Monday, Aug. 13 at 6-7:15 p.m. EDT
Join us for a panelist discussion about the experiences of immigrant families, how local Mennonite churches and organizations have been responding, and strategic ways that people can join efforts to bring change. All are invited to attend.
Email SuePH@MennoniteUSA.org to register.
Anton Flores-Maisonet is the co-founder and resident of Casa Alterna, a hospitality house devoted to faithful acts of mercy and justice in a Latinx immigrant neighborhood in Georgia. Flores-Maisonet is also co-founder of El Refugio, a ministry of hospitality and visitation serving immigrants at Stewart Detention Center and their families and friends, and Georgia Detention Watch, a coalition that advocates ending the inhumane and unjust detention and law enforcement policies and practices directed against immigrant communities.
Tina Schlabach lives with her husband, Jay, in Tucson, Arizona. She serves as co-pastor of Shalom Mennonite Fellowship and offers spiritual companioning. Tina visits with and advocates for women from Central America and Mexico held by our country’s unjust policies in immigration detention. Tina loves soul conversations, cross-cultural friendships, reading, traveling, walks with Jay, time with their five young adult children and morning coffee.
Rocio Calderon migrated from Bolivia to California for a work opportunity which turned out to be a terrible situation of labor trafficking. When she entered an immigration office to ask for help she was taken into custody and spent the next two years of her life inside an immigration detention center, where Tina Schlabach and others from the Casa Mariposa Detention Visitation Program (CMDVP) had the privilege of meeting her. Rocio now lives in Tucson, Arizona, is the recipient of a resident visa for persons who were victims of trafficking, and is an active member of Shalom Mennonite Fellowship. Since January 2018 Rocio serves as the Co-Coordinator of the CMDVP, and bakes empanadas for a popular local Mexican vegetarian restaurant, Tumerico. She lives with her daughter, son-in-law, and two-year-old granddaughter.
The Casa Mariposa Detention Visitation Program works to alleviate the isolation felt by immigrants living in detention through weekly visits and letters. We provide support, friendship and encouragement to immigrants in detention in hopes of breaking the cycle of isolation. Letters and visits tell individuals that they are not forgotten, and even better, that someone cares about them. Outside of detention, we support immigrants alongside Casa Mariposa and the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project (FIRRP). Money given to this program will boost individuals as they return to life on the outside, help reunite folks with their loved ones, and bring hope and connection to immigrants living in detention.
Donate to the Casa Mariposa Visitation Program here.
Sandra Montes Martinez
Sandra Montes-Martinez has been serving in ministerial and church planting support in Western District Conference for the last twelve years and as a pastor for Monte Horeb Mennonite Church in Dallas, TX since 2015. She is serving in MC USA as moderator for the Hispanic Mennonite Church and is a member of the Leadership Discernment Committee.
Among her ministerial education in the Hispanic Biblical Anabaptist Seminar (SeBah), Sandra has trained in Leadership Edge, a program from the Kansas Leadership Center, focusing on leadership competencies to help people better diagnose problems and situations, manage themselves, energize others around a common purpose, and intervene in ways that are more skillful and successful. She has also received an Executive Certification in Religious Fundraising from the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
Sandra’s passion as a follower of Jesus and bridge builder led her to serve her community and the church in the living scripture, encouraging others to breathe in Jesus’s love in their everyday lives.
Sandra is originally from Venezuela. She and her husband Erick Martinez have been married since 1993. They are the proud parents of four kids: Susana, Erick J, Suzette and Nicole.
She is a woman that loves God, grateful to serve others, pursues peace and justice through building bridges, and is proud to be a mother.
Several years ago Sarah Jackson went on a trip to the US/Mexico border with a humanitarian aid organization working on immigration issues. She spoke with people who had been deported, learned about people’s reasons for migrating and heard the dangers they face in doing so. She saw first-hand families being separated.
Then she returned to Colorado and couldn’t return to her normal life after this experience. She decided to do something about it because she believes families should be together. So she opened Casa de Paz.
To keep the doors of the Casa open, Sarah started Volleyball Internacional. 100% the profit from the volleyball league is donated to the Casa and used to pay the operating expenses.
Sarah’s hope and prayer is to help ease the isolating experience of immigrant detention, one simple act of love at a time.
Hosted by Sue Park-Hur, Mennonite Church USA’s Denominational Minister for Leadership Development. Email her at SuePH@MennoniteUSA.org to register.