By Rev. Dottie Escobedo-Frank

Tonight I was grateful to see the Church at work. The powers that be decided to drop off about 120 immigrant guests at the Tucson Bus Depot. For those who aren’t from Tucson, our bus station is tiny and not open at night. So, to drop a family off at the depot is to leave them on the street. Gretchen gathered us at the depot. There were vans that dropped off people in groups of 30, 60, 10, and 20. Total: 120 souls left to fend for themselves on the street.

My job was to call churches. 4 Churches and 1 Faith Entity stepped up to house the guests. The Church responded immediately, smoothly, and expansively. And the City stepped up with officers and buses to transport our guests to their waiting hosts. They also provided water and stuffed animals. Other volunteers from a variety of groups showed up with food, water, and drivers.

It was a busy 3 hours at the Bus station as we figured things out on the fly and wondered how many more vans would be leaving people on the streets. But at one point, I stopped and looked down at a beautiful little girl who gave me a big, yet shy, smile. She had been watching me, and when she caught my eye, she made my day with that sweet grin, with the deep pool of brown in her eyes, and the wisdom too deep for a child her age. “Oh, God! Please be with this dear, sweet one,” I prayed. “Keep her safe. Help her and her mother to be welcomed wherever they go. May they encounter churches that love them through this difficult time. Protect her from harm!”

Tonight I saw the Church at work. She is beautiful and loving when she opens her arms to the least of these. Jesus said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Driving home with Jim Frank (who stayed near to do whatever was needed), we saw this sunset. It felt like a message from God: some blue, some rosy, some light, some dark: all together to make a beautiful sunset. Sleep well, dear Church. You loved well today. #UMCatHerBest

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