Please pray for the asylum seekers waiting in Agua Prieta, Sonora who are knocking on the doors of the U.S. asking to come in from the cold and the hunger and the sickness and the violence. Pray for the volunteers from both countries who are providing support for these people. Pray for the U.S. Customs workers who stand at the door, and pray for U.S. government officials that they might find a way to provide welcome.
Every December in Douglas, AZ, and Agua Prieta, Sonora, a binational posada happens on both sides of the border wall that separates the two towns. A traditional Mexican Christmas posada is the re-enactment of Mary and Joseph looking for a place to stay (posada) in Bethlehem. At one house after another, a group of people representing the holy family is turned away, until finally at the last house they are welcomed in for a celebration with pan dulce (pastries) and hot chocolate. At each stop, the people outside the house and those inside sing a song of call and response.
The people outside sing:
In the name of Heaven En el nombre del cielo
I ask of you shelter os pido posada
The people inside respond:
There’s no inn here, Aquí no es mesón,
Go on with you sigan Adelante
In the binational posada, the people on the Mexican side of the wall sing to those on the U.S. side, asking to come in. Each time, the response is that we don’t want you in our country.
The people in Mexico sing:
In the name of Jesus En el nombre de la Jesus
I ask for your compassion Pido tengan compassion
The people in the US respond:
Do not come with your misery No vengas con tu diseria,
Do not come to bother us Ni vangas a molestar.
Also at each stop someone on each side reads scripture and gives a short meditation about welcoming strangers, building bridges, or loving our neighbors. Then at the last stop, the Mexicans reply that even though they are not welcome in the U.S., they will welcome the other side to Mexico. Then everyone goes to the Migrant Resource Center for the celebration with pan dulce, hot chocolate, and Mexican punch.