The Rt. Rev. Susan Goff, suffragan bishop of the Diocese of Virginia, recently returned from a trip to Guatemala. While there, the news of the children migration crisis in the States became apparent.
She posted a reflection about her experiences there on the diocesan webpage.
As we talked with friends, old and new, in the beautiful city of Antigua, we heard that Guatemala was listed by The Wall Street Journal in April of this year as the country with the fifth highest murder rate in the world. We heard of a poverty rate that is soaring, gang violence that is on the increase, and killings of girls and women that are rising dramatically. No wonder families are anxious for their children to escape danger. We heard a shared grief and a resounding call to action and prayer so that there will be no more deaths. Beyond these commonalities, opinions varied widely. We heard from parents who could not imagine sending their child alone, even in the care of a trusted “coyote,” across the perilous desert. We heard from other parents who could not imagine not taking the risk of sending a beloved child to a safer life with a relative in the United States. These issues are clearly complicated. There are not just two sides. There are as many sides as there are stories of parents who love their children and want for them to have half a chance – a chance not so much for a better life but for a life, period.
The whole piece is well worth a read, and can be found here.