Mission Crossroads

SUM 2017

Mission Crossroads is a three-time-a-year magazine focused on worldwide work of the PC(USA). It offers news and feature stories about mission personnel, international partners and grassroots Presbyterians involved in God's mission in the world.

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12 Summer 2017 had gotten in a knife fight that destroyed much of his digestive tract. He had been released from the hospital with a colostomy and with his addiction fully intact. He arrived at rehab with excrement coming from the hole in his abdomen, which had become infected. ey brought him to me for healing. "I am not a doctor. Why don't you take him to the hospital?" I urged. "We have, but they just give him a shot for his pain." I called Chuy and nurse Abigail, and we accompanied Jesus and Alfredo to the hospital. While Chuy and Abigail were reading the riot act to the hospital administrators about medical malpractice, I sat awkwardly in the waiting room with Jesus, not knowing what to say or how S ometimes the places we do not want to be are precisely the places we need to be. e Center for Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation and Recuperation (CRREDA) was definitely not a place I wanted to be. On a cold winter day, my colleague pastor Chuy Gallegos sent me to deliver some blankets that some well-meaning person had donated. Our ministry had no apparent need of blankets, but Chuy knew that CRREDA, a grassroots rehab center in which "addicts help addicts," could use them to help keep 80 men and women struggling to recover from the ravages of drug and alcohol addiction warm on below-freezing nights in their uninsulated and unheated dormitories. When I finally found the rehab center at the end of a dirt road, I was struck by the large walls and the gate of the compound. I knocked on the door as a stranger and let the portero (gatekeeper) know I had a donation of blankets. I was asked a series of questions, and my answers were shared with Alfredo, the director, who then authorized my entrance. I later learned the walls were there not so much to keep me out, as to keep the folks in recovery in — especially the ones who were placed there by the courts and their families involuntarily. Walking across the threshold, I unknowingly crossed a bigger border (for me) than when I had initially crossed the U.S.-Mexico international boundary to serve with my sisters and brothers of Frontera de Cristo and the Iglesia Presbiteriana Lirio de los Valles. Being in the rehab center with heavily tattooed men and women who had lived lives extremely different than mine, I felt enclosed and terribly uncomfortable. I wanted to drop off those blankets as fast as I could and escape the confines that Alfredo called "House of Life," but to me felt like "House of Death." Several weeks later, my colleague sent me there again. As soon as I entered the gates, someone shouted, "Call for 'Senor Hoyo' (Mr. Hole); the doctor is here!" I had never been mistaken for a doctor before, and I definitely did not think I could be a healing presence in this place, where I felt so out of place. But before I could explain, they had brought 22-year- old Jesus to me. Jesus, who everyone called Mr. Hole, had started using heroin when he was 14. Before being admitted to the center he The doctor is here Lessons of healing and transformation along the U.S.-Mexico border Mark Adams Miriam Maldonado Escobar Mission co-worker Mark Adams leads prayer at a quinceañera, a traditional celebration of a young woman's 15th birthday and transition to adulthood, at the Center for Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation and Recuperation (CRREDA).

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