the lives of migrants. Some are serving prison time for helping. I read a comment recently that bragged about "shooting holes in the water jugs to save the cactus and trees" rather than save the lives of human beings.

You want to know whose faith is real? 
That is where the real Christians are, and not only Christians, but real Jews, real Muslims, real secular humanists: doing it generously, quietly, and secretly with open arms, open homes, open bank accounts, unlike Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell Jr., spewing hatred for the refugees within our borders, and raking in donations by the tens of millions every year.

"To be sure, some evangelical leaders, such as Franklin Graham, the president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, voiced criticism of the Trump administration’s policy of separating asylum-seeking children from their parents at the border. Yet evangelical leaders have shown no signs of ceasing to give Trump their full support, while Attorney General Jeff Sessions and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, both right-wing Protestants, defended his immigration policies as “biblical.” Indeed, in criticizing the “zero tolerance” policy, Graham deflected the blame from Trump and attempted to place it on former President Barack Obama."   White evangelicals have turned on refugees, Foreign Policy  

Volunteers from several religions bring food and drink
and other life necessities to a Baptist church where
Homeland Security drops 100 young parents and babies
several times every week.
"Graham’s willingness to abandon Christian principles when it’s politically expedient has cost the church dearly. It’s hard to think of a single prominent American Christian who better illustrates the collapsing Evangelical public witness than Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son. His commitment to the Christian character of American public officials seems to depend largely on their partisan political identity." Franklin Graham and the High Cost of the Lost Evangelical Witness, National Review

Woe to you ... hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides. ... For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."    Matthew 23:23, 24, 27, 28 ESV  

The "evangelical" Christian participation in politics is not furthering Christianity or the good news of God's boundless grace. It is a testimony to greed, isolationism, fear, arrogance, racism and nationalism, and discrimination. You, personally, may not notice it, but countless people around the world see it and are disgusted. Evangelical used to mean that we told the good news of God's love and salvation. Now, many of us avoid the negatively loaded word and call ourselves Christ-followers or God-followers.

What is the remedy? It's very simple.
You want to find a REAL godly person? 
Roll up your sleeves, get involved in an other-centric project, and you'll see that godly people are all around you. No one will preach at another, ever, because we believe that God's Spirit is there in our midst.

When we die, there isn't some final exam on pre-millennialism, imputed or imparted righteousness, prophetic timelines, or a host of theology-speak terms. There are only a few requirements, and they don't involve the Ten Commandments or any other list. Through the ages, people of many cultures want to know how to be right with God, and what he requires of us. It's very basic, so everyone can understand. "Love one another."
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 ESV

And the people who God brings into his kingdom? The ones who fed and watered the hungry and thirsty, welcomed the foreigner, clothed the naked, visited the sick and the prisoner.  Matthew 25:40 

In other words, those who love and give up their own comforts sometimes, to help others.


Christy K Robinson is author of these books:
Mary Dyer Illuminated Vol. 1 (2013)  
Effigy Hunter (2015)  

And of these sites:  
Discovering Love  (inspiration and service)
Rooting for Ancestors  (history and genealogy)
William and Mary Barrett Dyer (17th century culture and history of England and New England)
Editornado [ed•i•tohr•NAY•doh] (Words. Communications. Book reviews. Cartoons.)

Monday, April 29, 2019

Golden anniversary of being a two-talent person

A choir score with piano accompaniment: Holy, Holy, Holy

© 2019 Christy K Robinson

I don't usually give personal details about age, health matters, or other things that can be harvested by data miners for nefarious purposes. But here's a factoid that I'm a little proud of: 2019 is my golden anniversary of serving as a church worship pianist.

My mom was my first (and best) piano teacher, and she encouraged my love for religious music of all kinds. I played "special music" as a piano soloist, and accompanied school choruses and choirs, and a terrible little ensemble of instruments that really don't "go together." My mother and I played piano and organ duets, and I accompanied vocalists from croaky strainings to fine musicians. I was elected one of the church pianists at age 10, and in rotation, I played congregational hymns on the piano along with the organist, as well as took my turn playing offertories and preludes.

My teachers wouldn't teach chording and improvisation (they trained me classically), so I taught myself to play from lead lines so as to play the Christian Contemporary music then in its early years. About eight years ago, listening to a recording of Carole King and James Taylor, I realized that my contemporary improv was very much like theirs, that playing along with my vinyl records when I was 13 had developed that style as well.

I wasn't the only kid to be nurtured in music ministry at such a tender age. My schoolmate Ronnie was a year older than I, and for a while we shared the same piano teacher, but he was always a better pianist than I. When a mutual friend lost his father a few years ago, Ronnie played the piano for the memorial service--and he's still better! I don't envy him (much) because of the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30).

For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more... His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
The Master gave Ronnie five talents where I received two talents. Both of us invested wisely by practicing and giving back, but Ronnie got the larger deal. It wasn't our deal to make. The Master decided who got what, and we accepted the gifts and didn't squander them.    

In addition to formal piano and organ lessons from age six through university, I often sat with accomplished keyboardists to turn pages for them in worship services, funerals, weddings, and evangelism campaigns. The best of them had a small stack of books with them that they could quickly turn to if the service changed direction unexpectedly, and this has stood me in good stead many a time! I learned to listen carefully to the scripture readings, the sermon, and to surreptitiously read the reactions of the congregation, though my face was generally turned to the pulpit.

By the time I was a teenager, I was playing for small weddings, and when I was in my 20s, I began playing professionally with many denominations over the years. I've played massive pipe organs, pianos from Yamaha to Steinway to clunky old uprights, synthesizers, and what I call "cha-cha" organs, the spinet with buttons for bossa nova and foxtrot percussion that people had in their homes in the early 1970s and then donated to the church when they moved or Grandma died. I never used the percussion settings in services, but confess that I thought it hilarious to use it when playing the Bach Invention No. 8 in my practice time. It was a metronome with attitude.

I saw the look of alarm on the faces of the 80-year-old pillars of the church when a digital synthesizer keyboard was installed, and I chose settings like plucked harp or piano and strings to soothe their fears that a rock band was taking over. At other churches, I played with a "praise band" and it's a blast to work with others after practicing piano as a sort of solo sport for so many years.

One of the benefits of playing for churches (besides the much-needed income) is the fellowship of like-minded musicians and directors. Another is the professional development as I learn how to enhance the worship experience by expressing the music a certain way or knowing to jump from accompaniment to vocal parts and back during rehearsal.

The church I currently work for has been such a blessing to me, not only in terms of income, but in fellowship and service. I love the church, love the musicians, love the director and his talented wife, and can't imagine that my experience could be better. OK, it could be better in this way: we only sing from September through April because of the extreme heat in summer with people escaping on vacations, and I only get paid for playing for choir, which means I need keyboard substitute jobs to help pay my living expenses. I hope you'll join me in prayer about summer "gigs" at area churches.

Are you a five-talent, two-talent, or one-talent person? I'm satisfied with what God gave me, and the many ways he's sustained and blessed me over the last 50 years. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Will my pet go to heaven?

© 2019 Christy K Robinson

Baby me, on Easter, with my tabby kitten.
When I was two or three years old, my tabby cat didn’t come home one day.  As a four-year-old, I’d stand in the driveway and call for him to come home. Of course, he never did.

Over the years, our family had several pets that we treated well, fed well, and protected with a fenced yard or taking them out on a leash. They lived long lives with annual checkups and vaccinations. If they sickened with age, we gave them their thyroid medication or kidney-health special diet until we were sure it was time to let them go in euthanasia.

When I was a child, I asked if my guinea pig or rabbit would go to heaven so I could have them again when it was my turn to go to heaven. Lacking a Bible proof text, thinking that animals have no souls, and that pets can’t accept salvation in Christ, my church and my parents told me that sadly, we only have their short lives on earth to enjoy our pets. This made me cry all the harder as we buried the beloved cat under the apple tree or the jasmine vine.

Glazed clay sculpture of our dog,
made by my mother.
I remember my mother saying that in heaven, she wanted to have tigers and otters and elephants for house pets.

God gave animals to us for so many reasons besides food or clothing: love, joy, delight, companionship, life lessons in caretaking or our proper place in master-servant relations, to be God’s “spokesman” to our lives, to make us laugh, to let us cry, to guide or assist in our disabilities, to rehabilitate prisoners or wounded warriors, to rescue us in danger, to comfort in our sorrow or fear, to teach us or remind us to play, and to be family members.

Remember how Balaam beat his poor donkey when she saw an angel blocking their way? The donkey spoke to Balaam. And 3,300 years later, we can still learn from the donkey. (Click this link.)

I believe our domestic pets will be in heaven. God loves us so much that he gave us these "angels in dog or cat suits" to enhance and bless our lives.

God said in Isaiah 49:25 that he would save our children. For those who have traditional families, but particularly those of us who did not give birth, our animals are our children.

"Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your judgments are like the great deep;
you save humans and animals alike, O Lord

Psalm 36:6


Christy K Robinson is author of these books:
Mary Dyer Illuminated Vol. 1 (2013)  
Effigy Hunter (2015)  

And of these sites:  
Discovering Love  (inspiration and service)
Rooting for Ancestors  (history and genealogy)
William and Mary Barrett Dyer (17th century culture and history of England and New England)
Editornado [ed•i•tohr•NAY•doh] (Words. Communications. Book reviews. Cartoons.)

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Where is your line in the sand?

This photo of a Honduran child crying as her mother is arrested
won the WorldPress Photo of the Year,
at a ceremony held in Amsterdam on April 11, 2019.

© 2019 Christy K Robinson

In a world filled with terror and cruelty, we are called to be kind, compassionate, merciful, and fair. We help the helpless, we free those in cages, we protect the abused and neglected, we feed the hungry, we comfort the mourning, we reconcile the separated, we provide hospitality to the traveler and alien. These are virtues in every society, no matter which religion or denomination you espouse, or if you're a secular person. 

We know what is right and good.
We must do it.

We must do it, even if it means that we disobey a corrupt, vicious political authority. We find our humanity and our own healing when we open our hearts to the downtrodden. 

That is why I help with a loose-knit but well-organized network of volunteers, to feed, clothe, protect, and comfort the refugees coming from violent, corrupt Central American countries.

The following essay was written by an immigration attorney working in Colorado, and posted to Facebook on April 11, 2019. The bold highlights are mine, because I want to bring those to the attention of people who criticize the morals of the girls and young women who make up the majority of those we serve in the Phoenix area. "If they're good parents or love their kids, why would they subject their babies, toddlers, or older children to the dangers of a 2,500 mile journey?" Here's your answer. It's not like I haven't written it over and over again. But OK, if you want to talk "family values," "sexual abstinence," or "pro-life," then you need to read this.
Photo: The Guardian

I am an immigration lawyer (Colorado bar # 44591) at a nonprofit organization, and I wish to say something.

Recently, with the forcing out of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for not being “tough enough” on immigration, President Trump has resurrected the idea of separating families who arrive at the U.S./Mexico border to seek asylum, including those who present themselves at Ports of Entry to seek admission according to the proper procedures spelled out in U.S. immigration law.

This afternoon, I met with a single mother and her 14-year old daughter from Honduras. The daughter had a 4-month old baby boy, dressed in a purple dinosaur onesie, who grasped my finger and blew raspberries at me. 

The daughter had gotten pregnant at age 13 when five members of the MS-13 took turns raping her. They came three nights in a row before the mother finally fled to her sister’s house in another town. There, the mother went to ask police to help. But the police, who are themselves on the payroll of the gang, reported their location to the local gang hierarchy, who cross-checked with the MS-13 cell in their hometown and verified that they had tried to escape. In broad daylight, unmasked men with guns broke down the sister’s doors, dragged them into a car, drove them to an auto repair shop, and raped all three. 

Four months later, the mother had managed to borrow enough money from a cousin in the United States to pay a smuggler to take them through Guatemala to Mexico.

Two months later, in early December 2018, mother and daughter made it to the U.S. border in Laredo, Texas. The daughter was now seven months pregnant. They presented themselves at the Port of Entry and the mother said that they were afraid to go back to Honduras. They were put in separate rooms, where male Border Patrol officers interrogated both mother and daughter. They were then held in separate cells in what is known as the “hielera” (Spanish for “freezer”) for 4 days. Neither received news of the other.

The pregnant daughter was in a cold room where the only place to sleep was a concrete floor. She was given only a thin Mylar blanket that looked like aluminum foil. She and 10 other girls shared one toilet with no privacy curtain. The fluorescent lights were never turned off. She could not eat the food. She only drank water. The water came from a faucet on top of the shared toilet.

When the contractions began, she thought she just had stomach cramps. She was given aspirin. The next morning, when she was taken to a hospital, her mother was not informed. She did not give birth there. A male Border Patrol agent waited on a chair on the other side of the curtain in the emergency room waiting area. When the doctors determined that she was stable and released her, the agent drove her back to the concrete holding cell. One day later, mother and daughter were brought into a room together, given papers to sign, and driven to a local bus station where they were released. At that station, volunteers took them to a temporary shelter for migrants. They stayed there for one night until the same cousin arranged to buy tickets on a Greyhound bus. They traveled two days from Texas to reach Colorado.

Five days later, the girl gave birth. The baby was born at 7½ months. The two women don’t know the medical term for what is wrong with him. They just know that he has “a hole in his heart.” That is not a metaphor. The baby boy has a hole in the wall of one of the chambers of his heart.

This mother and child likely won’t win their asylum case. It doesn’t matter how unfair that seems to you, or if “that can’t be right,” or if you’re thinking any of the other phrases that most Americans who aren’t immigration lawyers (or immigrants) think when they hear stories like this and can’t believe them. The harm that these women suffered, and are likely to suffer again if they are deported to Honduras, is a “private harm.” They won’t be able to prove that it was perpetrated by a government actor or agent, specifically motivated by their membership in a particular social group, under the near-impossible standards for asylum made mandatory for all U.S. immigration judges by Attorney General Jeff Sessions (a political appointee and not a judge) in Matter of A-B- in June 2018. Nor will they be able to prove that their rapists were motivated by their (the victims’) race, religion, national origin, or political opinion.

In the perverse world of asylum law, what matters is not so much THAT you will be harmed, but WHO will harm you and WHY they will harm you. In a way, we are telling these two women that even here in the United States, the country that they believe will protect them, those men who hurt them are more important. Let me rephrase that. I had to tell them that, to their faces, today. I had to tell them in so many words that because their rapists didn’t rape them for the right reasons, they will likely be sent back to be hurt again.

For all those who say they should have come here legally: they did. There was no “line” for them to get into for a visa to immigrate to the United States. They didn’t have a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident family member to petition for them, nor a U.S. employer to sponsor them. So they made the only lawful choice they could. They walked up to an official Port of Entry on the Texas border, stood in a line, and asked for protection. They did exactly what they were supposed to do under the law.

It seems to me that almost all evil in the world, from playground bullying to sexual abuse to genocide, results from valuing some human beings more than others. We repeatedly and willingly forget the most basic lesson that most of the world’s religions teach: that because every single human being is a child of God, every single human being has equal value. In fact, each human life has value far greater than we can comprehend, because God loves us all equally and infinitely – just as we love our own children beyond measure.

When we value a child born on one side of a human-drawn line on a map more than a child born on the other side, we have forgotten what every prophet through the ages has tried to teach us. We have failed both children.
_________ end of Pavri's essay _________ 

So, what do you think? Is this issue, repeated tens of thousands of times over the last two years, important enough for you to use the privilege of your citizenship, your race, your economic status, your political party affiliation, your very conscience, and resist the evil that you see in the world? If it's not enough, what is enough for you? What is your priority? Where is your line in the sand? Do you have one?

For other articles on refugees seeking asylum in this site, click here -->>

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Reaching out in person

© 2019 Christy K Robinson

Please consider this. All over the United States, there are churches, shelters, charities, clinics, food banks, and many other outlets for you to help with. It's more than politics, more than writing a check or swiping a credit card, it's about being personally involved in helping human beings.

They are not sub-human. They are not gang members. They are NOT, repeat NOT, drug runners. They aren't "murderers and rapists" -- they're actually trying to escape that violence. They aren't stealing your job or "using up" medical care and other resources in a country that's "full."

Trump has been outspoken about how dangerous he believes undocumented immigrants are, once referring to some of them as “animals.” His claims come despite the lack of evidence that the presence of undocumented immigrants leads to an uptick in crime. --HuffPost, April 2019

They're not coming here, like Trump says in his condescending voice, to go to Disneyland (single-day tickets at both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure cost $97 on value days, $110 on regular days, and $124 on peak days). These are people who don't have shoelaces, much less mad money.

The refugees and asylum seekers are young parents with little children. They are members of the Central American caravans who are fleeing gang and drug cartel violence, rape, and massacre. They risked death at the borders, at bridges and river crossings, by riding on dangerously overcrowded vehicles, and from exposure to harsh weather when they were exhausted from walking 20 miles or more for a day, carrying a baby or a toddler. But all of the risks they incur are worth it, to escape the horrors of their home countries.

Her home in a rural area of El Salvador’s La Paz region became a death trap when a relative testified against a local gang member, Alvarado said. Uncles, nephews, classmates and others have been kidnapped or murdered in retaliation, she added. At the news conference, she held up a photo of a young girl, a neighbor, left for dead on a dirt road close to her home. --Houston Chronicle, 2019.

HUIXTLA, Mexico — As thousands of Central American migrants renewed their trek Wednesday through Mexico toward the hoped-for, but still far-distant U.S. border, the physical toll was beginning to show in sickness and exhaustion, especially among the children toddling along, being pushed in strollers or carried in the arms of adults.
And for their parents, it was their hope for their children’s futures, and fears of what could happen to them back home in gang-dominated Honduras, that were the main motivation for deciding to leave in the first place.
“They can’t be alone. … There’s always danger,” said Ludin Giron, a Honduran street vendor making the difficult journey with her three young children. “When (gang members) see a pretty girl, they want her for themselves. If they see a boy, they want to get him into drugs."
And it is well known that refusing either can be deadly. Honduras has a homicide rate of about 43 per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the highest in the world for any country not in open war.” --Albuquerque Journal, October 24, 2018 

Central American mother and two daughters, part of a caravan of asylum seekers.
Photo: The Columbian, Google Images
A Honduran boy and his father were tear-gassed, attempting to cross
from Honduras into Mexico.
Photo: Encarne Pindado, BBC.
One of the Central American mothers who made it out
of her dangerous country, through Mexico,
and into the United States seeking asylum. She and her
daughter stayed for three weeks in a detention camp
before being dumped in Phoenix by the Department of
Homeland Security, with no money, no clothes or shoes but
what they were wearing, and no food for the journey to her
sponsor where she would stay until her immigration court date.
Volunteers provided for her immediate needs.
Photo: Christy K Robinson

In the culture of our spiritual ancestors, hospitality was a great virtue. "Strangers" (travelers, aliens) were treated even better than family members!  
‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you.' Leviticus 25:35 NIV 

I urge you to not just be outraged at the evil that has been unleashed by racism and bigotry, but to do something about your outrage. Don't sit at home and tap out frownie faces in social media. Find a way to act. Find a way to do something that engages you personally with those who are "the least of these." It will change another human being's life. And yours.  

Want to be an influential person, a person of substance and character, who is admired and respected by others? Here's how:

For other articles on refugees seeking asylum, click this link:

Christy K Robinson is author of these books:
Mary Dyer Illuminated Vol. 1 (2013)  
Effigy Hunter (2015)  

And of these sites:  
Discovering Love  (inspiration and service)
Rooting for Ancestors  (history and genealogy)
William and Mary Barrett Dyer (17th century culture and history of England and New England)
Editornado [ed•i•tohr•NAY•doh] (Words. Communications. Book reviews. Cartoons.)


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