Day 3 McAllen 2016
March 8, 2016
Hola Amigos! Today was an eventful day to say the least. We began by celebrating International Women’s day with a march with some other wonderful women (and men)! We heard some amazing stories from amazing women while we ate lunch. These stories ranged from a 75-year-old women still working in the fields, to a woman talking about her success and perseverance in her education. These stories helped us to reflect on the great role that women play in our society, to put it in a nutshell proverbs 31: 10-31.
After our celebracion, we headed to Sacred Heart to continue our work with the immigrants. However, many hands make idle work and in our case there were many hands, so it was a little bit slower today. There were two other groups volunteering, a high school group from Dallas and a college group from Miami. Both of these groups were very enthusiastic and wanted to help out which was really great to see, and despite being slow we were still able to connect with the immigrants and the other volunteers. Even though it was hard to let the other groups step in and take a more interpersonal role with the immigrants we were able to let go and help them with the process of forming these relationships with the immigrants. It will be fun to see these two groups change as we did: going from shy and unsure, to excited and welcoming.
Tonight we went to daily mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan Valle. It was a lovely mass, but sadly no mariachi band tonight! The mass was very much needed, because a lot of us have been swept up with all of the emotions and stories shared while serving and walking with the immigrants. It provided peace and refilled our spirits, so that we can come back tomorrow and better serve those who we are called to encounter. After mass, we received a tour of the Basilica from Sister Rosa. She informed us about the history of the Basilica and some of the miracles behind it. For example, a plane crashed into the original church, which caused it to catch fire. However, despite there being a very damaging fire there was only one causality (the pilot) and the statue of the Immaculate Conception was saved by the religious who inhabited the church. Then, approximately ten years later the new Basilica was built and is a common site for pilgrims to come visit across the nation.
Overall, this experience has pushed us all very much outside of our comfort zone and has forced us to see issues that we never have had to face in Montana. We are excited to see what God has in store for us tomorrow. J
Alize and Migin (Elise and Megan)