My church, Raysville Friends, has had a relationship with Iglesia Amigos from the time when it was only an idea. One of our members was part of the planning committee for the church plant. On May 3, I and others accompanied Sonia to a routine check-in, where she was taken into custody and transferred to a holding facility in Brazil, IN. I suggest reading the words of her pastor, Carlos Moran:
Today we have lost one of the pillars, she was one of the founding members of our church. Sonia is very special, one of the best sisters. She was generous, she gave her time and her money to contribute with any project we had going on in our church. She was always present she rarely missed a service unless she was severely ill or out of town. She did not only say she loved her church, her life said so. At church we sing a song that speaks about the poor widow who gave everything she had, Sonia did not only sing the song she was that poor widow, she embodied that women Jesus noticed at the temple. Sonia will not only be missed by her family and her church, she will also be missed by the community around her. She raised funds for other members of the community who had been deported, she provided child care for other children; one child in particular is the child of a single father. That father told her the day before she reported to her check in: what am I going to do with my daughter if you are deported, who will watch her as I work. Sonia was always volunteering or helping someone in her community, whether it was through Faith in Indiana, helping clean the church building or running an errand for a friend, she was always there to help. Sonia was one of those persons that embodied God first, God second, God third, and God always because of that she gave herself fully to her brothers and sisters who bear the image of God, her family, her church and her community. We know that Sonia sometimes would go with out in order to help another person, and for that reason we are now willing to go with out to help her and her family. People can come and go but this absence will truly be missed, simply because her life said to God here I am Lord use me. The blessings we received through her life is prove that God is real and good, we have truly experience the presence of God through her life.
This is morally wrong, this is what hate looks like. Children coming home from school and a father struggling to tell them that their mother is behind bars and that she will only be released in El Salvador. This is the work of the devil, to divide and right now he must feel victorious as yet again a family has been ripped apart, as yet again the church has lost one their pillars as yet again a light has been shut down in the community. I am praying that on the day of judgement God will have mercy on this country, I am calling my brothers and sister to repent because we have done wrong and the children are the ones suffering. It is still time to remember Jesus words: ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ We still have time to repent before the King tells us: Depart from me,you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. — Carlos Moran, Pastor Iglesia Amigos (Indianapolis)
Sonia’s children are born in the United States, and are American citizens, but they will either seek asylum in El Salvador, or they risk becoming wards of the state. This is a case that affects my Church community, however there are many similar cases, and the number of such cases will only grow as people who had status under TPS or DACA lose their status.
As Carlos Moran said “This is what hate looks like”, hate makes American citizens into political refugees who must grow up in a foreign country. A go fund me account has been made to help with expenses related to Sonia’s detention, likely including funds to help the children resettle in El Salvador.