Lucretia and I had been active in IWC (Interfaith Welcome Coalition) for over a year. While we had been supportive of what was being done at the San Antonio Bus Station and at the Airport in helping Asylum seeking families, we had never actually seen this in action. So we made the decision to go visit one time.
I still have an aversion to driving to downtown San Antonio or Austin but using Google Map on our phone we were able to find our way there. We tried to park near the bus station in the cheapest lot but ended up paying $12 just for the privilege of parking downtown. As we entered the bus terminal we saw rows of seats to one side that were filled with mothers and their children who had been released from detention that day. We learned that their families had purchased tickets for them to go by bus to destinations across the United States. Lucretia and I had already practiced with filling out travel maps and schedules and so we busied ourselves with helping.
Lucretia is relatively fluent with her Spanish and I am not, but learning. I could work on tickets and then let others explain the travel to the mothers. Often one of them would assume that I could understand just like the others around them and begin asking me questions. I would have to call over Lucretia or Sister Denise to help.
Sister Denise has been the star and rock of the bus station. She trains volunteers and is there to answer questions and display the peace that is needed to make this all work. Her calm demeanor eases the discomforts of the mothers and children as well as setting the example for the crew of volunteers who come daily to help.
Needless to say, we fell in love with the kids and their moms who have been on such a long, perilous journey. Seeing how important it is to smile at them and offer simple kindnesses in welcoming them along the way, we know in that one visit that we would be coming back. I will continue to work on my Spanish. Lucretia gets to relate to her three years that she spent in Guatamala so many years ago. We can offer comfort. God shows himself through His love that we can share with others.
These are the stories of how these families of mothers and children or fathers with their kids give back to us in ways we couldn't have imagined.