I vividly remember visiting the wall with my SAUP team last summer of 2019. As we drove to the wall, I didn’t really know what to expect. I had never given the wall much consideration, apart from seeing some article titles on the news. When we arrived, however, as I walked up to the wall, I let in a breath of awe, gazing from the right to the left. The wall stretched as far as the eyes could see. It was so massive, bleak, intimidating. On the other side of the wall, I saw a Mexican family, two little girls, two little boys, with their teenage uncle. I still remember gazing into their big, beautiful faces. Their eyes expressed curiosity, yearning, and excitement. I watched as one of the little boys kicked his soccer ball over the wall. A few of our guys kicked it back. I watched with mixed feelings as they played this odd game. Bittersweet emotions filled me as one of the little Mexican boys struggled to kick the ball over that massive wall. I reached out and gave them a few pieces of chocolate that one of my teammates had, trying to converse with the family with my embarrassingly limited Spanish. “Muy bonita,” I told one of the little girls, who smiled shyly and replied with a soft “Gracias.” I longed to reach out, to embrace them, to love them with all that I had during that very short period of time. But that wall… that stern, solid wall was in the way and stopped me. I especially yearned to hug that little girl, whose eyes revealed a deep-seated sorrow and tiredness that children should not possess. I suddenly felt a deep feeling of bitterness against this wall that separated the fellowship of two groups of people. I asked myself: “If Jesus were here today, if he beheld this wall, what would he say? How would he respond?”
I am aware of the complexities of the politics and logic behind having this wall, things that are beyond my experiences and education. I know that I do not know the full story of that family I met, whether they were seeking to cross the border for a better life or if they were content to stay on the other side. I acknowledge that I do not have enough knowledge to argue with political people on why this wall should not exist. However, I am convinced of one thing: Jesus did not die to have men build walls to avoid one another. Jesus died to reconcile–not divide–countries. This experience at the border wall opened my eyes to this reality. It has been a privilege working with Abara this summer as an intern. Knowing that my work is for such a Godly cause has made my time here meaningful. I pray, reflect, and listen for the ways that I can help Jesus achieve the peace and solidarity between mankind, regardless of immigration status. I pray for the ministry of Ciudad Nueva and Abara, that God would bless these ministries and use them to open the eyes of America – to remind them that Jesus died for the salvation and unity of mankind.