A Summer Update from our friends at Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries (SWGSM)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
You may be feeling in turmoil from the news cycles that move faster than we can think or process. You may be wondering exactly what is happening, as it is hard to discern from afar. As you are people who live your life in love, you are likely wondering what you can do to support our brothers and sisters who are seeking asylum in our country. We all have ringing in our ears and in our hearts, the call of our Lord (John 3:17): But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
A Quick Update on What is Happening on the Border
The U.S. Government is releasing people on parole from detention when they have family members or friends to take them in. There are often hundreds of people released every day. These refugees are taken from detention to the bus stations in either McAllen or Brownsville. Most of these people, many of them families with children, have little more than the clothes on their backs.
The quality of care in the detention centers varies. Thank the Lord, we are not seeing in the Valley the kinds of difficulties that are being highlighted on the news in the El Paso area. Nonetheless, we hear from refugees that the detention centers are crowded, the food is not very good, and there is little to no opportunity to bathe. Duration in a detention center is highly variable, anywhere from a couple days to weeks.
Pictured is a brave mother and son from El Salvador, pictured with SWGSM volunteer Sarah Glover. They fled El Salvador and moved slowly through Mexico because of lack of money. They crossed the border at Brownsville, and were in detention for 2 days. We met them at the bus station in McAllen, by which time they had 4 Mexican pesos and the clothes on their backs. We gave them food, spending money, and made sure they got on their right bus to New York. Join in our prayers for this brave and faithful pair.
What is SWGSM Doing to Support Today’s Refugees?
Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries visits the bus stations and respite centers to provide our brothers and sisters with food, clothing, medicine, diapers, and other necessities. We buy bus tickets for people to reach their loved ones. By the end of June, we spent $42,000 in monetary aid for refugees. Please consider sending money that might be used for bus tickets to help our brothers and sisters to their next place of safety. It truly is a way for us to be present for a re-birth.
Sometimes refugees are here just for a few hours, in which case, it is essential to get food and some travel items (diapers, soap, underwear, toothbrushes) to people while they are at the bus stop. Some must wait overnight, especially if they are released late in the day. These people spend the night in shelters or a respite center.
This is the first update you have received from us in a little while! You might be wondering why you haven’t heard from us. Gracias a Dios, many of you are continuing your ongoing support – and we are deeply, deeply grateful for every donation we receive. This ministry does not exist without your support.
We have been out of touch for two reasons. First, one of our staff members moved on to answer another calling. We are a shoestring operation to begin with, and this brought our person-power down to the minimum. Second, there has been a huge increase in the number of people needing assistance. We invested our person-power in serving.
That said: We simply don’t exist without your support. Making sure you have keen sense of the work you support is of the highest priority. We know it is your belief in what we do that will encourage you to give. Please send us feedback on what you want to learn and what questions you have; it is also in our ministry to bring you closer to the brothers and sisters in Christ whom we are touching every day.
How Can You Help?
Donate. Providing your financial support allows us to ensure all of our operations continue: housing families seeking asylum; providing these families all of the care they need (we have two new babies on the way!); collecting and distributing necessities to refugees who are in the Valley only for a short period; buying bus tickets. Donate online or send to SWGSM, PO Box 273, Los Fresnos, TX 78566.
Send supplies. A huge need is packaged underwear, for men, women, and children; all sizes. Travel-sized soap, shampoo. Toothbrushes. Baby bottles. Light-weight totes to carry these supplies. Send to our street address: 205 West First Street, Los Fresnos, TX 78566. We have an Amazon wish list here.
Use our Amazon Smile link for shopping: Use this Amazon Smile link for any shopping you do with Amazon (not just donations): Amazon will donate .5% of the purchase price to SWGSM.
Visit us. We would love to introduce you more personally to our ministries!
Visit the refugees who are in your communities.
Always: raise your prayers to our Lord for these people who are deeply in need.
We will pray together and work together toward the good for all our bothers and sister, for the children, in God’s Holy Name.
In Gratitude to God for You,
Rev. F. Feliberto Pereira
Founder and Executive Director