2023 Spring Break Mission Trip_old
WPC is going back to the border this spring break to serve asylum-seekers who are being released from immigration detention at the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen. We will leave after church on Sunday, March 12 and return on Wednesday, March 15, and stay in a hotel close to the Center. For more information or to sign up, please contact Pastor Ellen.
Thank you for your prayers and your helping hands! People of all ages are welcome to join us for this intergenerational opportunity – even small hands can sort clothing donations and carry plates of food.
Here’s a memory from WPC’s 2019 visit to the Respite Center:
“The image that sticks in my mind this time is of the lines…Lines of tired moms or dads with kids exiting the buses from the detention center and waiting to be checked in at the Respite Center. Lines waiting for Center staff to arrange bus tickets to their next destination. Lines for the mobile shower unit – 4 showers for men, 4 for women. Lines for the 4 outdoor toilets. Lines of people ready to board vans to go to the bus station or airport. And long lines for meals.
Our group helped serve the dinner on 2 nights. Local residents cooked in their homes and dropped off coolers full of hot rice, beans, and beef stew. We helped buy some of the 1400 hot dogs that were served one night, with chili and beans. The line for dinner seemed never-ending, winding down a ramp, a sidewalk, alongside the building and on around the corner so that we could not even see the end. The story of feeding the 5000 seemed to come to life right in front of us. We were determined to see the line finish and were energized when we could finally SEE the end after serving for over two hours. But then the end did not seem to move for another hour, as more people came out from the showers and a few got back in line for more. Families waited patiently up to 3 hours for a plate of rice and beef stew or for a hot dog. And amazingly, the food lasted until the last person was served, with some even left over.
We came away filled with admiration for the staff and regular volunteers who keep the Center running day in and day out. No challenge seems too great for them (and God) when it comes to doing the work of feeding the hungry and welcoming the stranger. They covet your prayers. We all felt blessed to be able to do our small part to serve right on the front lines of a real humanitarian crisis, and we thank you for your support.”