Thursday, April 28, 2016

Trust—the Absolute

Don Antonio, the trusted xiñá (religious leader) in his village
Trust is the glue of a communal narrative. It is a given, the absolute without which all the rest doesn’t work.
   An Other Kingdom: Departing the Consumer Culture
                                                   Peter Block, Walter Brueggemann, John McKnight (2015)
A flavorful mango can turn a bad day into a good one
Trust—the absolute. Without it, all the rest doesn’t work. There is lots that “doesn’t work” in Mexico, and it seems that every day something occurs that leads the Mexican people to lose even more trust in their governing authorities.
Don Toño, who was the maintenance man at the orphanage in Tlapa when
Mission Mexico built a dormitory there in the year 2000 
This week the federal government of Mexico refused to renew permission so that the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (part of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights) might continue their work in trying to determine the truth of what happened to the 43 “disappeared” students from the Ayotzinapa Teachers College, here in the State of Guerrero, in September of 2014. In reporting this decision, the New York Times used adjectives such as “corrupt” and “brutal” and “cruel” to describe the justice system in Mexico. How can one trust a government that seems to be doing everything possible to hide the truth of what happened to these students?
Members of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts
Trust—the glue of a communal narrative. Building trusting relationships with the poor and those who work with the poor is what Mission Mexico has been about since its founding. Jean Vanier expressed this well in his book called Community and Growth: In the end, the most important thing is not to do things for people who are poor and in distress, but to enter into relationship with them, to be with them and help them find confidence in themselves and discover their own gifts.
Don Margarito, who sells bananas to suuport himself in Yosondacua
Mission Mexico partners with people interested in helping the poor discover and nourish their gifts. Education plays a key role here. It can be a slow process—but it is a vital process. As George Monbiot expresses it in his book How Did We Get Into This Mess?: Politics, Equality, Nature, Progressive change requires mass mobilisation. But, by identifying and challenging power, by discovering its failings and proposing alternatives, by showing the world as it is rather than as the apparatus of justification would wish people to see it, we can, I believe, play a helpful part in this mobilisation…
Conrado and Icodia at their indigenous wedding ceremony at 4 in the morning
The Catholic Church here in the mountain of Guerrero is one such “partner” with Mission Mexico. The pastoral agents promote awareness and organization. The church respects the enculturation of the gospel in the lives of the indigenous peoples.
Bishop Dagoberto with Fathers Eugenio and Vicente in Xochitepec
The Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Mountain is another “partner.” The team at this center educates and accompanies—and defends—the people in their many struggles for justice and for respect for human rights.
Abel Barrera from Tlachinollan and family members of the 43 disappeared students
The Champagnat High School of the Mountain is another “partner.” This school offers quality education to about 240 indigenous students a year. The students come from different cultures, and their learning is not simply “academic” (although that is an important element). The students learn to see “the world as it is rather than as the apparatus of justification would wish people to see it,” and they learn to work together to seek ways to transform life in their impoverished villages.
Brother Cepillo, who has been at the Champagnat High School since its beginning in 2004
And every day Mission Mexico gives a helping hand to other organizations or other people struggling for life here in the mountains. This occurs because of the trust that others have in Mission Mexico. All of this assistance couldn’t occur if generous people in southern Alberta didn’t have this same trust in Mission Mexico—trust that their solidarity is helping to make a difference in the lives of the poor here. Thank you for this trust.
An honor to be invited to the wedding of Conrado and Icodia

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