Saturday, August 27, 2016

Walking the Camino del Inmigrante

“Immigrants continue to make significant contributions to our economy,” García said. “Yet these same immigrants, especially those without documentation, suffer from among the highest rates of hunger in our country.” Bishop José García, Director of Church Relations, Bread for the World.

Some 150 people, including a team of Bread staff and members, are participating in a pilgrimage  from the border to Los Angeles on Aug. 20-30 to raise awareness about issues with the immigration system.

Organized by the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), World Vision, World Relief, and Bread for the World, and supported  by Border Angels, El Camino del Inmigrante, or “the path of the immigrant,” began with prayers and singing in Friendship Park, which lies on the coast on the border with Mexico.  Read article in San Diego Tribune

Along the 150-mile path, several events offered walkers an opportunity to rest and reflect on their journeys. In additional to nightly dinners and debriefs, Bread organized a rally on Aug. 26 in Costa Mesa, Calif., in the heart of Orange County, where Bishop García addressed walkers and other guests.   Read more in El Camino del Inmigrante to highlight struggles of immigrants   

Reading about the plight of so many immigrants in the Bible made me realize that our response to the issue of immigration needs to be directed by a worldview that is shaped by biblical principles rather than secular rhetoric.There is ample evidence in the Bible indicating that we should care for the “stranger among us. Bishop José García: Why I am doing El Camino 

Working for Bread for the World, I was astounded to learn that many military families don't always have enough to feed their children and rely on programs like SNAP and WIC to get by. It may surprise you to know that immigrants who serve honorably in the military are still at risk of deportation when they complete their service.  Marco Grimaldo, Semper fidelis: Faithfulness and prayers for people who are hungry  

A 44-year-old man, who declined to give his name, traveled from his native Guatemala for the walk and carried the dress shoes he wore in 2002 when he left his wife and four children to come to the U.S. “I didn’t want to leave my family, but it felt like an obligation because there weren’t any opportunities there,” he said through a translator. From article in Orange County Register

"We ran into one man today who said, 'Yeah, immigrants deserve to be treated with dignity, but they're not entitled to citizenship. And I just responded, 'Are any of us entitled to citizenship? Am I entitled to more rights because I was born a couple hundred miles north of a border? Am I entitled to more dignity and more opportunity or wealth or privilege because of where I was born versus where some of my friends and neighbors were born?' "I don't think so."  Bethany Anderson in an interview with The Los Angeles Times.

Read more accounts and view more photos and videos on the Follow on the Camino del Inmigrante  Official Facebook Page

A Prayer for 65 million refugees fleeing war and violence.

Some members of the Bread team on the walk
 O God, in Christ Jesus, you have created us as a new people of all nations and all cultures. We pray for those who have immigrated to our country, leaving their homes and families to escape poverty and hunger. May our communities welcome and support these immigrants as they work to create a better life for themselves and their families. Grant us courage to amplify the immigrant voices so they get protected from abuse and exploitation. And we pray for our nation’s leaders, that they will implement just and compassionate solutions in reforming our immigration system. In the name of Christ, we pray. Amen.

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