A group of 10 MVNU students, led by Pioneer Resident Director Maggie Figueroa and alumnus Eric Buell, visited Texas over spring break to work with Central American immigrants.
When they arrived in Laredo, Texas, they were welcomed by Pastor Juan and his congregants from the Good Shepherd Church of the Nazarene. There, they painted a brick wall on the new property, giving ample space for the children to add their own work to it.
At the next stop in McGowan, Texas, the group was treated to authentic Mexican food, an experience participant Sydney Harris enjoyed.
They also shared their personal testimonies, which Harris says helped them grow closer to one another.
The group also toured the federal DEA building where they learned about illegal weapons smuggling across the border. They also heard stories of the deportation process that illegal immigrants of the area are often subject to.
Later, they had the chance to interact one-on-one with many of these immigrants by serving meals, providing clothing and listening to their stories.
“It’s not all crime that comes across the border,” Harris said. “These are people fleeing really bad situations.”
Junior Hannah Slingerland said the trip helped open students’ eyes to the many misconceptions about immigrants.
“The immigrants are not criminals and they’re not people coming to take our jobs,” she said. “They are people who just want a life free from horror.”