Yes, going on a mission is hard work. One needs to acquire the skills and the attitude to best respond to the mission at hand. This learning experience happens not just before, but also continues right on the battlefield itself. This is the idea behind the recent Mission Trip to El Paso organized by Vocation Ministry last June 7 to 14, 2022. A younger generation of Assumptionists, lay residents from the Assumptionist Center and friends came to our Assumptionist Migrant Ministry in El Paso precisely to learn … and to serve.
The group had the opportunity to know more about the current situation concerning migration and border policies by inviting a speaker from the Hope Border Institute. The wisdom of people who are already in the field—from the pastor to the shelter staff, the Sisters in nearby Chaparral (NM) who are also engaged in migrant ministry, and parish volunteers—have certainly broadened the group’s perspective on how a community can participate in a mission such as what we already have in El Paso. The migrant themselves were not just receivers of service, they have shown their own lived realities and inspired the group with their resilience and strength. The different cultural events during the trip, such as food, looking at the murals in downtown El Paso, visiting museums, and even a bit of dancing with the Filipino community in the area were certainly fun but also a heartwarming welcome to what we are usually accustomed to here in the Northeast.
A typical day in the migrants’ shelter involves cleaning, repairs, cooking, washing dishes, laundry, facilitating registration, covid testing, logistical and administrative work, sorting and giving out supplies, airport transfers, and so on. These were the activities of the group and the same opportunities will be available for groups who would like to join our Assumptionist El Paso Mission Trips in the future.
A Mural Project
Still in its early planning stages, the Assumptionist El Paso Mission hopes to have a big and colorful mural on our large walls that can be immediately seen along the road to the US-Mexico border. The mural hopes to carry not just a visual message of welcome to all who cross the border from different parts of the world but it also hopes to call forth solidarity and action. All are welcome to help in this project in any form, whether through ideas, financial donation, or by helping in the actual setup and painting of the mural.
Come, learn and serve with us!
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in helping the El Paso Mission, either by participating in a future mission trip or helping in the mural project.