Meeting at the Bridge

Thursday and Friday I have been at a South Central Jurisdictional College of Bishops meeting at Lydia Patterson Institute.  Lydia Patterson Institute is a mission of the United Methodist Church and more specifically of the SCJ to share the gospel of Christ in a bilingual border setting.  There motto conveys the essence: “Building Bridges on the Border, where Faith and Knowledge Interact.” I must confess that I have been blown away by the power of this ministry to change lives.  At dinner I visited with a high school senior who hopes to win a scholarship to a one of our United Methodist Universities.  Living in Juarez, the morning trip to school is dangerous but she “trusts God” to keep her safe.  She wakes at 4 a.m. to be at the international bridge by 6 a.m. “for the lines are long.”  She is engaged in a Christian ministry through the Methodist Church both in Mexico and in the United States.  After a nursing degree at College, it is her intent to answer a call from God to enter seminary. The parents have formed a group to see the students (6th grade through high school) safely to the bridge.  At the International Bridge, the students patiently cross over to the United States.  Despite the early hour (7:15 a.m.) the smiles and energy offers a sense of the Spirit’s presence.  Our College of Bishops met the students this Friday morning to walk with them the remaining 5 blocks from the bridge to Lydia Patterson.  We were the ones blessed by the walk. As we met these determined students at the bridge, the sacrifice, commitment and courage overwhelm me. I see both the love and power of Christ at work in this ministry.  Truly God is out and about in our world.  Healing, hope, and new horizons are dawning in dangerous circumstances.  The United Methodist Church is engaged in a redemptive work worth being both proud of and humbled by.