Borderlands…Day 3 (and into 4)

This morning we are preparing to go worship at Iglesia Christiano Ebenezer, it is a Latino Pentecostal church in Los Fresnos, Texas. Yesterday we finally departed from San Antonio and headed south, through the Chihuaha desert and into the Rio Grande Valley.

The trip south contained some highlights. The number one highlight being Sam’s BBQ. We stopped in Robstown, TX at this little trailer sized restaurant and had some of the best barbeque you can imagine. My stomach was for hours from the combination of ribs, brisket and sausage that I ate.

Part of our group poses for a picture at Sam's BBQ in Robstown, TX

We also had a lot of laughs. Despite the heavy subject we are investigating, one thing this group is good at is laughing. Everyone here has a good sense of humor, including our supervisor, Dr. Machado, and loves to laugh. That has really helped us get along despite tight quarters.

Also on our trip south we got our first glimpse at the border patrol. They were climbing a fence into private property along the highway. I must admit to a pang of nausea at seeing these guys.

We finally arrived in San Juan, TX in the early afternoon. We are staying at the Basilica of San Juan Del Valle. This is a huge historic Catholic Church that has become a place of pilgrimage for Mexican-Americans. In the 1980’s, a white man wanted to kill some Mexicans so he got into his plane and flew it into the Basilica killing many people. I’ll write more on this topic later but it is an interesting and sad piece of history.

It is interesting to sit here on Sunday mornings and see all of the families of come in to San Juan to attend Mass here. One cool thing is that the Basilica has a huge campus. There is the hotel, the restaurant, bookstore and other establishments on the campus that surround the Basilica. Fourteen lifesize stations of the cross also surround the Basilica totaling a one mile walk to get around all of the stations. We will be doing them on Wednesday morning, attaching their traditional meaning to what we have been seeing.

So, it’s off to church. Oh, I forgot to mention, among the things we are doing today, we are also spending the afternoon on Padre Island at the beach. It’s in the 80’s here so we might not be able to get in the water but we can definitely bum around on the beach for bit. Should be a fun day.


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