A Community That Puts Compassion Into Action – Part 1: Joanne’s Story

I knew this was not a sustainable option long-term, so I reached out to the Women of Welcome community for help.

 

We can feel like there is nothing we can do to help show care to vulnerable people in our communities. We can believe our little effort isn’t enough. 

Yet, the Body of Christ has many parts and we each have a role to play. Every small step of welcome adds up to great love.

Joanne, Sarah, Jenn, and Sheila met because they are all a part of the Women of Welcome community. They each found themselves moved by a story of a migrant father and his young daughter and wanted to do what they could to help. Their stories woven together are a beautiful example of what this community is capable of when we work together.

Hear how the story began when Alex connected with Joanne.

Joanne – Reaching Out for Connection

“The first time I heard from Alex was in August of 2020. He was [an asylum seeker] living in the Matamoros camp in Mexico and was having a hard time getting in touch with his lawyer in the U.S. He reached out to me through Facebook. I happen to have the same last name as his lawyer and he thought we were possibly related. I was intrigued by his story, especially when I found out he was a single dad seeking asylum with his young daughter, Cinthia. We began to regularly correspond. I don’t speak Spanish, so all of our communication was through a translator on my phone.

I also reached out to his lawyer on his behalf to let her know he was having difficulty contacting her, and she got in touch with him. She and I also became friends and I learned she is not an immigration lawyer but does a lot of pro-bono work. Alex and I continued to message one another because I would check in on him and Cinthia, and he would reach out with questions about immigration and the upcoming election.

Alex and Cinthia spent six months in the Matamoros camp and then they moved to a shelter. The shelter had strict rules and he wasn’t allowed to stay with his daughter. It was really hard for them both because when you are trauma bonded, being separated creates more trauma. I can only imagine what the two of them had been through together. He shared pieces of his story with me and I learned he and his daughter had fled El Salvador due to gang violence.

In July of 2021, he and his daughter were able to cross the border into Texas. They were living with his brother in the Dallas/Irving area where he was planning to work construction. Unfortunately, Alex has a skin condition among other medical issues, which made it impossible for him to work in the sun. When I learned about his health conditions keeping him out of work, and that he wasn’t able to pay his half of the rent or buy groceries, I put together a fundraiser on Facebook and raised $650. I knew this was not a sustainable option long-term, so I reached out to the Women of Welcome community for help.”

Continue reading how the lives of these Women of Welcome intersected when they put action to their compassion and became a part of Alex and Cinthia’s lives:

Part 2: Sarah’s Story

Part 3: Jenn’s Story

Part 4: Sheila’s Story