Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Marlita Henseler updates us on her new mission assignment in Nogales, Mexico.
At the end of June, I will be leaving my post as Pastoral Leader here at St. Thomas the Apostle in Newton, Wisconsin, after 12 years of ministry. I asked if I might serve in a capacity that could again enhance my Spanish, and also serve a need in the Church. Originally, I had hoped to find an orphanage in Mexico for a year! When that did not fall into place, I did find that at the US-Mexico border there is a Center that assists immigrants who are waiting to come into the USA for asylum (when that can happen!). It is about 1 ½ hrs. south of Tucson, AZ. As many of you know there are many needs for those waiting to enter.
Starting Sept. 1, I will be a volunteer at the Kino Border Initiative Center in Nogales, Mexico, right over the border from Nogales, Az. This Center, about 12 years old, ministers to those stranded immigrants awaiting protection, some for as long as a year or more, as well, as those recently deported from the US. This faith-based organization offers food, clothing, medical assistance, and programs for kids who have spent more than a year without education. There are also some legal services offered through Florence Project to help people better understand their rights. I will live with three Missionaries of the Eucharist, Mexican Sisters who all work at the Center, and another American, a Sister of Providence from Indiana, who is also employed there. As a volunteer, I could be peeling potatoes for a meal served every day to the immigrants, or sorting clothes to share, or do some teaching of children????? That will be the adventure part, as I will find out when I get there. I hope to serve where I can be of most help. Your prayers will be appreciated, that as I minister, I recognize the face of Jesus in all those who arrive there.