Almost More Than Our Hearts Can Bear
Many migrants seeking asylum in the United States avoided detention during the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama because of a 1997 court settlement that
kept children from being imprisoned with parents. But, in April Attorney General Jeff Sessions
announced the plan to prosecute all migrants who cross the border, including those with young children. The Justice Department decided the only way to tighten our immigration policies was to begin isolating the children so their parents could be imprisoned or deported.
An intellectual discussion of immigration is difficult and can evoke strong feelings, but when it comes to children it affects our hearts and hearing the voices of young children crying for their parents is almost more than our hearts can bear. It goes against our core human values and for us as Christians it goes against the tenets of our faith. We remember how the disciples wanted to keep the little children away from Jesus—he was certainly much too busy for them. But, to their dismay Jesus scolded them and insisted that the children be brought to him—"for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” It seems that the main point of the story is Jesus’ love for children whose character is overlooked and dignity is ignored (Feasting on the Word Commentary). Jesus always seemed to be on the side of the marginalized—those society looked upon as “less than.” Some of us remember when children were to be “seen and not heard.” Thankfully we have moved from that mind-set.
It is difficult to escape the pure love and innocence when we look into the face of a young child—the color of their skin, the language they speak, or their country of origin makes no difference. Just think of our own Jane and Jack—our hearts are opened when they stand with
us around the table and wait patiently for the bread and the cup. To take them from the love and presence of their parents would be unthinkable to us.
Last week some of us attended a prayer service for the children. One of the songs has stayed with me—
Build a longer table, not a higher wall, feeding those who hunger making room for all.
Feasting together stranger turns to friend, love breaks walls to pieces; false divisions end.
When we lived as exiles, refugees abroad, love becomes our doorway
to the reign of God.
So, must our tables welcome those who roam, none can be excluded;
all must find a home.
Jesus is about continually widening the circle of his love and so must we.
Last week President Trump signed an executive order to keep immigrant children and their families together in detention. The problem is all children already separated from their parents will not be reunited immediately and facilities are being created to house immigrant families seeking asylum. Last week we learned that Catholic Charities of Fort Worth is already housing some of the children separated from their families.
We want to do something—anything—below is a way we can help the children here in Fort Worth.
How We Can Help
We talked last Sunday about how we can help with the immigrant children already being housed here in Fort Worth by Catholic Charities. After calling Catholic Charities we were directed to their website and these are the things they need. We can create some welcome boxes---we will collect the items listed under create a welcome box and then use those items to create as many Welcome Boxes as possible. Bring the items for the next three Sundays (July 1, 8, 15, 23) and then we will make the boxes on the last Sunday in July (July 30).
• We are incredibly grateful for any monetary donation. This kind of donation enables our organization to not only help the Unaccompanied Children, but also furthers our mission to end poverty in our community. 90 cents of every dollar donated goes directly back into our
programs, like the Unaccompanied Children program. We will also happily accept gift cards of any amount to Wal-Mart or Target.
Create a Welcome Box
• We will accept any of the items listed below as an individual item or a part of a kit.
Activity Box Items
• 1 plastic shoebox-size container
• composition book
• stress ball
• playing cards/card games/magic cards
• coloring books/activity books
• crayons/map pencils
• mechanical pencils
• hot wheel cars
• small bibles (English or Spanish)
• 1 nail polish
Hygiene/Welcome Box Items
• 1 plastic shoebox-sized container
• 1 Lubriderm/Gold Bond/Eucerin lotion for extremely dry skin
• 1 shampoo
• 1 conditioner
• 1 body wash/bar soap
• 1 tube of toothpaste
• 1 toothbrush
• 1 brush/comb
• 1 pack of hair ties
• 1 deodorant
• 1 small toy
• English/Spanish flashcards
• addition, subtraction, multiplication flash cards
Drop Off Information
249 Thornhill Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76115
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Become a Foster Parent
• Our IFC program partners with foster families to provide children who have fled their country of origin with a safe, nurturing, culturally sensitive environment that equips and empowers them to reach their full potential. For more information about this opportunity, email firstname.lastname@example.org
• We are also currently looking for a married bilingual (English/Spanish) couple to fill a foster parent position at our transitional group home. To apply for this position, visit our employment page.