John Garland, the Mission Leader of Semillas, was able to witness first-hand the miracle of freedom as he responded to the call of a Honduran woman who reached out from a detention center where she had been separated from her family for over 8months. She grew up harvesting coffee from the hills surrounding her town, until the pervasive oppression of gang violence sent her and her family seeking a place where they could live in freedom. Upon arriving at the US border and willingly turning themselves in to officially seek asylum, she was separated from her minor younger brother who had escaped with her from Honduras. She was brave and continued to seek help until she was given the number of a pastor who had been known to help families in her situation: John Garland of Semillas, pastor of the SA Mennonite Church.
The foggy car ride down to the detention center drop off began before 3am in San Antonio, in the early days of the COVID crises, just days before the President restricted travel from Europe. Thanks to the kindness of a Brownsville bus stop employee who allowed the use of his cell phone to confirm that John was on his way, Flora courageously got in the car with the 2 pastors from San Antonio who had come to help out. The drive from Brownsville to San Antonio was filled with tears as she spoke with her family for the first time in over 8 months (the call was punctuated with tearful pleas of ‘No Llores, mama, no LLores’). She also learned of the status of her little brother in the Texas foster system, and made contact with an attorney who could begin the reunification process. John was attentive to her need to stop several times on the drive as she adjusted to the motion sickness of the vehicle after so many months of confinement.
John was overwhelmed at her strong and sincere faith as she sang praises to the Lord, who had removed her chains – she literally prayed and confessed to the Lord that she had been in chains in the morning, and now felt like her soul was free and filled with hope and gratitude to the Lord for hearing her prayer and sending help. After safely arriving back to the shelter in downtown SA, she is now receiving trauma healing prayer using an innovative and artistic approach to understanding how the Gospel of Christ speaks to the deepest places of her pain. Through the Lord at work in answering her diligent and faithful and tearful prayers, the process of reuniting with her family has begun.
Wildfire Staff, Mission Leaders, and contributors