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  • I met a man

    The entire team – we were split into 2 groups. Half of us went to the women’s shelter, and the other half went to the comedor (dining room). This picture was taken after meeting R – I was wearing my sunglasses because I had just cried a lot and had very puffy eyes.

    Lord, I pray that I am able to tell this story correctly and that I will always remember the emotions I felt, and the details currently ingrained in my mind, and that these words are glorifying to you. Amen.

    Last week I met a man, and this man changed my life.

    I was in Mexico last Saturday, near the U.S. border of Nogales, AZ. It was a warm day, about 96 degrees with little wind. My team was warned about the signs of dehydration; in the desert, you don’t realize how quickly you’re losing water until it’s too late. We were brought to a men and women’s shelter, which offers a place of refuge. Many of the people there were caught by border patrol and deported. The shelter was located in an eight-story apartment building complex. We climbed about four floors to reach a small room. The room was the length of about two queen sized beds pushed together and the width of maybe 10-12 feet. We sat and gathered twelve people in a circle and introduced ourselves:

    “Hola. Soy Lexi, y tengo 22 años. Hablo un poquito Español. Soy de Virginia, pero vivo en El Paso, Texas para mi trabajo.”

    “Hi. I’m Lexi and I’m 22 years old. I speak a little Spanish. I am from Virginia, but I live in El Paso, Texas for my job.”

    My team continued to introduce themselves while I observed the demeanor of a man who sat directly across from me. He was hunched over and his head hung low, but he seemed to pay attention to everyone. His eyes never broke contact with the person who was talking. He wore a red polo shirt that looked like it had never been ironed, light-washed jeans, and dark brown tennis shoes. His hair was disheveled, curls going this way and that, and it looked like he hadn’t shaved in a few weeks. I noticed that he did not have a left arm; the empty red polo sleeve jostled unnaturally as he leaned over and rested his right elbow on his thigh. He had the prettiest blue-green eyes I ever saw, but there was something even more striking about him. His eyes, although pretty, seemed to be carrying the weight of the world. His eyes were physically open but were glazed over with a look of despair. It was apparent that this man suffered a grief that was incomparable to anything I had ever been through.

    At the end of the introductions, someone from my team finally stated, “We are here to learn more about you, your lives, and stories.”

    In Christ,

    Lexi Moles

    To follow Lexi's journey in El Paso from beginning to present, visit her blog series "Life in El Paso, Texas" here https://leximoles.wordpress.com/

  • God Meeting Us Where We Are, 2000 Miles from Home

    Me and one of the high-schoolers I mentor

    As a Fellow, we are called to serve in different parts of America. As a college graduate, we are given the option to do something according to our major or something we’ve always been passionate about. For me, that option was the Border Fellows program in El Paso, Texas. I made the move from Petersburg, Virginia in August 2016 to come to El Paso. Making such a big move (2,000 miles to be exact) you never know what adventure or challenge will come your way. Despite the challenges of being away from a familiar place, I can say for myself and the three other Border Fellows that we have been blessed with an opportunity of a lifetime, working as missionaries on the Border of El Paso and Mexico during a crucial time in history. We’ve completed over half of our year here in El Paso, and have been grateful for the love shown to us from the Ciudad Nueva and St. Clement’s family. Growing up in church and being a part of Campus Crusade for Christ in undergrad, I have known ministry for a long time, though I am not sure if I have ever met such servants, prayer warriors, and inspirational people as the ones in this community. I don’t believe any of us expected the amount of love we get just walking into work every morning or walking into St. Clement’s Church. I have been able to be a part of “God’s Eternal Praise Band” with Pastor Rick Million and the Youngish Adult Bible Study. These two groups have given me ways to be a part of and serve in the church, which I thought would be difficult since this is such a short term fellowship. The adventures continuously unfold whether it be teaching high-schoolers how to apply for a job, meeting families in the community, or walking over to Ciudad Juarez on the weekend for dinner! 

    In Christ,

    Keisha Branch

    2016-2017 Border Fellow 

    Another adventure at the ruins in Teotihuacan near Mexico City