Saturday, June 5, 2010

Enrique's Journey - Me trying to understand Illegal Immigration Part 2

Today I want to cover the journey Enrique and thousands (and I do mean thousands) attempt every day. Some successfully and others unsuccessfully by either being deported, maimed by the trains they ride, or beaten by gangsters, bad cops, and badly hurt or killed.

There were parts in this book that were so very hard to read. The journey is around 1500 miles long. The majority of the trip is done by jumping on and off trains. The state of Chaipus Mexico is very dangerous to pass through. That is where most of the gangsters go that have been deported from the US because of criminal activity. I cannot decide if the country of Mexico cares or even knows what their citizens do to these migrants. Also what state employees are doing to them as well. Enrique was badly beaten up by a gang that demanded money. His injuries almost killed him and left him with several scars, both inside and physical. Where most of the really bad physical injuries come from though are trains. Jumping off and getting on. One wrong move and the train sucks the person under the wheels. Here is a quote from the book: "At a rate of nearly one every other day, the Red Cross estimates, U.S. bound Central American migrants who ride freight trains lose arms, legs, hands or feet. ...It does not count those who die instantly when they are cut in half or decapitated." Enter an angel unaware: Olga Sanchez Martinez. This woman's story is amazing in itself, but I'm not going to go into her whole story, just know that she takes in these people, who others treat badly. She ministers to them. These people wish to die, but Olga tells them "God has a plan for you. You will learn to live another way". She is a wonderful testament to God's love and grace, and she gives testimony of God's goodness to all those she helps. She has opened a shelter for these amputees called: The Shelter of Jesus the Good Shepherd. Through this book I have developed a desire to reach out to her and help her with her mission. Olga has had to beg for food to help these people. She is truly showing them the love of Christ. Here is a website about the book. It includes a website where you can send money to help, if you feel led.

There are many other people who show kindness to these migrants, while others look down on them and abuse them. Sounds familiar doesn't it. It really doesn't matter where in the world you are from, there are evil people everywhere.

These people suffer much on this journey. It is a testament to their determination and desperation. Going to the "land of milk and honey". Where everything will be great, and they will be able to help their families back home. So sad that this isn't always the case.

It takes Enrique 122 days to make the trip.

When things calm down both mother and son have many struggles. Most of them stemming from the fact that he harbors anger and resentment over her living and her believing he should respect her because of her sacrifice. Many times they fight over this issue, never to a resolution that benefits both of them.

One thing I forgot to mention and with this I will close today's post, with one more tomorrow. These illegal immigrants are preyed on. Not only by the gangsters and bad police, but by people that say they want to help them. They have people that say they will smuggle their children into the US for a sum of money and then disappear with the money. Lourdes (Enrique's Mom) also tried to become a US citizen (of course again not through the proper route) and was bilked of a few thousand dollars that she could have sent to her children. Another bad decision on her part. It never ceases to amaze me the evil in men's hearts, where they will prey on the poor and desperate. It again proves the verses in Genesis 6 & 9 "Men are evil from birth". Without Christ we are truly lost!

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Mari said...

The situations that these people are in must be terrible, that they would go through all this to come here. This is interesting, but so sad and really makes me realize again how blessed I am. I'm also wondering how things could be made different.

Redeemed By His Love said...

Kim, that book sounds like a very powerful book to read. Yes, we as Christians are to give help to those in need. Compassion cannot be legislated, it must come from a heart moved by God only or it is empty works.
Does this book talk about the other issues of illegal immigration? Such as ones from other countries? Or about the drug lords that snatch children from their homes or parents that sell them for drugs? Does it mention forced modern day slavery or rape trees? These are overwhelming things to think on and cannot be solved just because of Congress(not that you said that). I hope you do not take my comment wrong. I would hope for hearts to be changed, God's compassion in His people to reign. We know that the Only One who can change all this is Jesus. Maybe the Lord is moving you into a new area of walking with Him and you are seeing through His eyes what He has been watching.
Letting you know there are others who are trying to understand, too, and that is why I am responding to your post. Thank you for sharing.
Praying the Lord gives you His wisdom in this area.