July 18, 2007

A Different View of the Immigration Issue

Don't have time to fully develop this one right now, so I'll offer you a teaser to bring you back in the next day or two...

Imagine what it would be like if 50% of the kids in your local elementary school, or better yet, 50% of the kids on your street had dads (and sometimes moms too) living in another country. This is exactly what we encountered in Guatemala. I never considered the immigration issue from the other side of the Rio Grande. One of the unseen problems this unchecked flow of people from Latin America is causing is the terrible, and unprecedented, stress being placed on the social and familial fabric of those nations.

In one home we encountered a woman who had simply taken in three boys because their Mother and Father had abandoned them and gone to the United States. I'm sorry, but for the life of me I cannot think of anything that would make My Beloved and I leave our three kids. Stunned only begins to touch our reaction. More on this later...


GIG said...


We just had 5 people return from the Dominican Republic on a missions trip. The men their believe that the more children you have the more masculine you are. So even though they can't even support themselves with food or anything, they continue trying to have children. Soon the children are kicked out because there isn't enough room in the housing that was never meant for families in the first place.

I have 2 kids myself and I could never imagine kicking them out. It is a sad state of affairs. Over a million Dominicans live in NYC also. They have left families behind in the same way as you describe above. It is a culture I don't think I'll ever understand.

Paul Thompson said...

Hey John,
Paul from Idaho here, thanks for dropping by my blog last week. I've been away from my computer and just now getting caught up on things. Thanks for the invite to the Southeast. I've only been in that area on time, around 1990, my parents were commissioned as NAMB missionaries in Atlanta. I've always wanted to return to explore and enjoy. I should do that some day. Have you ever been to Idaho? if not I extend to you the same gracious invitation you gave to me.

John said...

Gig and Paul,

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Gig - you are right on with the observation that it is truly a different cultural context than we are used to. The shocking thing for me is that all the exposure I have had to the Latin American culture has pointed to a strong sense of family. Certainly there is room for improvement on the male side of this equation but to encounter a wholesale exodus of dads was astounding.

Paul - thanks for the invite. Never been to Idaho. I'll give you a couple of days notice before I show up ;-)!

Under the Mercy