At La Posada Providencia, we were often addressed simply as “the sisters”. Ruth Gerdeman Seggerson and I are in fact sisters (siblings). I, Sister Alice Gerdeman, CDP, am a Sister of Divine Providence of Kentucky. After completing my term of leadership in my religious community, I looked for a change of pace. La Posada certainly is that. My sister, Ruth, is always ready for a bit of adventure. We both have a deep concern for immigrants and refugees and wanted to visit the border and see for ourselves the results of changes in US immigration policy. So, we came as volunteers from Ohio – Ruth for three weeks and me for 2 months.
People come and go at La Posada on a daily basis. Each is looking for security and caring. Some are here for a few hours. Some for a week or month or even a year. There are daily classes in English, everyone helps with tasks and keeps a careful eye on children. Volunteers, like us, do some maintenance projects, help keep weeds under control, teach English, help with fundraising projects, may pick up a client or deliver someone to the bus station or airport, and try to respond to the unexpected.
La Posada collaborates with others to reach out to the hundreds of individuals and families just across the border. One day, Ruth and I helped distribute water, rice, beans and tortillas to 75 people eagerly waiting for lunch. Over and over, we heard “Gracias.” We wished we could do more.
We saw for ourselves the small camping tents, donated by charities, that are shelter for families and individuals who live in hope. The few we spoke with told tragic stories of poverty and danger, even fear of death. Only desperation would lead someone to live in these encampments.
The residents of La Posada made 350 sandwiches one day and Sisters Zita, Margaret, Thérèse and I met several other groups and together carried an evening meal across the bridge in wagons and wheeled suitcases. In an hour, over 1200 sandwiches and apples were handed out to outstretched hands and we could have used more. A storm came through that afternoon. The wet, chill, and dark of early evening seemed to enhance the poignancy of the situation. I felt embarrassment and sorrow. How can we let this happen?
Now, “the sisters” are separate again. Ruth returned home and I’ll be here for a little while yet. Both of us have stories to tell and renewed energy for the work of immigration reform. It was very good to do something for at least a few of the thousands of immigrants and refugees at our border and I’m grateful that Divine Providence gave me the opportunity to share this powerful experience with my sister.
Come test drive a new Ford vehicle and Boggus Ford – Harlingen
will donate to La Posada!
300 drivers are needed to help us meet our goal!
Join us on Saturday, November 9, 2019
At Saint Anthony Church Parking Lot
8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
One test driver per household.
Volunteers are needed!
Please call La Posada at 956-399-3826 to register or volunteer.