"Walk in the Desert"

Thursday was an interesting day! My pastor asked if I could drive one of the church vans for a conference called "Walk in the Desert" organized by the bishop here. The idea was to draw attention to border issues and to a group called Humane Borders that maintains water stations in the desert to help prevent deaths. It was an interesting experience for a number of reasons. Coming into it, I knew very little about what was going on, just that at some point I would be driving to one of the water stations just outside of Tucson.

One of the first things was a three mile walk from the church to the part of the local cemetery called "Paupers Grave." Kind of interesting walking along the street in a big group like that with police escorts and news crews and everything. I've never been one to participate in marches or anything, not that I have anything against peaceful ones. That just isn't my personality, I'm more of a behind the scenes type. So that whole part was interesting.

Then the bishop said a few words and I drove out to one of the water stations. These are just big 50-gallon tanks in the middle of the desert with big blue flags to identify them by. Then we drove back to the church for lunch. They had some presentations in the afternoon, but I had to go to work, so couldn't stay for those.

I did have a couple of thoughts related to the whole thing. One is that I'm glad that people at my church know that they can ask me to help. I enjoy being able to help in whatever way I can. I think that is an important part of being the church and I'm glad to be able to put that to action.

My other thought has more to do with the event. I think it is important that we have organizations like Humane Borders. It is so easy to get caught up in the politics of the whole issue, how to deal with undocumented workers and immigrants in general, right or wrong. But in doing this, we tend to lose sight of the people behind the issues. These are real people out there, people with moms and dads, brothers and sisters, children and friends. Is it really fair that they die just for seeking a better life for their family? So whatever our political beliefs, we should all support groups like Humane Borders, they give people life!

And here is an article in the local newspaper about the event. Bishop presses immigrant issues

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