There were almost twenty of us circled in a room smaller than my bedroom. The sweat from the metro and our walk gave the room a physical smell which reflected my own anxieties. We were at Tochan, a house for migrants and refugees. Until now, most of our learning about culture and urban poverty had been from a distance. Now we had stepped out of the classroom and into the reality.
Manuel, Pedro, and Reina told us their stories of migration. With my limited Spanish I could only understand pieces until it was interpreted for us. However, the emotions they were facing could not be missed. Manuel played with his wedding ring as he shared about his wife who remains in Columbia. Reina recounted a tale of fear as she traveled alone from El Salvador. Then there was Pedro.
Pedro left Honduras after losing his brother and sister to violence. On part of his journey he lost nearly half of his leg in a train accident. He spoke with tears in his eyes as he remembered all he had been through in just a year and a half. At one point, he said he had lost all hope and just wanted to die. Thankfully, his story didn't end there. Pedro is focusing on the positives now. He traveled the U.S.. sharing his story and raisin awareness and felt empowered. As we sat around he joked with us about his girlfriend and other things. His story will not be forgotten
Today we get to step further into the reality of the brokenness that affects so much of this city. our team is splitting up to go to our ministry sites and stay with our host families. As our hearts break for the lost, hungry, and homeless, we look towards the God of all hope. Although what we will face is real, so is He. We are struggling to respond justly, and to see his presence amidst the darkness. God has been doing a great work in Mexico City already. So we hold fast to the truth and humbly join him. Our stories here have only begun.