Who in a million years could imagine the situation in which we are living? A situation where a mask hides a welcoming smile. Yet, here we are.
If you are like me, you might be wondering how we can help advance La Posada Providencia’s mission to make God’s Providence more visible in the world under these circumstances. Maybe we pause until things get back to normal? No, we do not pause. So, what will “normal” look like? I found my answer with the call to action expressed by Bishop Wilhelm Emmanuel von Ketteler, the co-founder of the Sisters of Divine Providence – the Sisters who opened La Posada so many years ago. His call to action was to “meet the needs of the times.”
In 1989, adhering to this call, La Posada responded to the needs of those times by sheltering and assisting arriving immigrants. Sheltering immigrants and helping them move forward on their resettlement journey has continued to this day. Your support has helped minister directly to these individuals seeking shelter, safety, and a way forward. With your support, today, we can continue into the future.
We find now, because of COVID-19, that the number of arriving immigrants has decreased significantly. Even so, we provide needy individuals who do arrive at our doorstep with the same services as we have before COVID-19. For some services, we are creating new ways to deliver them. For example, we cannot currently accept volunteers at the shelter to protect them and us so we are developing a virtual classroom curriculum for ESL and life-skills. This is a virtual way of accepting volunteers and helping our clients.
However, we must also consider whether there are new ways La Posada can continue meeting the needs of the times. In doing so, we take into account that during our long history in the lower Rio Grande Valley, we have acquired significant experience with identifying and addressing the needs of recent immigrants. Our model of services positions us well to address community-at-large needs in the areas of literacy, ESL, life skills education and targeted needs for residents with recent immigration history. Meeting the needs of the times may mean providing GED lessons, English literacy and /or ESL lessons for recent immigrants living in the San Benito community.
Certainly, we are at a crossroads right now; some of you, our very loyal donors, may be as well. We understand. We want you to know that La Posada will survive, not because we are asking you to give, but because you have been with us in the past supporting the homeless and vulnerable men, women, and children we have served. Thus far, that includes more than 11,000 individuals from 87 different countries around the world. Your support now for welcoming the stranger will make it possible for the ministry that we both love to get through whatever is coming in the future and for meeting whatever the current need is in these times of the pandemic.
Please give for the immediate needs of this time and for the future needs of the “least of our brothers and sisters” that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 25:40. “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” And, as Bishop Ketteler often said: “Let us, rich and poor, love our neighbor as ourselves but for one day, and the face of the earth will be renewed.” With your help, we will love our neighbor and meet their needs, so that they too can be renewed in body and spirit!
In God’s Providence,
Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.