Mennonite Church helps two-year separation come to an end for sisters seeking asylum in the US

Reunion of two asylum seekers in San Antonio considered a ‘miracle’

SAN ANTONIO – Even the day after two sisters from Honduras were reunited in San Antonio, seeing the joy and relief in their faces was “just beautiful,” said Pastor Katie Best-Richmond of the San Antonio Mennonite Church.

Up until then, she said, “We’ve all been nervous and scared.”

Rosa and her younger sister, Maritza, had not seen each other in two years. They chose not to have their last names used, having escaped the violence that has paralyzed Honduras.

During their time apart, 21-year-old Rosa had spent seven months in an immigrant detention facility, and 20-year-old Maritza had left Honduras with her little boy about a month ago.

Yet, somehow, Maritza was able to quickly apply for asylum at the border and was released only about a day later.

Rosa said that, while she was in the detention facility, “I had absolutely no help from anyone, and I felt so alone.”

But then Rosa heard about the Mennonite Church.

“We had to pay a bond and sponsor her to get her out,” Best-Richmond said.

She said, given the sisters were reunited this week even as the influx at the border continues, “It is a miracle. Everyone who gets here, it is an absolute miracle.”

Rosa agrees, saying, “Yes, it is a grand miracle by God.”

Since her younger sister is still nervous, having arrived in San Antonio just a couple of days ago, Rosa spoke on her behalf to thank the Mennonite Church.

“It is why we’re here,” Rosa said. “We’ll always be grateful to them.”

She is one of two asylum seekers who benefit from 100% of the proceeds, but the pastor said as the Cafe Cotidiano truck’s following grows, the more people the Mennonite Church will be able to help.

“It really provides them with the opportunity to build their own lives and to really get involved in our community here,” Best-Richmond said.

She said Rosa and Maritza are examples of that.

“They are just absolute joys, and they are so kind and loving to everyone that they meet,” Best-Richmond said. “They’re such blessings to have in our community and in our country.”

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