Tomorrow eight of us from Plymouth UCC, Madison WI will travel to southern Arizona as part of our congregation’s mission work for immigration justice. In part we will be attending the “Common Ground on the Border Fair” (see https://www.gvs-samaritans.org/events/common-ground-on-the-border or https://www.commongroundonthehill.org/cgotb_home.html for more info). This is an event put on by our hosts, Good Shepherd UCC in Sahuarita, AZ, a congregation whose mission work focuses on humanitarian aid and advocacy for migrants. While there we will cross the border and travel to Nogales, Mexico on Thursday, experience the desert that migrants attempt to cross, see the border wall (yes, the wall does exist already in sections), some will witness Operation Streamline (if sessions happening on Friday), and we will also experience some of the local culture.
Mostly what we will do on this short 5-day trip is to observe, listen, and learn. What is the truth about what is happening on the border? How do people living there feel about US immigration policy, especially as it has been practiced over the last few years? What is the experience of migrants? What causes them to migrate? What are their hopes and dreams? How are the church and other non-GMOs responding? And how should we (way up in the great el norte) respond?
We will explore these and other questions on this trip, and will try to share as much as we can (given a full agenda and not knowing beforehand what sort of online connections we will have) in this space during the trip and afterward. More photos and quick reflections will also be posted on our Facebook page and on Twitter (@plymouthmadison).
Tomorrow: Why this trip? That is, what does this trip have to do with being a Christian? Spoiler alert – a lot!