Wednesday, May 21, 2008

First of all Steve and I want to thank your for all the support we have received over the past month. Almost every day we get emails from people who are excited about this project. It is a blessing to know how many people are praying for us and seriously thinking through what we have encountered along our journey.

We also want to thank those who have made it financially possible to do this trip. With your support we have now made it half way with many stories, photos and interviews to show for it.

In order to finish our journey we still need to cover a few more costs. Please help us see this journey through to completion.

We now have a good idea of how things work so we thought we would break down our daily costs to show how your donation can help:

$2 means an hour each of Internet time which is an essential for keeping up a blog.

$10 provides a bus ticket to the next town.

$20 lets us stay in a hotel for a night instead of fighting over park benches (just kidding we haven't had to do that. yet)

$60 will cover our expenses for an entire day including food, water, hotel, Internet, and transportation.

Steve also mentioned that if we got 4000 people to donate $0.50 we could cover all our costs and then some. Spread the word...

Donations are tax deductable as well.

In all we have about 25 days left before finnishing up in Tucson.

If you like using technology you can send donations using the donate button on the left column of our blog.

If Paypal makes you squeamish you may also mail donations to:

Immanuel CRC
Attn: Desert Footprints
1405 Albany Ave. NE,
Orange City, Iowa 51041

God is at work here there is no doubt about that. We see him working through the ministries at Casa Del Migrante, we saw him touching the lives of injured migrants at Albergue Jesus el Buen Pastor, and we hear the testimony of his faithfulness from migrants almost every day who continue to be tested along thier journey.

With your help we hope to continue learning how we as Americans may best join in God's work here through seeking justice and showing love to immigrants in the U.S.

Thank you for your support,
Steve Eaton & Nathan Poel


Kristi said...

There's the author's picture for your book someday. :) Do know that I am following you on your journey. I'm sure that for myself as with many others we are processing all of this and at times don't know how to react. I'm glad to know you have had very personal stories like Mauricio's to be able to learn from. The coyotes' lack of compassion apauls me. Also, it is good to hear that some of these migrants still have some sanity left as it seems they get so focused and driven on one goal. Mauricio's comment in that you only live once is so true. It still leaves me speechless that many people are willing to risk their lives as a sacrifice for their family's well-being. For all of those that have contorted ideas and judgements about imigrants here in the United States, I think all of our eyes need to be opened to the fact that these people are in search of something better because the situations that they are in are so dire and a journey like this is certainly the last option as it's not an easy one.
Blessings as you continue.

Mark K said...

Hi Nathan!

Your posts have been tremendously insightful and interesting and we have been learning a lot about the human side of the migrant journey through these countries. The resolve of many of the migrants to risk their lives through multiple attempts to reach the states suggests an overwhelming desire on their part make this happen. At this point, what do the interviews suggest are the two or three most important things they hope to gain for themselves and/or their families by making their way to the states? Do they ever do this for just themselves or is there usually a connection to helping their family? What makes their indigenous situation so desperate that they will try multiple times? Is their impression of what they will gain in the states a realistic one?

We are looking forward to hearing more of your interviews and pray that God will provide safety and health for you and Steve in the coming weeks.

Love, Dad

John Paul Vicory said...

Hey Steve and Nate,
thanks again for the updates. the pictures and text are incredible. glad that you guys are doing it. I am praying for you! (from your home country, Steve)
blessings, brothers

nate said...

To Mark(aka Dad),

Given the diversity of migrants who travel this route, reasons for making the journey vary quite a bit. There are a few who make the journey just for themselves but from what we have heard that number is very small. The vast majority are making this trip to better the lives of their family whether it be sending there kids to school, being able to buy a house, start a business, or just put food on the table.
There seem to be a lot of mis-conceptions about end motives of migrants as well. Most of people we talk to want to return to their home country after working a few years. They don't care about getting citizenship or raising their families in the U.S. They just want a fair wage in order to get a step up economically.
(Often later complications prevent people from realizing this goal but that is most people's thought going in)
The other story we hear frequently is of people who have lived ten, fifteen, or twenty plus years in the states but were born in a foreign country. Their families, work, church, friends, all live in the U.S. but they are deported anyway. For someone in this situation (and it is vary common) the choice to go back is a no-brainer. They have no life anywhere else.

As far as the causes of economic hardship in third world countries, you are now dealing with decades of global history that are hard to sum up in a paragraph. If I had to point to one thing I would say NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement) have had a large influence on the numbers and types of people coming to the U.S. in recent years but keep in mind these are complicated issues an no one country, organization, or company holds all the blame or all the solutions. I will track down some books that give a good overview of the political and economic issues involved here. In the meantime, looking up general central american history will probably be quite eye opening.
Thank you for your interest, we will try and keep up.


nate said...

If you want to learn a little about Central American history, a good personal account is in the book "Don't be Afraid Gringo". It is the story of Elvia Alvarado, who was a grassroots Honduran activist in the 80's. It gives a good firsthand perspective of how international relations have affected local communities in Central America.

Anonymous said...

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