Magda’s Birthday Celebration – Volunteer Reflections

Magda’s Birthday Celebration – Volunteer Reflections

In Keeping with La Posada’s
Birthday Celebration Traditions

We celebrated La Posada Executive Director Magda Boland’s birthday on Tuesday, April 23. In keeping with tradition, Magda, clients and staff were treated to a delicious luncheon meal prepared by La Posada’s own chef, Angel Torres and Client Mentor Sister Thérèse Cunningham, SHSp.  Later, in mid-afternoon, clients and staff gathered again for cake and ice cream. These are treasured traditions at La Posada.

Magda, we celebrate you as we wish you a happy and healthy new year of life!

Sister Thérèse and Magda preparing for the celebration with candles

Happy Birthday!

The La Posada Experience
as Expressed by Two Volunteers

A point of view as expressed by seasonal volunteer Randie Clawson

I praise God for the privilege of serving asylum seekers at La Posada.  This was my third winter, January-March, at La Posada.  Most of my service is in the classroom, teaching English two hours morning and afternoon.  Daily I experienced joys and opportunities; English lessons, encouragements, singing and word bingo are some of my joy-filled memories.

Being flexible is a must.  One example this year yielded the picture showing my quizzical expression.  I had two in my English class.  Monica, the client coordinator, called a short meeting with one client and the other went to help someone temporarily.  There I was, the only one in my English class!  It was a short duration however, soon everyone returned and the English class resumed.

Sister Thérèse, in the classroom, has a Holy Spirit directed gift of finding everyone’s English level and adjusting the lessons to fit the needs.  Her lessons to me on being God’s presence in the classroom and leaving the rest to God’s good Providence is a help as I had to say good-bye to loved students.

Eating lunch together is a “family” time.  Food Specialist Angel is a great cook and takes in stride the ever-changing numbers of those at the table.  Working together getting the table ready and cleaning up after is a way of drawing everyone together.  Young people aging out of Juvenile Detention are brought to La Posada; watching them join in and be part of the “family” is a joy.  They are scared, withdrawn when they first come, soon they are the ones teaching the new people what to do together after the meal ending prayer.

Six years ago, I started serving in missions, now I am even more convinced that
we are responsible to show God’s love and follow Christ’s call to love everyone,
no exceptions.

There may be political, economic, and personal reasons for an unwillingness to love immigrants, but according to Jesus, there are no spiritual ones. …Our stance towards immigrants directly reflects our stance towards God.  But like the earliest followers of Jesus, being Christ-like often means opposing man-made authorities and even contradicting Christendom itself.  Because when immigrants are the victims of xenophobia, racism, and political rhetoric, it’s up to followers of Jesus to be their most fervent defenders and to love them as Jesus did and does”.[1]

God is listening, together let’s cry out for justice.  Let’s be ready and courageous to be God’s answer through our choice of justice actions.

In Solidarity,



Oh my! Where are my students?


A Student Volunteer Point of View

This is the second in a series of reflections from students of Monica Reyes who teaches English at The University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley (the first reflection appeared in Tuesdays in Texas April 16 edition).  A volunteer at La Posada for the past three years, Ms. Reyes wanted to involve her students in the volunteer experience. Hence, part of her student’s class credit required them to volunteer with La Posada, teaching ESL, or helping clients writing and translating their stories of their asylum application.

Student Reflection #2
When I got out of the car, I didn’t know where the front office was, so I asked a person that passed by, and fortunately he was a staff member and showed me directly to one of the Sisters. Sister Zita was really nice and showed me where I was going to work and brought in a client and introduced me.

When I was translating the papers there was too much silence and could feel the tension in the room, so I started making small talk to break the ice between us.

We talked a little bit, but I didn’t want to force the client to talk if they didn’t want to; in the end, I felt we did okay for our first time working together. While I was translating the papers, I was able to read part of the story, mainly the reasons why they are seeking asylum.

Therefore, when reading everything I just had so many emotions going on inside me; I’m an emotional person. I can’t help it, but I had to control my feelings to keep
things professional.

I don’t know how people can separate their emotions from these kinds of situations, but probably with more visits and different cases, volunteers and staff start to understand, but manage those emotions

Before I went to La Posada Providencia, I was thinking it would have a kind of a little “gloomy vibe” because I know some asylum seekers have been through so much, but going in and being there my expectation was proved wrong. Everything just felt peaceful! There were so many open spaces, and smelling the fresh air made me feel the freedom the people there had been looking for.

Seeing the video from the LPP website is one thing, but experiencing first hand and helping a client face-to-face is another thing.