Tuesday, January 5, 2016

I am a refugee

54 years ago today, my parents, brother and I left the turmoil and persecution of my native Cuba – and entered the United States as refugees through Miami.

I was 17 months old.

Like the refugee families I met in Jordan and that I wrote about here – and like the Holy Family’s escape to Egypt with baby Jesus -- my family left Cuba with only the clothes we were wearing.

My parents left behind all material possessions, everything familiar and known, to seek a place where we could practice our faith in freedom, a new home where we could live without fear.

Would I have the courage and trust in God’s Providence to do what my parents did?

Our family was sponsored and taken care of by a Catholic parish in Dallas. But after a few months living in Texas, we eventually moved to Puerto Rico to join the rest of our extended family who had resettled there.

It blows my mind to ponder how many people helped us at every step of the way, how many generous hands and hearts were willing to reach out and love us. And how different my life would be if even one of these moments had been different.

On this National MigrationWeek, please join me in praying for the millions of refugees currently living in limbo – hoping and praying for someone to reach out and open a door for them.

Open my heart, Lord, 
show me how I can reach out to my brothers and sisters in need.