Hallelujah Moment from Hispanic/Latino Ministries: "A Bag of Groceries"
by Sonya Luna
November 26, 2009
Ever since I heard this story, I can't stop thinking about how important Hispanic/Latino ministries are. This story is a witness to God's love and presence in the world.
In Ann Arbor, Michigan, 17-year-old Guatemalan-American Jasmine watched her mother being taken to jail by immigration agents. Jasmine was not given a chance to kiss or hug her mother, or even say goodbye. After her mother was deported, her father and sister soon returned to Guatemala, too.
Jasmine was left alone to take care of herself, the family trailer, and the family dog. In addition to going to school, Jasmine had to work to pay the rent for the trailer and other family bills. She did not have her driver's license.
Soon Jasmine became very sad. Her school social worker notified a local United Methodist church that offered Hispanic/Latino ministries and asked the pastor to help Jasmine. The pastor told Jasmine's story to the Parenting Teens group. The group decided to buy a bag of groceries for Jasmine every week.
They soon began to take Jasmine to church, and she joined the praise choir. She has also started teaching English as a Second Language classes at the United Methodist church because she says she wants to give back to the congregation for all they have done for her.
Jasmine is living with a family from church. The family is helping her get her driver's license. The Parenting Teens group is collecting money so that Jasmine can visit her family in Guatemala for Christmas.
So much good can come from a bag of groceries. Praise be to God!
Ways to Support this Ministry
You can share gifts through The Advance or by designated giving through your local church:
Stanza three of "Toda la Tierra / All Earth Is Waiting" (#210, United Methodist Hymnal) reminds us that Christ was born in a lowly stable and affirms that we can "feel his presence throughout the earth today." The folk-like melody will be quickly learned by praise teams/choirs as well as the congregation. If this is new to your congregation, ask a soloist to sing it through before the congregation joins in the singing of the stanza. "Toda la Tierra / All Earth is Waiting" can be accompanied by keyboard or by an acoustic ensemble of guitar, flute/recorder, and small hand-drum/shaker. If Spanish is not the primary language of your congregation, consider asking a Spanish-speaking member of your community to read or sing the text in Spanish just prior to singing the song. Consider using this hymn during the Advent season as a part of your worship, singing a stanza each week as a part of your gathering time. Sing stanza one on the first Sunday of Advent, stanza two on the second Sunday of Advent, and so on.
Date posted: Nov 23, 2009