Angels of the road


April 17, 2019

A woman and her child from Central America on the migrant caravan through southern Mexico. Photo: Sean Hawkey / ACT Alliance

Our work on the southern border affirms this: angels do exist. Here’s how we know.

Weeks ago, a family of five from Honduras legally applied for asylum in the United States. It’s an application you can only submit when you’re in the U.S.

So, they journeyed out of a country that has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Then, they pushed forward for more than a thousand miles. (We should also mention that the oldest child has a debilitating eye condition.) If you ask the family how they made it to Texas, they’ll tell you they were protected by people in the caravan they call “angels of the road.”

While their application was being processed at the U.S. border, the family was held by officials for two days. They were released in El Paso without a clear direction of what their next steps would be. And that’s when another angel stepped in.

Pastor Smith used his network and our team at the CWS Resource Call Center to find out what the next step should be for the family. That’s how the family encountered yet another angel: Juan Carlos Ruiz, the Executive Director of the NYC New Sanctuary Coalition. With all these forces of good working together, the family had a chance to find their way home. Thanks to the NYC New Sanctuary Coalition (also a partner of CWS), the family has been welcomed in their new home by an interfaith coalition of neighbors.

Juan Carlos said seeing the family’s courage – and how community members from all walks of life and traditions have come together to welcome them – has reawakened a sense of hope for him: “anybody can listen to the news and feel overwhelmed, but I believe in putting faces on the rivers of humanity coming to our shores. It’s like putting a mirror to my own humanity.”

CWS supports the sacred work of helping neighbors all along the southern border. We support shelters like the Holding Institute so that families seeking asylum have their immediate needs met. We stand in the gap for those who are released by U.S. officials into an environment where there aren’t clear solutions.

But we can only do this because there are angels like you all around this world who exist. Thank you.