Justice for Our Neighbors, a nonprofit that provides legal and humanitarian assistance for migrants, will be expanding its services along the Texas border, thanks to a grant from the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
The expansion, announced at the Interfaith Welcome Coalition's May 9, 2019 meeting, is in response to the overwhelming need for help, and a tragic death toll among migrants in South Texas. (scroll down to watch full video of the meeting)
Reflecting on plight of families seeking refuge and asylum, Sister Pat Connolly began the meeting with a prayer and blessing for mothers.
Her first reading was "For One Who Is Exhausted, a Blessing," from a book by John O'Donohue. (link to text.)
Her second prayer was from the advocacy group Education for Justice and came from Interviews from Missing Children.
Matt Lohmeier, Executive Director of San Antonio Area Justice for Our Neighbors described how his nonprofit organization is providing legal aid and humanitarian assistance to migrants in the region.
Authorities have documented 3,068 migrant deaths in the South Texas area, and he said that figure represents only one fifth of the actual number of deaths in the ranch lands.
Lohmeier said Justice for Our Neighbors was born out of the United Methodist Committee On Relief’s longstanding commitment to Christian values of hospitality to the stranger, and to helping refugees and immigrants resettle and become full participants in American society.
"We're helping to shed light and bring people out of the shadows," said Lohmeier.
He said the organization just got a large grant from United Methodist Committee On Relief to expand legal services along the Texas border, from Del Rio to Brownsville. The organization takes legal defense cases and is now recruiting legal missionaries to expand its work along the border.
Watch the video to see his full presentation and for Sister Pat's reading. Go to this link to see slides from the presentation: https://tiny.cc/iwc201905