In God, there is a unique identity for every immigrant.
I love being an immigrant.
I never thought I would say that but, in retrospect, I would never change what happened to me as a result of crossing the U.S. – Mexico border.
In one sense, the immigrant experience is very simple, really. To be an immigrant is to cross borders seeking to live in a land not your own.
While I do not mean to make light of a severe global crisis, I am convinced that the immigrant experience, with its heart-wrenching suffering, has the power to awaken and best prepare a person’s heart to hear and respond to God’s call.
Looking back, I see how the grueling pain of departure, separation, and arrival into a culture not native to me led me right into God’s kingdom.
I was born in Mexico City. When I was young, my parents moved our family to Tampico, a large city in northern Mexico. At the age of 14, I migrated to the United States. And that’s when my life took an unforeseen twist, a twist that was fully in God’s hands.
How can I describe the shock of being an immigrant?
Well, imagine yourself getting plucked away from your normal life, filled with regular faces, familiar routines, and common values, and getting planted in a totally different corner of the earth, where you look different than everybody else, do not speak the language, and do not intuitively understand the unwritten rules by which people relate to one another. The system is different, currency is confusing, and the values don’t make sense to you.
You are an immigrant.
It’s not just the language. Imagine that you are driving down the road in your hometown—the town where you have lived all your life—and all of a sudden you get a flat tire. Whatever you do next, whether it’s to call your ...