Dear Trinity Church Community,
I’m grateful for the opportunity you gave me to participate in my recent Spanish immersion program in Antigua, Guatemala. It was a challenging experience , but I was able to increase my knowledge of Spanish. I met the Bishop of Guatemala and attended services at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Antigua. The people of Guatemala are lovely, kind, and beyond hospitable. I met so many wonderful people, some of whom are simply struggling to survive.
In addition to meeting wonderful people, I was reminded how challenging it is to learn a new language. Despite six hours of Spanish classes, five days a week, for three weeks — I’m still struggling to learn the language. I also contracted a stomach parasite while in Guatemala. After several visits to the doctor, I wasn’t getting better. Once I became ill in one of my classes, the doctor was called and it was determined I needed to fly home early. It was an incredibly scary moment to be that sick and unsure how to become well. Soon after landing here in the country, I was able to seek medical attention and quickly began improving.
While in Guatemala, I became viscerally aware of how desperate one can feel when ill in a foreign county. I can only imagine the desperation that drives many people to seek asylum or refuge at our borders. As our country continues to debate immigration policy, I pray we begin to honor this desperation and create immigration laws and systems that are fair, equitable, and just. As we celebrate World Refugee Day, I thought it wise to include a recent video from Episcopal Migration Ministries and join in our Presiding Bishop’s request to stand with migrants.
Br. Chris McNabb, OSF