We were blessed to have two remarkable young women at La Posada Providencia during the first months of this year. Sister Bertshabe Palomino Montalvo, a novice with the Sisters of Divine Providence, the community of women religious that sponsors La Posada, spent three months at the shelter gaining ministry experience – all kinds of experience! Sr. Betsa welcomed, tutored, chauffeured, mentored, cooked, baked, weeded, cleaned, and fed the cats and the chickens. A native Peruvian, Sr. Betsa understands our clients’ struggles with a new culture and new language. She is a compassionate listener, open to everyone. She puts her whole heart into everything she does.
Jensy is a 19-year-old from Guatemala, who was released from detention and arrived at La Posada on December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Among Jensy’s many dreams and goals is to speak English fluently. Since the beginning of January, every Monday thru Thursday morning she attended ESL class at the Harlingen Literacy Center; in the afternoons, she studied two to four hours either by herself or with Sister Thérèse Cunningham, SHSp, our client mentor or with Sr. Betsa. On February 11th, we were thrilled to learn that Jensy received both asylum and legal permanent residency. She departed a few days later to join family in Missouri.
Both of these young women endeared themselves to us with their warm and frequent smiles, their shared eagerness to learn, their willingness to work hard and help others, and their faith and trust in God. We will miss them, but we know each will be successful in their future journeys as they discern God’s path for them.