617 East 7th Street ∙ Sioux Falls, SD 57103
Phone: 605-274-3735 ∙ Fax: 605-274-3736
First of all, thank you for your many acts of kindnesses – volunteer hours, financial support, prayers and your committed partnership with the Presentation Sisters’ Hispanic Ministry in Sioux Falls, SD – Caminando Juntos (walking together). In this partnership of love and respect, both the giver and the receiver are enriched and blessed.
2018 celebrates the 300th anniversary of Venerable Nano Nagle’s birth in Ballygriffin, Ireland. Presentation Sisters throughout the world are celebrating the life she shared, not only with Ireland, but with the world! Her last words to the small group of sisters at her bedside were “Love one another as you have hitherto done. Spend yourselves for the poor.” We continue her legacy by walking together with other Presentation Sisters. As Christians we walk together with Jesus, “For I was a stranger and you welcomed me…” Their lives centuries ago, continue today – in this culture, in this place, in this world.
WARMING THE IMMIGRANTS … IMMIGRANTS WARMING THE GIVERS
A local grocery chain, coffee shop and Christian radio station teamed up with Caminando Juntos to collect winter clothing for men, women and children with WARM A NEIGHBOR project. A family, displaced by the hurricanes in Puerto Rico, left everything behind and began their life anew here in Sioux Falls, and walking into the office one day were overwhelmed by people’s generosity. The Marketing Coordinator of the grocery chain shares: “This project is a natural fit for us; we want to be part of anything that helps the community grow stronger.” A volunteer who picks up the donations from the donation bins shares: “Sometimes I forget how blessed I am to have warm clothing and when I saw the smiles on the faces of the people who received these items, I felt humbled and experienced heartfelt joy.”
TEACHING THE IMMIGRANTS … IMMIGRANTS TEACHING TEACHERS
The ESL Program teaches English to the students while mutually enriching the teachers. Beth Sandager has joined the staff as the new ESL program director. She comes with years of experience and has a gift for welcoming volunteers. The first level Fall ESL class was blessed with two Augustana University student volunteers. These young women had research papers to complete, tests to prepare for, yet they came! One of them shared, “Tutoring English with Caminando Juntos has helped me far more than I could ever help the students. I count it a privilege spending time with the staff and the students. It is because of Caminando Juntos that I would like to study immigration law after graduation.”
Sr. Janet Horstman, who oversees all of the immigration cases, is a Department of Justice Accredited Legal Representative. There has been a surge of people applying for citizenship this year. And still others wish they could become U.S. citizens. The DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program has received a lot of attention in Congress this year. Sr. Janet and some of our DACA recipients shared their stories with Senator Rounds, and legislative staff of Senator Thune and Representative Kristi Noem to put a human face, a human story on a program! In fact, DACA has 800,000 faces, nationally; 650 faces in South Dakota. Caminando Juntos has walked with many of these young men and women since 2012, when DACA was initiated. One of the women to whom DACA was granted, shares a HEART wrenching story:
“I graduated from college in 2011 with a BS in Nursing; shortly after I received my nursing license after passing nursing boards. AND THEN NOTHING! Although I volunteered at our local free community clinic, I was not able to work until February, 2013 when I received DACA. This was the happiest day of my life. I finally was given an identity, I finally existed in this country, MY LIFE HAD A PURPOSE! I started my dream job as an oncology nurse, through which came one simple essential – health insurance! Six months after starting my job, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure caused by a congenital heart defect. Shortly after I had open heart surgery. I cannot stress enough that without DACA I may not be alive today. DACA allowed me to have the means to have the surgery and medical treatment needed to keep me alive. When I learned that DACA will be repealed, I said to myself….‘now what?’ It left a hole in my heart, in my stomach…‘what do I do now?’ What do the other DACA recipients do?”
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
(Hebrews 13:2, NIV)
May God bless you and keep you in God’s loving embrace.
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