The Idea of the American Dream Was Worth It

Tijuana, Mexico

By Mike Viola

In Tijuana, B.C., Mexico, the Missionary Oblates minister in a vast area where more than 200,000 people reside in cramp, impoverish and unsanitary conditions.  The number of people can at times be overwhelming, but each person has their own individual story to tell.  Here is one of those stories from someone being helped by the Missionary Oblates.

My name is Cindy Milla, and I am 24-years-old.  I am from Honduras.  I like to spend time with my children.  They are my whole life, and I want them to succeed.  I give thanks to God for them every day.  I consider myself quite a strong person, although several times I have fallen and I have been lifted up.

My family is from Honduras.  My children are ages two, five and nine.  I decided to leave my country for my children.  The situation in Honduras causes children to get involved in bad things because there are no good opportunities.  Children are abducted right out of schools and are forced to be in gangs.  I didn’t want to risk losing my children, or having them become criminals.

In 2018, my sister and I, along with our children, joined the migrant caravan.  We took a big risk, because we had no money to pay someone to bring us.  I put myself in God’s hands to fulfill that yearning for a better life and opportunity for my children.

We slept on the streets and made beds of plastic for the children.  We often did not have food or drink, and frequently went without sleep looking out for our children.  All that walking was a tremendous strain, but we did not give up.  The idea of the American Dream was worth it.  We believed that the United States offered a better opportunity and we wanted that for our children.  God showed me that He was in control from the beginning, because we eventually reached the Tijuana border.

In Tijuana we were greeted by the Missionary Oblates at their parish.  The Oblates and all the youth in the SEARCH group were so kind to us.  They provided for our needs.  I remember the first night, sleeping on a mattress with my children.  We were warm and felt like we were floating in the sky.  We never felt away from home when we were with the Oblates.  We didn’t feel like migrants; we just felt their kindness and love.  We felt like family.

Later we got asylum and crossed into the United States.  We are currently in the process of being considered to be allowed to stay in the United States.  We have a year for the consideration of asylum.  We have a lawyer helping us that does not charge us a lot of money.  We are surviving day to day and taking care of our children.  I want to show that we can be productive citizens and work.  We just want that opportunity.

My goal is to prepare my children to have a good education, a good job and to make good decisions in their lives.  The whole process has been difficult mentally and economically.  But God strengthens me and I keep up the fight.  I have many people to thank, but first of all God, because He never abandoned us; He was always with us, taking care of us.

I also thank the Missionary Oblates for helping us get this far.  They proved that not all people in the world are selfish; that there are people who help from the heart without expecting anything in return.  I think back to the time we spent in their church and things I learned from them.  Through the Oblates, God gave us a place to rest and become part of a new family.

I ask for your prayers so that my case is resolved soon, and I can live peacefully with my children.  Thank you for supporting all the people who are in a situation similar or even more extreme than mine.

Your friend,