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Cecilia Vasquez, Southern California: “Faith in Change”

A message from Cecilia Vasquez, Program Assistant for Southern California, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity

While working as a community organizer in the Inland Empire over the past year, I have seen faith in many forms. I reflect on how faith is a sign of trust. In the Inland Empire we are having families bused from detention centers to churches in San Bernardino and Coachella. These families come to the US with faith that they will find the pieces they were missing in their homelands; whether the missing pieces are shelter from harm, monetary, or opportunities. These individuals and families are coming to the US trusting their faith in human kindness and for a better tomorrow. I saw this in a young girl I met in Coachella that traveled from Guatemala to the US. Her and her father traveled on the “La Bestia”, or also known as “El Tren de la Muerte” (train of death), to arrive to the US. This young girl has stood witness to many of the horrors and realities of immigrating to the US, but despite seeing these travesties, she has faith that better things are ahead.

Those that are mobilizing to support the families being left in the Inland Empire churches, are also acting in faith. They volunteer with faith that they can create change in immigration policies. They act in faith by meeting the immediate needs of the families and individuals who were freed from local detention centers. These needs range from medical needs due to the inhumane living conditions inside of the detention centers, clothing, shelter, and reunification with families in the US. It is moving to see the power and trust in faith. In times where the US government is challenging humanity, these are the times we should embrace that our faith has the power to mobilize the changes we long to see in our communities.