Blessings come in bunches for many Mexican migrants

Dean Tinney on 1 July 2011              0 Comments

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They were obviously overripe and dark brown-to-black, but I loaded up two large boxes of powerful-smelling bananas along with many fine loaves of bread.

I asked myself if anyone at the supermarket who donated the bananas to the church would eat them? Would anyone at the church who gave them to us eat any of the fruit? And, moreover, was I prepared to give these decaying bunches to poor Mexican migrant farm workers knowing that eating one bite would challenge me?

Then, too, crossing the decaying fruit into Mexico wouldn’t be easy, and another day of blazing sun would probably marinate the fruit to pudding. Despite my reluctance and the obstacles, I delivered the bananas and other food to the migrant farm workers’ camp near the new Sparrows Gate Mission Ranch in Valle de las Palmas the next morning and wondered if anyone would eat my cargo.

The poor families rushed from their hovels and eagerly inspected their new shipment looking for a treasure they could eat. I left hurriedly, not wanting to risk their displeasure and to keep an early appointment with someone down the road.

I parked under a shade tree and during the next half-hour wait for my meeting, those same poor farm workers walked past me on the dusty road headed for another hot day in the fields. Virtually every one of them carried a garden hoe in one hand and a few of those overripe bananas in the other. They had nothing more to combat hunger than those pathetic bananas.

"Lord,” I prayed, “Thank you for allowing me to witness their desperate need and appreciation. And, God, it sure would be nice if you would enable us to bring these impoverished people some yellow bananas one day."