Trinity on the Border

This past Fall, here at COTC, we did a survey on where people are currently serving in our community, and the ways they desire to be serving. As we seek to discern how the Holy Spirit is leading us to participate in embodying and announcing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the survey was helpful in revealing where we as a community are already engaged and what we are passionate about.

Last fall’s survey suggested our community had a particular desire and interest in engaging with refugee and immigrant populations. Considering our cultural and political moment in Austin this was not surprising, but a concern for the foreigner and sojourner is something emphasized throughout Scripture and it is reflective of thehospitality we have received from God in Christ. As people from different cultures move to our city and state we have an opportunity to participate with God in making His love known in their lives.

I’m grateful for the opportunities we’ve had thus far to serve a family of Syrian refugees, Reem and Mazin and their four children. We recently said goodbye to this family as they moved to Kentucky for greater community and opportunities. In thepast year we were able to help them materially (with a car and beds), medically (helping connect them to healthcare providers, scheduling appointments, covering the cost, scheduling translators), financially as needed, and, more basically, in terms of relationships and help with the practical things of life in a foreign country. Thank you to those who engaged directly with this family, and also to those of you who gave and prayed on their behalf. I’m grateful for the connection we had with this family and for the opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ. 

I’m also looking forward to more! I wanted to highlight for you an opportunity COTC has to visit Trinity on the Border, a ministry of our diocese in Harlingen, Texas that is specifically focussed on serving and blessing immigrants along the border. From May 10th to the 13th we have the opportunity to go on what we’re calling an “Exposure Trip”. In part this will be an educational opportunity to see the work of this small ministry and understand more deeply the complex area of the Lower Rio Grande; it will also be a spiritual retreat where will engage in rhythms of prayer together during these days, turning to the Lord with what we encounter. The trip will involve gathering for the Daily Office together and visiting a variety of shelters and service providers on both sides of the border. The Rev. Michael Jarrett, the head of Trinity on the Border, will be our guide. Please check out Trinity’s website here, they have a great video you can watch, and contact me at peter@cotcaustin.org if you’re interested in learning more or participating. 

With you in Christ,

Peter+

Peter Coelho