Every other Sunday night, we get together with a group of friends to eat rice and beans and think and pray about our faraway friends living in Anapra, Mexico. Most of us have only met two of the people living in this small town, just outside of Juarez (currently being called the murder capitol of the world), but our friends who started the group, Brandon and Katie have met many of the others.

We read news about the violence that is plaguing Juarez, we try to imagine what it must be like to have a cold winter in a house built out of wooden pallets and sheet metal, we hope for the children who’s parents struggle to afford their school tuition and we raise money for a rice and beans distribution program for several of the families through donations and small fund raisers.

The colonia of Anapra looks across the U.S. border into El Paso, TX. Some of the people living there can afford to temporarily cross the border for work but many cannot. For those who do cross, like our friend Estela, the journey is not very safe.

The many small children in our group ask questions and draw pictures to send down to the kids living very opposite lives that most us are living in America. It’s easy to take all I have for granted, but these nights help remind me of all that I have and what being grateful feels like. Someday I am hoping that the violence will end (in Juarez, in Mexico and everywhere else for that matter) and we will be able to meet our friends in person. Thanks for checking in!

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