Day 4 McAllen 2016
The Morning was packed with goodness on all accounts. We started out by going to Sacred Heart, but there were so many volunteers that we decided to let the other groups get a chance to encounter the richness that our friends, the refugees bring. After leaving Sacred Heart we went back to the Basilica and did Stations of the Cross. The Basilica has life-sized statues of the stations on a walkway that spans all the way around the Basilica. This gave a lot of people a whole new view of Jesus. It was different being able to see how the size can relate Jesus to us. All too often we only see Jesus on the cross or in a painting, and not really up close. Being able to see the facial expressions made the feelings of Jesus present, and we were able to encounter Him in a whole new way. Having to walk between the stations was a way to be with Christ on His walk so that we may join him and take up our own cross. We were able to connect the struggles and injustices that the refugees have faced with the trials of Jesus in his crucifixion. From there, we had lunch and went back to Sacred Heart.
While the weather outside was stormy, the atmosphere in Sacred Heart was anything but gloomy. We were able to spend time with volunteers from other groups and share the experiences we have had with the refugees. We all enjoyed being able to help in any way possible, from cleaning showers and playing with the children to going to get food for the refugees. We were in awe of Eli, who is the director of the center, as he made the refugees brief stay as comfortable as possible. He sends each group off by carefully explaining what they can expect in their journey to their destinations to be with their loved ones. He wishes them a safe journey, and expresses his desire to hear of their safe and successful journeys. His compassion and dedication was evident in these interactions. Being able to understand Eli’s devotion was simply amazing. Truly a blessed Soul!
Taylor and John