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Crossing and Moving

EL PASO–About a year ago, give or take a week or three, I was in San Salvador and had just found out my wife had been offered a job with the Foreign Service. This meant that the month after my return from Central America would be a blur of moving, packing and goodbyes ending with a fully loaded Subaru Forester heading east, putting Columbus, Ohio in the rearview mirror. But that journey is another story, one that is on-going and taking us, very soon, to India.

While in San Salvador I met Pastor Phil Anderson who has long worked in Latin America. Phil, though most of his time is spent out of the U.S., is based out of Washington, DC. Not long after I returned to Columbus, Phil was visiting the Lutheran seminary there and was able to view my exhibit, “The Faces of Transcarpathia” which was then showing at The Martin de Porres Center. A few months later, Phil was back in Washington and he introduced me to Pastor Brian Erickson at Faith Lutheran, a congregation within walking distance of our temporary housing in Arlington, Virginia. I got to know Brian and he invited me to come and document their upcoming “Border Immersion” trip.



So here I am, within walking distance of Mexico, staying at Iglesia Cristo Rey, an El Paso Lutheran church that serves a mainly Hispanic congregation and deals with issues on both sides of the border.

We left Washington from Reagan National on a cold, grey February 2, eight pastors, one volunteer from Zimbabwe, and myself.

We landed in El Paso and the sun was hot and bright. The city was a glittering brown, glass and adobe colored walls surrounded by barren rock hills. The air smelled of roasting meat and green chilis, diesel and sun baked earth. The southwestern deserts stretched out in all directions and across the fence an enormous Mexican flag rolled in the light breeze.

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