In the midst of the crisis that is going on right now on our southern border, I have been thinking a lot lately about these children. They are no different from the ones that we love, the ones that we care for, the ones that we work for every day. They are no different than the ones that you support and write letters to and that we as a family pray for. These children are fleeing violence, poverty and hopelessness and searching for a safe place to call home. My heart breaks when I think about everything they have been through. It breaks when I contemplate everything that lies ahead for them. My heart breaks to think that they will return to their own countries only to begin the horrific trip again. How much do you have to love your child to send them off knowing that you may never see them again, just so that they may have a glimpse at hope for a better future? My heart breaks for the mothers that are making these decisions.
One of the biggest challenges of doing the administrative work for Amigos de Jesús is that we have to try and connect people here in the US with a population of children far away; in a country that many do not even know how to locate on a map. The suffering and the poverty is incomprehensible to many. Living here in the US we are for the most part sheltered from seeing extreme poverty and feeling daily abuse. But, Honduras is the most violent and dangerous country on the planet right now and now that these children are in our daily headlines and on our border, it is becoming real to us here in the US. Children are regularly kidnapped, abused, raped or forced into gang life. Families have no recourse as gangs work with impunity. And the struggles are ongoing and constant. Who wouldn’t want to escape that reality?
God has allowed Amigos de Jesús to grow and more than double in size over the last few years. He is not done with us yet, though, and as the need grows in Honduras, so must we. By supporting Amigos de Jesús you are helping solve this crisis, for our country, for our family, for our children and for all the children that need us. The children on our border are our children. They are just like Victor, Ariel, Chango and Arcadia…the ones you will meet this fall. They are the lucky ones. They were brought to a place of hope and healing and are now safe from violence and despair. They now have a family and have been provided for by people like you and me. They have hope. Most in Honduras, however, aren’t so lucky.
I am so honored to be a part of this family and to know that what we are doing to so important to these children. I am heartbroken at the thought of every other child in Honduras that has not found a safe haven, a place where they can be kids, free of fear and full of hope. But, I am encouraged to know that all of you reading this are supporting our family and allowing us to reach out and help more and more children and do everything we can to make sure that they are safe and know that they are loved by a community of Friends of Jesus.
-Emily Ford, Executive Director
Honduras currently has the highest murder rate in the world. Gangs, violence, crime and extreme poverty are forcing children and families to look for an escape. Here are a few resources to help you understand the complex issues at hand.
Jesuit Refugee Service http://jrsusa.org/news_detail?TN=NEWS-20140708120724
Pew Research Center http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/07/01/dhs-violence-poverty-is-driving-children-to-flee-central-america-to-u-s/
Time Photographic Essay http://lightbox.time.com/2014/07/29/honduras-exodus-in-pictures/#1
Human Rights Watch – Honduras http://www.hrw.org/americas/Honduras
American-Born Gangs Helping Drive Immigrant Crisis at U.S. Border – National Geographic
Pope Francis- "This humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected. These measures, however, will not be sufficient, unless they are accompanied by policies that inform people about the dangers of such a journey and, above all, that promote development in their countries of origin." July 14, 2014 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/15/pope-francis-immigrant-children_n_5588442.html