By Samantha Batten Crumrine
Edited by Arthur Mavrode
Eagle Pass, Texas: July 6, 2019
Today I got to hold a three month old little baby girl with the worst diaper rash I’ve ever seen. Her mama breastfed her and then brought her baby over to me to love on her. Baby girl smiled and cooed and enjoyed connecting. Mama asked if she could take pictures of the baby smiling at me with her older children. Mama and all the kids gave me hugs when it was time for their van to leave. My heart just about burst.
This young woman was traveling with her toddler – who was sleeping at the moment. She is from El Salvador and is traveling to Florida. I asked her if she needed anything and she said she didn’t have any formula for her baby and she didn’t have any more money to buy more. I asked her to wait one moment and returned with bottles of formula for the baby. She hugged me and thanked me over and over.
When it was time for her bus to leave she came and found me and asked if she could take a photo with me on her phone. I asked her to snap one with my phone too. We blessed each other and shared hugs and kisses before she left for San Antonio.
Cesar is 12 yrs old and from Honduras. Cesar drew pictures of airplanes leaving under an angry sun with tombstones (muertas) behind the plane. On the back he drew pictures of a bed and a person on fire while another person points a gun at them. Skulls and cross bones at the bottom under a thunder cloud with lightning.
I asked Cesar if this was his story and he shook his head yes and said “Muy malo” as he crumpled the paper up into a ball. I told him his story is important and that I was honored to see it. I asked if I could take his story with me and he smiled and repeated malo over and over. I insisted that his story was importante. When it was my time to leave he gave me the crumpled up ball of paper, a high five, and an “Adios.”
Cesar also drew an airplane with his name and hola muy malo.
His friend, Jose is also from Honduras and 12 years old. Jose drew pictures of airplanes and peaceful landscapes around them. He didn’t offer to give me his pictures but he talked about them and showed them to me.
Luis is 10 and from Guatemala. He drew a picture of the river and a bridge with Guatemala on one side and the US on the other.
Luis also drew rows of houses along the road.
One of the baby girls drew this picture with the water and hearts and sunshine.
A little boy – probably 4 yrs old- with black skin drew this picture with my husband Douglas. He didn’t speak Spanish.
A little girl drew this one. There is a kitty cat in the bottom right hand corner. She was given a stuffed cat toy.
Andrea drew this picture and gave it to me. Andrea is nine-years-old and is from Honduras. I asked her about her story. She said this was her and her family traveling here.
Andre’a also drew this photo and gave it to me. She said that’s her with the umbrella and me. We are in the lluvia.
Andrea’s baby sister drew this one and gave it to me. It reminds me of Jesus, God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit.
There are up to 300 hundred men, women, and children processed through Mission Border Hope daily. Our team of twenty-three volunteers was comprised of volunteers from a number of Christian faith traditions and members of the United States Air Force assigned to Goodfellow Air Force Base, located in San Angelo, Texas.